Henschke will commemorate 150 years of family winemaking with the launch of a new $130 single-vineyard Eden Valley shiraz called The Wheelwright.
The wine is a tribute to Henschke founder Johann Christian Henschke, the first-generation winemaker, a skilled stonemason and wheelwright.
The first commercial vintage at Henschke was in 1868. The family will mark this anniversary on 3 September with the launch of Hill of Grace 2013 and The Wheelwright 2015.
From the Henschke Eden Valley vineyard on Cranes Range Road, The Wheelwright is crafted from low-yielding, ungrafted, biodynamically-grown shiraz. At 50 years of age these vines, planted in 1968 by Johann Christian’s great-grandson and fourth-generation Henschke winemaker Cyril, are designated ‘Old Vine’.
This vineyard, on ancient red-brown earths, is located at 500 metres altitude, south of the highly regarded Henschke vineyards of Mount Edelstone and Hill of Grace, and overlooks the village of Eden Valley.
The Wheelwright Shiraz was gently cool-fermented in traditional, open-top submerged cap fermenters for seven to 10 days on skins before being matured in five percent new and 95 percent seasoned (75 percent French, 25 percent American) oak hogsheads for 20 months prior to blending and bottling.
“The 2015 vintage was an exceptional quality vintage in the Eden Valley, and as a result the wine expresses signature characteristics of blue and black berries, violets, anise and bay leaves, with excellent palate structure and fine velvety tannins,” Justine Henschke says.
The Wheelwright 2015 will join an exceptional selection of Henschke on-premise and independent exclusive wines from 3 September. Henschke Hill of Grace 2013 will also be available in limited quantities on the same date.
Justine says Hill of Grace 2013 is one of the smaller vintages in recent years. It is from a dry year that delivered beautiful fruit though tiny yields from the dry-grown, 153-year-old ‘Grandfather vines’ nurtured by viticulturist Prue Henschke.