Henschke Mount Edelstone Shiraz 2018
Henschke Mount Edelstone Shiraz 2018 (Gift Box)

Henschke Mount Edelstone Shiraz 2018 (Gift Box)

Sale price$265.00
Eden Valley, South Australia, Australia

Style: Red Wine

Variety: Shiraz

Closure: Vinolok

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Henschke Mount Edelstone Shiraz 2018 (Gift Box)

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Burke Road
Camberwell VIC 3124

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Producer: Henschke

Country: Australia

Region: Eden Valley

Vintage: 2018

Critic Score: 99

Alcohol: 14.5%

Size: 750 ml

Drink by: 2050

Glorious wine. Untold depths of the richest blackberry and plum fruit with a magically bright finish - James Halliday

Mount Edelstone Shiraz is one of Australia's most famous single vineyard shiraz and a national treasure. The famed Mount Edelstone Vineyard, located in the Eden Valley at an altitude of 400 metres, is planted to dry-grown ungrafted centenarian vines which were sourced from pre-phylloxera material. The oldest vines were planted in 1912.

The first vintage of Mount Edelstone was bottled by Cyril Henschke in 1952. This 2018 vintage release is the 66th vintage crafted by the Henschke family, believed to be the longest consecutively-produced, single-vineyard wine in Australia.

"The emphasis here is immediately on the focus and purity of the wine. Chocolate, licorice, beefstock, leather, sage, black olives, cloves, black jellybean notes and blackberries. Seamless, with cushiony lush tannins, soft as duck-down. Fine acidity, knife-edge balance and extraordinary length. A beautiful wine which should impress over the next forty years. As Stephen says, 'it screams Eden Valley'. Love it. And in comparison with the glorious Hill of Grace, here is the real value."  Ken Gargett

Fifth-generation winemaker Stephen and his viticulturist wife Prue, who have been at the helm at Henschke since the early 1980s, have taken the quality of this iconic wine to the next level. This highly regarded team, who lead the way in environmental, biodynamic and organic practices, have won multitude awards that recognise the complementary nature of their roles.

"Deep ruby with ruby hues. Spicy, complex and dark fruited aromas of blackberry, dark red plum and blueberry, with sage, bay leaf, thyme, anise, black pepper, nutmeg and cedar. A rich, plush and beautifully integrated palate offers layers of spicy dark fruits, pepper, sage, musk and clove, balanced by bright acidity, excellent depth and long and elegant fine, velvety tannins. Matured in 27% new and 73% seasoned (77% French, 23% American) oak hogsheads for 20 months prior to blending and bottling."  Henschke (Aug 2022)

Expert reviews

"Inky opaque black in colour, with a dark purple rim. The emphasis here is immediately on the focus and purity of the wine. Chocolate, licorice, beefstock, leather, sage, black olives, cloves, black jellybean notes and blackberries. Seamless, with cushiony lush tannins, soft as duck-down. Fine acidity, knife-edge balance and extraordinary length. A beautiful wine which should impress over the next forty years. As Stephen says, 'it screams Eden Valley'. Love it. And in comparison with the glorious Hill of Grace, here is the real value. Drink: 2023-2063."  Ken Gargett, Wine Pilot – 99 points

"More youthful, with a deeper and brighter colour, than The Wheelwright. From a 106 year-old vineyard. Matured 20 months in 27% new (77% French, 23% American) hogsheads. Glorious wine. Untold depths of the richest blackberry and plum fruit with a magically bright finish ex livewire acidity. 14.5% alc, screwcap. Drink to 2048. "  James Halliday, The Weekend Australian - 99 points

"Medium deep crimson. Intense blackberry, mulberry praline aromas with mocha sage herb garden notes. Superbly concentrated wine with deep set pure blackberry, dark plum, mulberry fruits, fine slinky tannins, attractive mid-palate richness and underlying mocha, vanilla notes. Finishes firm with chinotto, hint marzipan notes. Superb mineral length, vigour and extract."  Andrew Caillard MW - 99 points

"This is a genuinely outstanding Mount Edelstone, with glorious fruit and multi-layered complexity. The nose sings of the Eden Valley with a sage and black fruit cocktail of flavours, and the texture is pure velvet. This is a cracker of a wine and a classic Mount Edelstone to boot, and it is already bafflingly precocious. But don't worry because behind the exultant volleys of pristine fruit lurks muscle and crunchy tannin that will propel this wine forward for two decades and more."  Matthew Jukes - 19.0+/20 points

