2015 'Keyneton Euphonium', Henschke, Barossa Valley
2015 'Keyneton Euphonium', Henschke, Barossa Valley
First created in 1972, Henschke’s Keyneton cuvée remains for us the supreme-value option for accessing Barossa Valley shiraz/cabernet sauvignon as expressed in the hands of Australia’s all-time finest producer. When we consider the hundred-and-fifty years of winemaking history, innovation and critical acclaim that is the Henschke estate legacy, we’re confident today’s offer on the 2015 Keyneton Euphonium at £221.70 per case of six represents once again an irresistible opportunity.
It remains for us, too, a source of much pride that it was both Johnny Wheeler and his father Richard who, when living in Australia some time ago, were lucky enough to visit the estate, taste extensively there, then be offered the opportunity to be its first sole importer to the UK. For the next twenty years, they would play an exclusive role in exposing British drinkers and collectors to a level of Australian finesse rarely seen and long overdue.
Keyneton Euphonium is a blend of 66% shiraz, 19% cabernet sauvignon (with an additional 10% merlot and 5% cabernet franc) sourced from vineyards across both Barossa and Eden Valleys (the former region encompassing the latter) with vines ageing up to fifty years. Maturation is 18 months in large oak barrel, 20% of which new.
Deep ruby, violet hue with a sun-baked, mellow nose; warm, leathery, gently textured, great freshness on the end. The result is a wine of extraordinary elegance, nuance and style; a subtler style which means the collector in you won’t have to lay down Euphonium for the typical 20-plus years a traditionally heavier, ‘blockbuster’ Aussie red will oblige. Drinker, indulge.
With the 2015 having avoided the heatwaves so typical of the region and the Barossa Grape & Wine Association (BGWA) declaring the year as ‘outstanding’, Heschke’s Keyneton Euphonium is, at just under £37 a bottle, even more an extraordinary combination of class, quality and value.
For those well-versed in the joys of pedigree shiraz and cabernet from South Australia, chalking up a case of Henschke’s Keyneton Euphonium is an easy decision. For the curious and/or uninitiated, Mr.Wheeler’s offer is the joyful introduction. Which, when by way of Henschke, is an unmissable one.
“Fresh, pungent, purple blackberry fruit dominates the nose, then deeper tar, liquorice, cassis and molasses sweetness before the Eden Valley Shiraz signatures of sage and bay leaf add verve. Very complex. The palate dries to a bony savouriness – a nod to the strength and muscle of Keyneton Shiraz, putting added steel into the structure of this wine. A taut acid line and sturdy yet understated tannins keep the flavours bright and long, through to a soft finish. Such measured power and drive suggest a long life in the cellar.” Drink 2020-2040
95 points - David Sly, Decanter (tasted 09/04/2020)
“Brilliant violet color. Mineral - and smoke -accented aromas of ripe dark berries, licorice and vanilla on the deeply perfumed nose, along with hints of cracked pepper that builds in the glass. Offers juicy, palate-coating cherry-vanilla and blackcurrant flavors that are supported by an undercurrent of smoky minerality that adds lift and back-end cut. Takes on a suave floral nuance on the long, supple finish, which is given shape by smooth, harmonious tannins.” Drink 2021-2030
93 points, Josh Raynolds, Vinous (tasted Dec 2021)
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