2002 Henschke Mount Edelstone shiraz. 97Pts Jeremy Oliver, 96Pts James Halliday.
Henschke Mount Edelstone shiraz is a much loved single vineyard shiraz. 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.
Vintage Description – The 2002 vintage was the coolest, windiest ‘non-summer’ on record. Winter and Spring were both wet and drizzly cold weather affected flowering and caused poor fruit set, commonly known as ‘hen and chicken’, leading to very little fruit. The Eden Valley signature varieties of shiraz and riesling were the worst affected with crop reductions leaving Henschke with less than 20%. To add to this the season was 2-3 weeks late because of unseasonable cold weather. Despite the pitiful crop 2002 was one of Henschkes most exceptional vintages ever, helped by the warm dry Indian summer autumn period, providing sensational colours, flavours and ageing potential.
The 2002 Henschke Mount Edelstone shiraz is a very deep crimson colour. It is sweet, with ripe fruit and intense spiced plum, blueberry and blackberry with anise and tar supported by sweet cedar and bacon oak characters. The palate is rich, concentrated, it is a very complex wine with excellent depth and structure. Layered with textured black fruits and chunky velvety tannins it has a very long and intense finish. Serving Idea – Pheasant and eggplant.