Drink 2024 – 2036
The Beauty and The Beast – Hentley Farm’s two popular shiraz although each with their own unique style. Different vintages work for different wines but for 2018 my money is on The Beast, a name that it matches up to particularly well in this warm vintage.
There is nothing subtle here and the wine flirts with just being too big, but then its supreme balance kicks in. It explodes with tarry, licorice and blackberry jam fruit with touches of spice and roasted meats all underpinned by generous new oak. The palate is similarly rich and flavoursome, lashings of ripe dark fruit with muscular tannins providing a particularly long and strong finish. Barossa Valley on steroids.
The key to this wine is its razor edge balance between powerful fruit and refined tannins that make it a serious ageing proposition. It is deeply coloured and instantly shows generous sweet cassis fruits with a faint leafy edge supported by plenty of balanced oak. The palate is dry, and a little closed for the moment, with its powerful fruit would up in a blanket of tannins. There is superb fruit purity and focus suggesting it will get better and better over the next decade as a start. Pull it out in 10 years with a simple rack of lamb.
Grenache can start out a little shy when young and this is a good case in point. On Day 1 it was very shy – with its brooding black cherry, earth and spicy fruits reserved and subtle. But slowly the bottled sunshine of Barossa Grenache started to emerge with generous red cherry and baked earth fruits in a rich and deeply flavoured style. There is also tannins and plenty of them making this a riper style of Grenache but one that also has the composure to improve over time. Give it five years before matching with flame-grilled ribeye.
Drink 2024 – 2032
This blend is coming back into fashion and it is about time. It is Australia’s great gift to the world of wine and this is a fine example made in the Hentley Farm style, which is bolder than many of the other similar blends that you will find out there.
It is deeply coloured and shiraz leads the early dance – plush and fleshy blackberry and mulberry fruits and then cabernet swoops in with its herbal freshness. It is hugely powerful on the palate – again that dense, ripe fruit is at its core with moderate tannins that provide a long finish. It screams Barossa more than shiraz cabernet but will no doubt keep Hentley Farm fans more than -happy.