The Henschke family have been making wine at their estate in the Eden Valley since 1868. Fifth-generation winemaker Stephen Henschke took over running the winery in 1979. Together with his viticulturist wife Prue, they have taken their two single vineyards, Hill of Grace and Mount Edelstone, and transformed them into two of Australia’s most sought-after wines. Through a combination of great viticulture from Prue, who is at the forefront of re-introducing native plants into their vineyards to improve biodiversity, and winemaking from Stephen, they have built upon their inheritance and turned this traditional producer into one that is recognised by savvy wine drinkers throughout the world.
Keyneton Euphonium is a beautiful composition of shiraz from up to 50-year-old vines growing in the Eden and Barossa Valleys, blended with cabernet sauvignon, merlot and cabernet franc from selected vineyards in both regions; some of which were planted by Cyril Henschke at his Eden Valley property in the 1960s. The Barossa hills village of Keyneton, pioneered by pastoralist Joseph Keynes in 1842, was a musical and cultural focus for the early settlers, and was home to the Henschke Family Brass Band and the Henschke winery. The Henschke Family Band was founded in 1888 by Paul Gotthard Henschke and later led by third-generation Paul Alfred Henschke, and featured wonderful wind instruments such as a B flat euphonium, cornet and E flat clarinet. The B flat euphonium, a large brass wind instrument, was made by the famous Zimmermann factory in Leipzig, Germany, in the late 19th century. The instruments were imported by musical entrepreneur, Carl Engel of Adelaide in the late 1800s and have been lovingly restored and remain in the Henschke family.
The 2018 Keyneton Euphonium is a blend of Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot and carries a profusion of dusty black tannin and brooding purple fruit. There are notes of meat broth, field mushrooms, fresh leather, blackberry, brown sugar and a molasses character. I know from some of the other Henschke reds that the fruit actually rises above the structure with a decant (or time in the glass), so this is recommended in order to catch the beautiful 2018 fruit on offer here. This is a savoury wine, layered and long. Drink 2023 – 2032. 92 points – Erin Larkin, March 2023, WineAdvocate