"I lived on the property that lies between the Mount Edelstone and Hill of Grace vineyards for eight years. My god it's a beautiful part of the world. Planted in 1912 by George Fife Angus and purchased by Cyril Henschke in 1974, though it had been bottled as a single-vineyard wine since 1952. Picture perfect blackberry and blackcurrant fruits, shades of mixed spice, purple floral tones, earth, licorice, rosehip and crushed quartz. A gorgeous expression of site, pure with long, ripe tannins, lacy mineral-laden acidity providing clarity and drive and a finish that sails on for some time before finishing chalky and sustained. Drink by 2045."  Dave Brooks, Halliday Wine Companion - 98 point

"The mouthfeel is seductive and supple, carrying trademark savoury bay leaf, sage and peppercorn notes that integrate beautifully into ripe, black bramble and blood plum flavours. Structure for long ageing is assured by firm yet velvety tannins and fresh acidity. A gorgeous, opulent, complex wine."  Tina Gellie, Decanter - 98 points

"Deep red with a tinge of purple and a bouquet of forest-floor, autumn leaves, terracotta and balsamic herbs including a trace of mint. It's the aroma of a walk through a deep eucalypt forest on a hot day. The wine is superbly concentrated and yet supple and fleshy in texture, the tannins generous and full throughout the palate, the finish lingering long and the aftertaste dry and cleansing. Drink 2023-2038.”  Huon Hooke, The Real Review – 97 points 

"The Henschke family believes Mount Edelstone Shiraz is the longest, consecutively produced, single vineyard wine in Australia. Planted by Ronald Angus in 1912, it was first bottled as a single vineyard wine in 1952 by Cyril Henschke, who later bought the vineyard in 1974. Today, Mount Edelstone centurion vines offer a strong statement, as if needed, on the role of old vines. They bring an easy, effortless balance, as enjoyed here, combined with a richness and density of flavour.

The 2018 Mount Edelstone starts with aromas that are sweet, aromatic and inviting in red berries and black fruits and the prettiest of aromatics in Asian spice, rosehip and, once again, typical Eden Valley sage notes, so integral to quality Eden Valley Shiraz. There's plenty to enjoy and contemplate with an almost luxurious air and carry with bursts of generous cassis and red fruit punctuated by spice, a mix of dried herbs and merest hints of cedary oak from maturation in French and American oak hogsheads. The prodigious length, driven by silky tannins, is a thing to behold. A fitting celebration of a great vintage. Drink: 2023-2037."  Jeni Port, Wine Pilot – 97 points

"Serious, fulfilling nose but super elegant, with subtle spices, sage, spearmint, heather, ink, dark chocolate, red-berry fruit and blueberries. A refreshing citrus note, reminiscent of bergamot. Almost plush but nothing heavy here, instead, this is quite ethereal with agility on the palate with even, ultra-fine tannins that are beguilingly sweet. The silky, fresh and persistent finish lasts almost two minutes. Drink or hold. Screw cap.  Zekun Shuai, JamesSuckling.com – 97 points

"This is forever one of my favorite wines at Henschke—it speaks so clearly of my perception of Eden Valley. It is equally rocky/mineral/of the earth, as it is saturated in black and red fruits. The tannins are svelte and seamless. The gentle impact of the American oak is evident in the sweet bed of plump tannin and the slight gloss to the fruit. There is a grace and beauty to the palate, as usual. While Henschke rates this great 2018 vintage as being on par with the 2015 and 2016, they put it slightly behind 2012. You make up your own mind, however I am enamored by the wines I have tasted from 2018. Super wine."  Erin Larkin, Wine Advocate - 96 points

"From 100-year-old-plus vines. It's a lush and riper rendition, lots of flavour, lots of creamy, rich, red and black fruit character, vanilla cream, dried salty herbs, toasty elements, peanut brittle and new leather notes to sniff on and to taste, per se. Sticky ribbons of tannin in tow. It's a good mesh of flavours, dark, brooding, the finish a little skittish with flinty mineral notes, gravel-earth elements and sooty clove spice. Needs time, but a wine powering along with promise.  Drink: 2026 - 2045+."  Mike Bennie, The Wine Front - 95+ points  

Mount edelstone

Henschke Mount Edelstone Vineyard

The Mount Edelstone Vineyard is located in the Eden Valley wine region, 4km west of Henschke Cellars at Keyneton, in the Mt Lofty Ranges. The vineyard lies at the foot of a small hill or 'mount' originally given the name 'Edelstein' by a German surveyor back in 1839. Mount Edelstone is a translation from the German Edelstein meaning gemstone, a reference to small yellow opals once found in the area. 

