“Henley 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
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 years 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 2003 “Henley” is sourced from vineyard sites in McLaren Vale, with an average vine age of 40 years. 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.
Following a “strict barrel selection” the wine is then blended and refilled to new French oak hogsheads to marry and mature further prior to bottling and then extended bottle maturation in our cellars prior to release. The pinnacle of what we do, only 240 dozen Henley was produced in 2003.