TN TN: NobleRottersSydney - Henschke

Discussion in 'UK Wine Forum' started by Graeme Gee, Aug 9, 2018.

  1. TNs - HENSCHKE - 360 Bar & Dining, Sydney (2/07/2018)

    We return to an old favourite theme, although the spiraling prices of Henschke’s better-known reds are something of a disincentive to buy more. Small crowd too; good thing we had some bonus wines.
    • 2012 Henschke Riesling Julius - Australia, South Australia, Barossa, Eden Valley
      {screwcap, 11.5%} [Graeme] Mid straw-yellow. Quite intense nose of citrus and talc. Somewhat developed, the palate has flavours of lemon with a tang of sherbert, although it’s dry, of course. Maybe some musk too? There’s medium acidity, but the wine has a delicate aspect about it. Light-medium body, with a medium long finish. Will sail through the next decade easily.
    • 2015 Shaw and Smith Chardonnay M3 Vineyard - Australia, South Australia, Mount Lofty Ranges, Adelaide Hills
      {screwcap, 13%} [Kim] Cedary oak and sandalwood. Yeasty barrels on the palate, some tangy grapefruit flavours. And plenty of oak. You need to like oak here. Medium weight, medium acid, medium length. Perhaps too young. Perhaps too woody?
    • 1996 Henschke Cyril Henschke - Australia, South Australia, Barossa, Eden Valley
      {cork, 14%} [Graeme] A bottle of this (same provenance) a few years ago was singing beautifully. This is manky and oxidised, even a bit bretty. Obviously at twenty there’s some latitude, but this is sub-par in all sorts of ways. NR (flawed)
    • 1998 Henschke Shiraz Hill of Grace - Australia, South Australia, Barossa, Eden Valley
      {cork, 13.7%} [David] Aged palate, but wonderful; jam, spice, currants. Seductive. The palate offers soft, leathery flavours, juicy, with aging blue fruit – it’s actually richer and more enticing than the nose. It’s medium-bodied, with soft dusty tannins and great evenness along the palate. Medium/long finish. Maybe it’s lifted by a touch of brett character too, but not objectionably so. At peak; I wouldn’t keep it too much longer. Double-decanted a few hours prior.
    • 2007 Henschke Cyril Henschke - Australia, South Australia, Barossa, Eden Valley
      {screwcap, 14%} [Glenn] Cabernet/merlot/franc blended to 75/17/8 proportions. Somewhat developed. Leafy green and polished leather nose. Dark-hued curranty palate. Some gritty/graphite tannin texture – not overly oaky – medium weight, dry, medium length finish. Would probably benefit from more cellar time; far from a charmer, and trading off the Henschke name a bit. I’d expect a bit more ‘wow’ from the flagship cabernet.
    • 2004 Henschke Euphonium Keyneton Estate - Australia, South Australia, Barossa
      {screwcap, 14.5%} [Geoffrey] Rich blueberry jam nose, confected and bright. Something of a fruit-bomb, although leavened by notes of chicory/tobacco. The palate has smoke, blackberries and jam, low/medium dusty tannins and a plummy, merlot richness. It’s medium length, with some complexity of flavours although it’s a bit superficial. Still, it’s a good showing for a fairly modest red blend (shiraz, cabernet, merlot).
    • 2007 Henschke Shiraz Mount Edelstone - Australia, South Australia, Barossa, Eden Valley
      {screwcap, 14%} [Greg] No decant. Youthful nose; charcoal, blueberry muffins, plums. The same intense, deep-chested fruit flavours on the palate as the nose promised. Medium-bodied, maybe a bit more; not heavy or hot but intense and tight still. Needs years to blossom fully but is easily gentle enough on the palate to drink now, despite rather prominent acidity. Lovely enough wine if you have it; but prices are too silly these days to seek it out except in great vintages.
    • 2006 Henschke Shiraz Mount Edelstone - Australia, South Australia, Barossa, Eden Valley
      {screwcap, 14%} [Gordon] Double-decanted a few hours earlier. Very similar in style to the 07, but a bit more open, with more tobacco and blackberry notes. Medium-full-bodied, still with medium/high powdery tannins; oak is subtle though. Does manage a sandy/earthy aspect to the flavours, despite the richness of the fruit. Medium length finish, even palate but fairly low-key (a hallmark of the balance). This should sing in another decade or so; all the elements are here.
    • 2012 Margan Sémillon Botrytis - Australia, New South Wales, Hunter Valley
      {375ml, screwcap, 10.5%} [Gordon] Developing, brassy; massively rich and apricotty. Amazingly, has enough acid spine to hold it up. Lots of botrytis character; less marmalade-like than the usual Riverina sourcing for this style of wine. Medium body, medium length. Definitely toward the sweeter end of the spectrum. A bit simple, but enjoyable. Drink now.
    • 2009 Cullen Wines Chenin Blanc Late Harvest - Australia, Western Australia, South West Australia, Margaret River
      {375ml, screwcap, 9.5%} [Gordon] Developing brass and syrupy honey aromas. On the palate has a touch of caramel too, with a brown note, but not botrytis. Medium-bodied, balanced, medium-dry, with a little bit of palate length on the finish, but not a profound wine. Drink up.
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2018
  2. It’s a shame about current pricing of Edelstone. I’ve been obliged to stop buying.
    Russ Sainty likes this.
  3. I hadn't realised before but I need more 'deep chested' wines in my life!

