Stephen and Prue Henschke were in town during the week and I was lucky enough to be asked in to taste the wines of this historic estate from Australia's Eden Valley. The wines are far from cheap, but the quality is very, very good indeed. We tasted:
Lenswood Coralinga Sauvignon Blanc 2006 (about €25) - best Oz Sauv Blanc I have tasted (not hard) very, very good. Nice texture, mineral edge.
Tilly's Vineyard Semillon/Chrd/ S Blanc 2006 (€25)- fresh, fruity, mineral finish again
Julius Riesling 2006 (€29) - lemons and limes, stony finish, good
Lenswood Pinot Gris 2006 (€29) - rich, soft fruit character, again quite mineral
Lenswood Pinot Noir 2004 (€45) - found this a little confected, tinned strawberry fruit on the nose, but nice spicy finish. Would expect more at the price
Abbotts Prayer Merlot 2004 (€65) - prices getting a bit mad for Ozzie merlot? This didn't do it for me I'm afraid
Henry's Seven 2005 (€30)- Shiraz Grenache Vignier blend - this is more like it. Rich dark berry fruit, sliky smooth tannins, 15% but carries it easily.
Johann's Garden Grenache (€33) - Chateauneuf du Pape? Yes it carries it off well - full-bodied, full on, peppery finish. A bit hot, but that's to be expected of Grenache...
Keyneton Estate Euphonium 2004 (€40)- a blend of shiraz, cab etc - refined and restrained, elegant, not a blockbuster. concentration and balance - very very good.
Mount Edelstone Shiraz 2004 (€85)- opulent, rich fruit jumping out of the glass. Hugely complex, concentrated but not too heavy, very drinkable. Smooth texture, long finish. World class.
Cyril Henschke Cabernet Sauvignon 2003 (€100) -very polished, concentrated, beautiful cassis and cedar fruit, classic stuff. Long finish, really excellent.
Hill of Grace 2001 (€400?) - spice, black fruit, damsons on nose. Amazing concentration, balance and fruit definition. Needs time, cheese and solitude.
All in all, a very impressive tasting. The issue for me is, at these prices, how do I sell them?
L'Ecrivain was excellent as always.