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Henschke Julius Eden Valley Riesling 2021 £32.50
Henschke Julius Eden Valley Riesling 2021
The Henschke family have been making wine at their estate in the Eden Valley since 1868. Fifth-generation winemaker Stephen Henschke took over running the winery in 1979. Together with his viticulturist wife Prue, they have taken their two single vineyards, Hill of Grace and Mount Edelstone, and transformed them into two of Australia’s most sought-after wines. Through a combination of great viticulture from Prue, who is at the forefront of reintroducing native plants into their vineyards to improve biodiversity, and winemaking from Stephen, they have built upon their inheritance and turned this traditional producer into one that is celebrated all around the world.
In 1966, Cyril Henschke purchased 32 hectares of land on Cranes Range Road, two kilometres west of Henschke Cellars at 500 metres above sea level. Here he planted the Henschke Eden Valley vineyard, predominantly with Riesling and Shiraz, on sandy loam soils over gravel and bedrock, with patches of clay. Other varieties were added over the years. This wine is named after ancestor Julius Henschke, a highly acclaimed artist and sculptor.
Following average winter rains, budburst was even and buds showed good fruitfulness. Most flowering was early, occurring from mid-November onwards with Riesling showing the most consistent fruit set. January was dry with a burst of heat prior to perfectly timed rain at veraison in early February. The lead up to vintage was cool, cloudy and mostly dry with the white varieties showing balanced acidities and good aromatics. After their coolest summer for 19 years, an Indian summer followed on through Easter providing near-ideal conditions. Overall the wines show great balance and potential for ageing.
The grapes were hand-harvested in the cool of the morning, with individual blocks picked separately, always remaining separate throughout the vinification process. Once in the winery, the best grapes were selected using a sorting table, followed by selective technology, before being destemmed, lightly crushed and gently pressed to tanks for cold-settling. The juices were racked into refrigerated, stainless steel tanks and cool-fermented. Once completed, the wine was assembled and bottled post-vintage to preserve the delicate aromatic fruit characters.
Pale lemon with green hues. Lifted aromas of frangipani, kaffir lime leaf, citrus blossom and lime zest, with notes of bergamot orange, white currant, thyme and green peppercorn. The palate shows excellent flavour intensity with concentrated lime juice, grapefruit and white peach, balanced by focused and defined acidity, and a river pebble mineral mouthfeel driving the powerful and long finish.