Deep crimson with violet hues. Lifted aromas of cassis, ripe black and blue berries, anise and plum skin with underlying hints of crushed herbs, cigar box and cedar. Rich, generous layers of black and blue fruits meld with beautifully balanced acidity and fine-grained chalky tannins for a long, complex finish.
This is a striking cabernet reflecting the great vintage and what must be a very special vineyard, for its varietal expression is bell clear, and juicily seductive.
The La Niña pattern weakened during the lead-up to the 2012 vintage, resulting in below average winter and spring rainfall. July was the driest since the serious drought of 2003. Spring was mild with few frost events; however, flowering and fruit set were affected by wet drizzly weather in mid to late November, leading to only average yields. Summer was also surprisingly mild with below average temperatures from southerlies off the ocean in January and only two short heat events, at New Year and at the end of February. This provided for slow ripening, which allowed for intense fruit flavours, high colour figures, high acidity and mature tannins. Rainfall leading up to vintage was above average, with the heaviest rainfall events in late January and late February, which tied in well with the natural physiology of the dry-grown vines; ie, keeping leaves active at veraison and ripening. Temperatures were mild during harvest through March, warming to an Indian summer in April, allowing for a long window of picking and amazing maturities with the red varieties.
Standout varieties were riesling, showing delightful aromatics, purity, intensity, excellent acidity and length of flavour; and shiraz, showing great purity and spice, colour, intensity and strikingly mature tannins. Yields were average with exceptional overall quality.
“From a 40yo vineyard in the Light Pass district of the Barossa Valley, matured in French hogsheads (40% new) for 18 months. Pays homage to the sculpture skills of Julius Henschke, often using marble from a quarry near Angaston for headstones and angels in the Gnadenberg cemetery. This is a striking cabernet reflecting the great vintage and what must be a very special vineyard, for its varietal expression is bell clear, and juicily seductive.”
"Single-vineyard wine to sit towards the top of the Henschke hierarchy of wines. It smells like spice cupboard, black olives, blackberries, sits at medium weight with a seamless flow, yet offers depth of flavour and then still manages to hold brightness and levity. Beautiful feel."
"The vineyard is at Light Pass, but the wine tastes more like a Henschke Eden Valley wine than Barossa floor. Lifted raspberry, violet and crushed leaf aromas, while the palate is ripe, soft of tannin and finely textured."