A mere 1% Cab Franc kisses the 99% Cabernet Sauvignon, but that kiss packs a punch. This is a svelte, expressive wine that feels wonderfully complete with its cassis, blueberry and black cherry fruit singing in concert with iodine, cigar box and flowers. Richly textured and generous, it’ll cruise for a decade, evolving all the while, so don’t be afraid to tuck away a few bottles for future pleasure.
The Henschke family came to Australia from Germany in 1875. They began as The Henschke Family Brass Band (you can't make this stuff up). One of their most prized instruments was the B flat Euphonium, which is actually a large brass wind instrument that still survives with the family today. You can almost see them migrating from Germany to Australia, Joad Family style, with a big truck full of brass instruments and grandma sitting on top. The humor stops there, as the family, for the last 130 years, has taken their music and their winemaking very seriously. The Barossa hills village of Keyneton, pioneered by pastoralist Joseph Keynes in 1842, was a musical and cultural focus for the early settlers, and has been home to Henschke winery for centuries. Henschke has mastered balancing dense fruit on the palate with wonderfully textured tannins. Their wines are an affirmation from our friends Down Under.
After a year's hiatus, Cyril is back, and almost entirely composed of 99% Cabernet this vintage (with 1% Cab Franc). It's all the more expressive for it. Blueberry and black cherry fruit is neatly tucked behind notes of iodine, cigar box, tomato leaf, dried herbs and flowers. The palate is slinky and sexy, but also powerful. It offers crunchy fruit, taut tannins and layers of texture. Uniquely Henschke, there isn't another wine in Australia like it. Drink now–2040.