The famed vineyard, first planted to ungrafted shiraz vines in 1912, is found beneath a small hill or ‘mount’ originally given the name ‘Edelstein’ by a German surveyor back in 1839. The German word Edelstein translates to ‘gemstone’ or ‘jewel’; a reference to small yellow opals once found on the property. With time, this was anglicised to Mount Edelstone, and the single-vineyard wine has been labelled this way since the very first vintage that fourth-generation winemaker Cyril Henschke produced from this northern-Eden Valley vineyard in 1952 from 40 year-old vines.
The Henschke Mount Edelstone shiraz 2015 represents the 63rd release of this unique wine, which makes it Australia’s longest consecutively-made single-vineyard shiraz. For decades it has become acclaimed for its quality and longevity, as the sculptured vines, grown on their own roots and gnarled and twisted by time, have now become centenarians. Fifth-generation husband and wife team, winemaker Stephen and viticulturist Prue, brought new vigour to the vineyard when they became custodians in 1980, applying biodynamic and organic practices that now see the old vines of shiraz bursting with health and perfectly balanced to the site.
The 2015 harvest delivered triumph in the old, concrete open-top fermenters of the deepest crimson; rich, spicy aromas and flavours of black pepper and sage, exquisite florals, and red and black forest fruit which are so distinctly typical of Mount Edelstone shiraz. The complexity of the wine and the velvet-like nature of the tannins can only be attributed to the now 108 year-old vines, utilising the warm sunny days and cool nights of autumn to finely tune the components in each grape berry to near perfection.
Empirically, from tastings of the six decades of vintages before it, the Henschke Mount Edelstone shiraz 2015 will slowly mellow as it matures in bottle, retaining its hallmark sage and peppercorn characters, while developing further complexity of beef stock, truffles and leather. The palate is expected to build rich yet savoury flavours, lined with layers of velvety-tannins and an impeccably long finish. Expect it to drink impressively for 30+ years from vintage.
Decanter’s Rupert Owen put forward the Henschke Mount Edelstone Shiraz 2015, after the panel of Decanter World Wine Awards Regional Chairs, key contributors and Decanter staff were asked to nominate the “classic, offbeat and value wines that impressed them most in 2020”. The 107 nominated wines were then blind-tasted and ranked by a trio of judges: Decanter contributing editor Andy Howard MW; Ronan Sayburn MS and Beth Willard, buying manager for Direct Wines.
This wine went on to be the overall highest scoring Australian red wine of the tasting with 96 points. See the judges’ comments below.
2015 Henschke Mount Edelstone Eden Valley Shiraz
“Super-intense blackcurrant and spice nose. The palate is laden with dried fruit, figs, dates and Christmas cake notes. Incredibly ripe fruit, but combined with lovely freshness and balance. This is a big wine but holds all its components well and perfectly demonstrates this style of wine.” 96 points – Outstanding.
2013 Henschke Mount Edelstone Eden Valley Shiraz
“The powerfully intense 2013 has terrific gravitas. Typically Henschke, it has buoyancy and lift, with bright red and black berries and currants, sweet jubey nuances, and an arc of fine, mineral tannins. It’s exceptionally layered and long, and the finish reverberates with sage, eucalypt, black peppercorn and inky, floral nuances. Aged for 18 months in 81% French and 19% American oak hogsheads, 34% new. 96 points.” (Sarah Ahmed)
2010 Henschke Mount Edelstone Eden Valley Shiraz
“From an excellent vintage for Shiraz, the elegant aromas of this pure, old vine Shiraz are defined by a herby note of sage and bay leaf with an added touch of pepper. This leads into an opulent yet elegant spicy loganberry, plum and blackcurrant middle with a savoury tapenade undertone. There is a rich concentration and juiciness, and the wine is defined by a firm backbone of acidity and sinewy tannins.” 95 points. (Anthony Rose)
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