    Really interesting tasting, thank you for writing it up. I'm surprised the 1998 HOG is at peak but am starting to suspect the vintage isn't all we initially hoped it might be! You're lucky not to have had TCA issues, it seems a particularly common with older Henschke.
  4. Great notes Graeme. What you say re the 07 Mount Edelstone makes me pose a question here. I bought a couple of bottles of the 2001 quite a few years ago. I drank one which was too young at the time, if quite rich, so I put the other bottle away.

    Any ideas:
    1. Drink soon
    2. Keep x years longer
    3. Take to an offline...around its peak?
  5. Not sure if it helps but my 2000 Mount Edelstone been drinking nicely for a few years. Not sure it their strongest vintage.
    David Crossley likes this.
  6. David - the Keyneton 2001 is drinking very well at the moment and isn't showing any signs of falling over. Ditto the '01 Cyril. I suspect that the Edelstone will be in good shape but am not rushing to pull my case out of storage just yet!
    David Crossley and Brian Cheng like this.
  7. Jeremy Oliver reckons option 1; most would go for option 2; I reckon bring to Oz Wimps in January to compare with my '02. :)
    David Crossley likes this.
  8. If I plan ahead I might actually get my arse in gear and make it to January Wimps.
    Mark Carrington likes this.
  9. Looking back at my CT notes on Edelstone (26 of them!), I see I thought the 1999 & 2000 weak, the last tasting of the 1998 (in 2010) not impressive either.
    The wine seems better since 2004 (haven't tasted 2002).
    A safe rule for me would be to avoid 97-01 unless they're dirt cheap.
    I think non-cork-sealed vintages are a better bet as well.
  10. Well cellared examples generally are very long lived. The 1990 HoG and 1990 Mt Edelstone were both singing last year when drunk side by side at a fine dinner for a good friend’s birthday at the Fat Duck. Both were well developed but not even close to falling apart. Interestingly the gap between the two was not that big although in my view the HoG a bit more interest. The sommelier preferred the MtE.

    I still have several MtE and Cyril going back to the early 90s and they consistently perform well, assuming you can get the cork out in one piece of course!

    I agree prices have gone stratospheric as with so many wines and I no longer buy.
  11. I have fitfully drunk Edelstone since the ‘86 (£8 from L&W - couldn’t afford HoG at £15). Not tried all the vintages since but I reckon the ‘02 is ‘as good as it gets’.
    Was offered Edelstone 2013/14 for £122/bottle yesterday. Checked diary - it’s not 1 April.
  12. Mark,

    At around this time I was living about 1/2 mile from L&W here in Colchester and popped in on Saturday morning. They had the whole Henschke range open from an event the night before. I remember how good they were and at that time I wouldn't normally be a red wine drinker. Like you a couldn't bring myself to buy the HoG, too expensive, yes £15 is the figure I remember. In hindsight I should have filled my cellar with it.
    Mark Carrington likes this.
  13. Mark, 122 pounds per bottle!!! Wow. It's the equal of HoG in most vintages in my opinion, but still, that's a big big hike. I think the 91 of both are amazing. I still have 94 and 96 Mt Edelstone and Euphonium. Both are still drinking really well. Agree Henschke went off the boil 98-01 but produced amazing 02s. I have 06 Edelstone, that might be the last vintage I bought. Prices, along with Penfolds et al, made them unaffordable in the quantities I used to buy them. A shame. Edelstone on its day is one of my 5 or 6 favourite Australian wines.

    Excellent notes as ever, Graeme.
  14. Really good notes. Hope my 2007 Tahbilk Museum Marsanne tonite will enliven the evening.
    John McCann likes this.
  15. I'm always interested in the progress of Tahbilk's Marsannes so please do post a note on this wine.


    PS: I've no '07s but do have an '08 and a bunch of '10s.

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