“Henley is a strict barrel selection of our best of vintage McLaren Vale Shiraz and is named in honour of my Grandfather, who passed away at the ripe old age of 102. This wine is the best of the best of our McLaren Vale Shiraz and only a maximum of 10 barrels of the vintage are set aside for Henley.” – Geoff Merrill
The wine shows cedar spice, liquorice and toasty oak, well integrated with earthy bread yeast characters.
The palate is elegant and tightly structured with an excellent acid tannin balance. These intricate and refined attributes follow through to the velvety palate, which when combined with fine layered tannins and balanced acid produces a rich, harmonious and elegant wine capable of long-term cellaring.
The 2003 Henley blend is taken from vineyard sites in McLaren Vale, with an average vine age of 40years. The largest portion of fruit comes from vineyards planted on sandy pale coloured limestone laced with abundant marine fossils; the balance of the blend (around 10 %) is off 65-year-old vines planted on the flood plains which typically vary in character from silty clay to coarse sandy gravel deposited from ancient river systems. As a winemaker the vintage classification tasting is the most exciting time following vintage each year. It gives us the chance to taste and decide which barrels we believe to be the best of the previous year’s vintage. In the case of our McLaren Vale Shiraz, we find year after year the same patches of vineyard provide the wines with the best concentration and richness – pure McLaren Vale Shiraz. The pinnacle of what we do, only 240 dozen Henley was produced in 2003.
|Maturation||33 months in new French Radoux Allier hogsheads|