This is the inside of the beautiful Cellar Door of Henschke, a 157-year-old family-owned winery located in Keyneton, South Australia. We visited last month, and discovered amazing family history, lovely people and exceptional wines.
The Tasting Experience
As you can see from the photo above, Henschke’s tasting room is intimate and bright. After visiting with the staff, our wonderful host and brand ambassador, Emalee Guerra, took us to a special room reserved for our tasting. Immediately, the beautiful table, set up with bottles of wine, decanters and many wine glasses, captured our attention.
A black embossed folder containing tasting notes, family history, maps of Henschke’s vineyards and much more, guided us in our personalized and special experience. In addition, beautiful black books, with our names printed on the inside covers, highlighted the wines in our lineup, and historic photos of the people and places connected with each wine.
The Magnificent Three
Ten notable reds and whites decorated our table. As we tasted through the lineup, we noticed continuity in terms of clarity, attention to place, and a beautiful style and mouthfeel. But the magnificent trio of 2013 Hill of Grace, 2012 Hill of Roses, and 2013 Mount Edelstone brought the biggest WOW factor.
Henschke 2013 Hill of Grace
There are not enough superlatives to describe the luxurious mouthfeel of 2013 Hill of Grace. The crown jewel of the Henschke collection, Hill of Grace impresses from nose to finish. As we sipped on this exceptional wine, we knew we were drinking part of Australia’s history. Because this 100% Shiraz is sourced from so-called Grandfather vines planted around 1860. Hill of Grace is complex, intense, elegant and layered, with aromas and flavors of dark fruit and its signature exotic five spices. We loved it.
Henschke 2012 Hill of Roses
2012 Hill of Roses is also 100% Shiraz, produced from a small selection of vines on the Hill of Grace vineyard. These grapes were 30 years old when picked, and therefore considered too young for inclusion into Hill of Grace wine. But, according to Emalee, the high quality of the grapes warranted a separate bottling and limited release, only available at the Cellar Door. And what a beauty – silky and elegant, with aromatics of dark fruits, anise and cinnamon, and flavors of spicy black fruits and charcuterie.
Henschke 2013 Mount Edelstone
What a gorgeous nose! 2013 Mount Edelstone opens with rich aromatics that made me sigh – blackberries, spiced plums, licorice and cedar. These same characteristics coat the palate. Emalee suggested we wait until 2023 – ten years from vintage – to put this wine in a beautiful place. But we found it very drinkable right now. Mount Edelstone is 100% Shiraz grown in a 101-year-old single vineyard, using organic and biodynamic practices. Not surprisingly, this is known as the “benchmark of Eden Valley Shiraz.”
We tasted more red wines and some whites during our visit to Henschke’s Cellar Door, which you can read about in our next blog post in the near future.
Margot and Dave