Barossa Valley – 2019
Vintage 2019 shaped up to be a challenging one, with below-average yields, however the quality was very high, with beautiful expressions of varietal character and generally good balance and structure. The hand-picked fruit that arrived at the winery in the cool of the morning was clean, with good concentrated flavours. A dry winter, spring and summer with warmer than average temperatures in January and February lead to the advancement of maturity of all grape varieties in the Eden Valley and an early onset of vintage. The later-ripening varieties, riesling and cabernet were standouts, however most varieties were of a very high standard, including shiraz despite miniscule yields.
Barossa Valley – 2018
A moderately wet winter combined with average spring conditions meant that vines grew well in the mild weather. Ideal flowering conditions in late spring/early summer lead to the potential for near-average yields. Late December became warm and dry and assured for healthy canopies with low disease pressure. The summer months of January and February were typically hot and dry but extreme heat periods were shorter than in recent memory, characterised instead by well above-average overnight temperatures. March and April provided the light and warmth which lead to full and balanced maturity being achieved across all grape varieties. All in all, the 2018 vintage will be considered a standout of this decade, fittingly so in the year we celebrated our 150th anniversary of family winemaking.
Barossa Valley – 2017
Picking began two weeks later than usual and a mild period of ripening finished with the last grapes being picked in the first week of May. A wet 2016 winter gave us a good foundation for a cool, wet and windy spring, with spring temperatures approximately 2C below average Wet soils, combined with cooler temperatures resulted in slow shoot development, however the lack of stress in the vines meant that the flowers developed well. Favourable weather during flowering resulted in good fruit set. A mild summer with regular rainfall events followed, which allowed the grapes to reach full physiological maturity. The significant rainfall events largely missed the valley and the fruit was harvested in healthy condition. As always, careful hand picking in the vineyard and sorting of grapes as they were crushed made sure that quality was not compromised. 2017 was a classic vintage for Henschke, with well-balanced wines exhibiting beautiful fragrance, spice, purity and elegance.
Barossa Valley – 2016
The 2016 vintage began with well below-average winter rainfall, followed by a warm and dry spring, which enhanced flowering and set to give average to above-average yield potential. Low disease pressure was maintained by one of the hottest Decembers on record, though temperatures cooled down in the New Year and rainfall around veraison in late January gave relief to the old, dry-grown vines. This was followed by further rainfall in early March which eased the stress on all varieties. The fruit matured with an earlier harvest, as predicted due to an early Easter. Open, light and airy vine canopies allowed for good flavour, sugar and colour and mature tannins to develop at harvest, which was overall characterised by average yields but very high quality.
Barossa Valley – 2015
A traditionally wet winter, mild spring and excellent fruit set provided a great start to the 2015 vintage after four vintages with below average yields. Spring was dry and led into a very mild, dry summer with no disease, resulting in fruit with higher natural acidity, and incredible flavour and colour concentration. January started with dry, hot and windy weather however by the end of the first week, relief came with 60-75mm of rain and a record-breaking coolest January in 11 years. The rushed and somewhat compressed vintage began in late January and was one of the earliest on record. The mild weather that followed from February allowed for an extended ripening period for later red varieties, such as Grenache and Mataro providing for excellent yields and exceptional quality showing extraordinary flavour, purity of fruit, excellent balance with the potential for excellent ageing.