The vineyard is planted to own-rooted shiraz, with the oldest vines planted in 1912 by Ronald Angas, a descendant of George Fife Angas, who founded The South Australian Company and played a significant part in the formation and establishment of South Australia. These dry-grown ungrafted centenarian vines were sourced from pre-phylloxera material from Joseph Gilbert's nursery; believed to originate from James Busby's selection. The vineyard lies at an altitude of 400 metres and the ancient 500 million-year-old soils consist of deep sandy loam over gravelly medium-red clay, overlying laminated siltstone.

From the early 1950s onwards, Colin Angas, the son of Ronald Angas, offered the grapes from the Mount Edelstone Vineyard to fourth-generation Cyril Henschke. The first Mount Edelstone bottled as an individual vineyard wine was the 1952 vintage. It was simply labelled as Mount Edelstone Claret bottled by C A Henschke & Co, North Rhine Winery, Keyneton, South Australia. The back label read, "This wine is made from shiraz grapes grown at Mount Edelstone Vineyard, Keyneton".

The 1956 vintage won First Prize in Adelaide, Sydney and Melbourne. It stormed the national wine show circuit and announced its formidable presence at the forefront of the pioneering days of Australian red wine.

Cyril Henschke purchased the vineyard from Colin Angas in 1974, by which time Mount Edelstone was already well entrenched as one of Australia's greatest shiraz wines. Crafted by the Henschke family for 66 years now, Mount Edelstone is arguably the longest consecutively-produced, single-vineyard wine in Australia.

The Mount Edelstone Vineyard today

The vines are planted on their own roots, are dry grown and yield an average of 3 t/ha (1.25 t/acre). The vines are planted on a wide spacing of 3.7m between vines and 3.7m between rows. The original one-metre trellis consists of two wires which carry two to three arched canes with a bud number of around 50 to 60. The foliage is allowed to hang down to form a drooping canopy, which helps to reduce shoot vigour. 

In 1989 Prue trialled 10 rows of a Scott Henry trellis in which the shoots from the top wire canes are trained upwards between foliage wires and the shoots from the bottom wire canes are trained downwards between foliage wires. The effect of this solar panel system is to provide a significant increase in exposure of the leaves and fruit to the sun, thereby increasing fruitfulness and promoting earlier ripening and a greater increase in colour and flavour of the fruit and improved tannin maturity. 

This trellis has had such a positive impact on the quality of the wine that over three quarters of the vineyard has now been converted to it. Other trellis trials were also being evaluated including VSP (Vertical Shoot Positioned), high single wire, Smart Dyson and ballerina. 

The Mount Edelstone vineyard is underlain entirely by laminated siltstones of the Tapley Hill Formation. The soils are fine sandy loams over deep gravelly medium red clays. The soil layer goes to a significant depth before reaching the bedrock. The pale mottled clay/clay loam layer indicates that a large degree of leaching and periodic waterlogging has occurred. Rocks beneath the red clay soils are schists of Cambrian age. These are metamorphosed mineral-rich sediments, originally deposited in a shallow sea, then deeply buried, and finally pushed back up to the surface where they weathered to produce a thick soil layer. 

Originally the ground was cultivated for weed control. Nowadays the vineyard has a permanent sward including native grasses. A mulch of wheat straw is used under the vines to retain soil moisture, build up organic matter, and inhibit weed growth. Prediction of disease pressure through an integrated pest management program results in minimal chemical input in the vineyard. The vineyard management incorporates organic and biodynamic practices, including composted grape marc, cow pit peat, 500 and 501 preparations, milk whey and bicarbonate sprays. 

The grapes are picked mid to late April at a sugar level of around 24°Bé. There is always a remarkable acid/pH balance from this vineyard. The anthocyanins in the berries are very high which indicates the superior quality of the Mount Edelstone shiraz. 

