2006 Henschke Mount Edelstone shiraz. 98Pts Jeremy Oliver.
Henschke Mount Edelstone shiraz is a much loved single vineyard wine. The Mount Edelstone vineyard was planted in 1912 and it is believed that the Mount Edelstone shiraz vines are derived from the original James Busby collection, via Joseph Gilbert of Pewsey Vale. The Mount Edelstone Vineyard was only acquired from Ronald Angus in 1974. These old and mature vines are dry grown and yield an average of four tonnes per hectare. Organic and biodynamic principles are employed which assist in drought proofing the vineyard and optimise soil and vine health. Mount Edelstone shiraz is vinified in headed-down open fermenters and then completes fermentation in a combination of 90% new and 10% seasoned French (65%) and American (35%) hogsheads. The wine is matured for between 20 to 22 months in the same oak prior to blending and bottling. The best vintages of Mount Edelstone shiraz should cellar for longer than 15 years.
The 2006 vintage was another high quality year but with only average yields. Winter and spring rains were some of the best for years in the lead-up to flowering in early summer. Riesling and Shiraz, suffered more than others from poor set, leading to ‘hen and chicken’. While there was some damage in Eden Valley from frost, this had only a minor impact on the overall yield; however, yields in most varieties were down by 15-20%. Summer was mild with southerly winds, reminiscent of 2002. Brief heat waves in late January and mid-February weren’t enough not to affect fruit quality.
The 2006 Henschke Mount Edelstone shiraz is a very deep crimson/black in colour. Aromas of spice, lifted fragrant aromas of plum and blackberry with hints of sage and pepper supported by toasty oak. The palate – it is an intensely fruited wine with dark berries, it’s complex and fleshy with great structure, velvety tannins and a long finish.
Great vintage, drink now to 2016.