“Henley is named in honour of my grandfather, who passed away at the ripe old age of 102 and is the best of the best of our McLaren Vale Shiraz with only a maximum of 10 barrels set aside. After approx. 15 months in oak, Scott and I take part in the sensory evaluation of each barrel from the vintage to determine which ones make the Henley grade. Once the barrels are determined, the blend is carefully made in the cellar and refilled into the very best French oak barrels for further maturation.” – Geoff Merrill
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The aroma displays distinct blackberry fruit, chocolate and mint, made more complex by well integrated oak showing cedar, toast and creamy notes.
The palate is firm and tightly structured, currently showing a toasty vanillin oak character with powerful fruit in the background waiting to burst forth. A rich blend of red berries and spices can be found entwined throughout the length of the palate growing in intensity as the wine opens up.
VINTAGE INFORMATION: 2001 appears to be ‘a stunner’. While the hot weather brought forward vintage about two weeks, excellent growing conditions provided a very good vintage both for yield and quality. In some ways it was one of the quickest vintages but still operationally all went smoothly. McLaren Vale had very high temperatures early in the year but then the weather settled down and had little impact. Due to very good winter rains most vineyards had good canopies which may have reduced the impact of the very hot weather. Most growers reported their reds to be ‘very good to excellent’, with colour the best seen for some time and lots of fruit depth and fine tannins.
The 2001 “Henley” is sourced from 3 vineyard sites in McLaren Vale, with an average vine age of 45 years. The largest portion of fruit comes from vineyards planted on a limestone base with abundant marine fossils with the balance of the blend from 65 year old vines planted on the flood plains which typically vary in character from silty clay to sandy gravel. A rare blend of McLaren Vale Shiraz, the pinnacle of what we do. Only 200 dozen were made.
|Maturation||36 months in French oak hogsheads.|
“Expected colour development, but good clarity; soft, rich medium- to full-bodied wine; an array of spice, black fruits, dark chocolate and French oak flavours on an individual style in a battleship bottle.”
James Halliday (Australian Wine Companion)
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