Prue began a mass selection program in 1986 to identify the best vines for propagation. With her assistant Uschi Linssen she tagged and mapped selected vines in the vineyard for viticultural features during the growing season using criteria such as even budburst, absence of the wood-rotting fungus eutypa, bunch numbers per shoot, the evenness of flowering and veraison, virus, and maturity and colour figures in the fruit. It was painstaking work, which also included a similar selection of the Hill of Grace vineyard. 

Cuttings from the selected vines were planted in the nursery. The research work is ongoing and is a scientific program that has taken up to 30 years to work through. Cuttings have been taken from the nursery vines, propagated, and planted as needed in the vineyard to replace old vines that have expired from dying arm, Eutypa lata.

Stephen & Prue

Stephen Henschke

Winemaker Stephen Henschke, fifth-generation family member and youngest son of Cyril Henschke, showed great interest in science and winemaking at an early age. With a wonderful family heritage of more than 140 years of grape growing and winemaking spanning five generations, this came as no surprise. He is proud that the Henschke name and reputation is inexorably linked with red wines in general and Hill of Grace in particular, but with winemaking in his lifeblood, he approaches all wine styles with the same depth of passion and commitment to quality.

Stephen has retained the traditional approach to red winemaking used by his forebears. They handled the wines gently, used minimal racking, low sulphur, and gentle fining and filtration. They took a puristic, holistic approach that had been passed down from generation to generation so his winemaking techniques are almost intuitive.  He keeps intervention to a minimum, favouring gentle extraction of his reds so as to retain freshness and subtlety, and applies Old World techniques to his New World white grapes for elegance and texture. At the '50 Years of Hill of Grace' celebration in 2008 when Stephen tasted every vintage – some for the first time – he was struck by how closely he was emulating his father's winemaking of the late 1950s and the 60s with his minimal intervention techniques.

Stephen is also mindful of his European roots and is a proud supporter of the historical language, food, religion and wine culture of his Silesian forebears still alive in pockets in the Barossa.

Stephen's support and contribution to the Barossa was acknowledged in 1984 when he was inducted into the Barons of Barossa wine fraternity, of which his father Cyril was a founding member.

Prue Henschke

Viticulturist, botanist and environmentalist Prue Henschke manages their 105 hectares of vineyards in the Eden Valley and Adelaide Hills. With today's advanced viticultural practices, the greatest focus at Henschke is given to the quality of fruit in the vineyard. The increase in quality of both the red and white wines, which has helped take this iconic wine brand to the next level, is largely attributed to the increase in fruit quality.

Although Prue didn't set out to work in the wine business, she has become a key figure in the evolution of Australian viticulture and wine. She has a commitment to restoring balance to the natural environment, minimising harmful impacts and to regenerating the Henschke vineyard ecosystems. This has seen her win numerous local and international awards.

Prue became part of the Henschke world when she married Stephen, a fifth-generation Henschke. And for over 30 years, she has been a true pioneer. Her influence in the vineyards has been a balancing act of respecting tradition and protecting history while making bold decisions to innovate and improve. She restructured the vineyards, introduced new trellis types and transformed soil management using composts and mulches, which has led to adoption of organic and biodynamic practices.

How has Prue managed to blaze new trails among precious, historic vineyards. It all comes down to science. Science is the link between the vines and the quality of the wines that come from it. And it's how Prue's world collided with the Henschke dynasty. Her early interest in science led her to study botany and zoology at Adelaide University in the early 1970s. There she met Stephen, a fellow science student. After graduating, the pair headed to Germany for two years, where Prue became involved in viticulture and plant physiology. She worked at the Geisenheim Institute Vineyards and volunteered on a project in the Botanic Institute at Geisenheim – an experience that sparked a lifelong passion and set her on the path to becoming a leading viticulturist.

After returning to Australia and studying Wine Science alongside Stephen, Prue gained more experience in viticultural research, before becoming a viticultural consultant. In 1980 she started working with Stephen, who had taken over as winemaker at Henschke. They bought an apple orchard in the Adelaide Hills, near where the very first Henschke vineyard had been planted in 1862, and converted it to a vineyard, creating a 'living research station' where they experimented and tested theories on cool-climate viticulture. This revolutionary research became vital in growing and improving cool-climate wine production in Australia.

In 1987, Prue took on her current role at Henschke. She not only manages over 100 hectares of vineyards but is custodian of precious old vines, some of which have been in the earth since the first days of the family estate.

Prue represents the pinnacle of viticulture in Australia. Her influence has reached cool-climate vineyards across the country, and in 2016 she was named Viticulturist of the Year at the Australian Women in Wine Awards. She is a highly respected voice in the Australian wine community and a strong campaigner for environmental issues. Prue is passionate about protecting the natural environment while growing grapes good enough to create Australia's best wine. And Henschke wines have never been better.

Reference material taken from: https://www.australianwine.com/en-AU/our-makers/prue-henschke

About the winery

Henschke Winery

Henschke is the best medium-sized red wine producer in Australia and is recognised as one of the world's great wine labels. It is home to Australia's most famous vineyard, the majestic Hill of Grace, which produces Australia's greatest single vineyard wine. Outstanding Shiraz, cabernet sauvignon and Rieslings are produced by the fifth and sixth generations of winemakers, with a focus on single-site expressions that tell the story of the land and the people that made them.

The Henschke family has been making wine since Johann Christian Henschke planted a small vineyard on his farming property at Keyneton in 1862. He was one of many Silesians who had fled their homeland in search of religious freedom. Johann Christian built a small two-storey cellar into the side of the hill and the first vintages of riesling and shiraz were released in 1868.

Each generation has built upon the foundations of Henschke. In more recent times, fourth-generation Cyril Henschke pioneered varietal and single-vineyard wines at a time when blended wines and fortifieds were in vogue. His greatest legacy was the creation of Hill of Grace and Mount Edelstone in the 1950s, single-vineyard shiraz wines from Eden Valley that have captured the red wine world's imagination.

Today, it is fifth-generation winemaker Stephen Henschke and his viticulturist wife Prue at the helm, passionately upholding the family name and reputation. This highly regarded team has won a multitude of awards that recognise the complementary nature of their roles and Henschke has gone from strength to strength over the past three decades under their guidance.

"Prue and I are the current 'keepers of the flame'. Just as earlier generations have done, we want to manage the vineyards and winery so they can be passed on to the next generation in better condition than we inherited them. The last 50 years have been an incredible journey for the Australian wine industry. Hill of Grace and Mount Edelstone are arguably the two oldest single vineyard wines produced in this country that tell the wine story of Australia. Our vision would not be complete without the expectation that future generations will uphold and perpetuate our belief that such ancient and unique single-vineyard sites can produce exceptional wines that are prized for their beauty and rarity."  

In recent years Stephen and Prue have welcomed next-generation family members into the business. Their son, Johann, has carried on the family winemaking tradition in his capacity as winemaker and viticulturist since 2013, as the fifth and sixth-generations transition through the period of the transfer of knowledge, skills, and traditions.

With many of the challenges for the next generation already well-documented, Johann expects that innovation and careful strategic planning will be crucial tools for him and his peers to utilise. Above all, continuing on the traditional winemaking techniques which the Henschke family have used for generations, and ensuring that Henschke continues to be nurtured in the same prudent way that it has always been, will allow it to be passed on to successive generations and to be held in the same high regard as it is today.

 Henschke Vineyard Map

 Henschke Vineyard Map

Wine region map of South Australia

South Australia

South Australian is responsible for more than half the production of all Australian wine. It is home to more than 900 wineries across 18 wine regions. The regions are Adelaide Hills, Adelaide Plains, Barossa Valley, Clare Valley, Coonawarra, Currency Creek, Eden Valley, Kangaroo Island, Langhorne Creek, McLaren Vale, Mount Benson, Mount Gambier, Padthaway, Riverland, Robe, Southern Fleurieu, Southern Flinders Ranges and Wrattonbully.

Many of the well-known names in the South Australian wine industry established their first vineyards in the late 1830s and early 1840s. The first vines in McLaren Vale were planted at Reynella in 1839 and Penfold's established Magill Estate on the outskirts of Adelaide in 1844.

South Australia has a vast diversity in geography and climate which allows the State to be able to produce a range of grape varieties - from cool climate Riesling in the Clare and Eden Vallies to the big, full bodied Shiraz wines of the Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale. Two of Australia's best-known wines, Penfolds Grange and Henschke Hill of Grace, are produced here. There is much to discover in South Australia for the wine lover.