Grape Variety: 100% chardonnay grapes grown on Stephen and Prue Henschke’s Lenswood vineyard in the Adelaide Hills
Cellaring Potential: Exceptional vintage, 15+ years (from vintage).
Harvest Date: 4-18 March | Alcohol: 13.5% | pH: 3.36 | Acidity: 5.5g/L
Maturation: Whole bunch pressed, wild yeast fermented and aged in 33% new and 67% seasoned French barriques for 10 months with lees stirring.
Background: Fifth-generation winemaker Stephen Henschke and his wife Prue purchased the property in the Adelaide Hills in 1981. At 550m, the Lenswood vineyards offer not only magnificent views over the traditional vine country but also higher rainfall and humidity at the right time of the year, cooler temperatures to retain high natural acidity, and still enough sunshine to fully ripen the grapes. The chardonnay vineyard, which consists of seven clones, has taken its name from Frederick Croft, an orchardist who took up a neighbouring property in 1938.
Vintage Description: The 2013 harvest was expected to be early, with the Easter full moon very close to the autumn equinox, and sure enough budburst started early in spring 2012 with green shoots emerging in the first week of September suggesting this would be so. All varieties woke to a cool and mild spring, with cabernet the last to greet the sun on October 1. A snow flurry in early October led into a mild November, with warm days and nights providing excellent conditions for flowering. Set was excellent across all varieties. Spring was conspicuous for its dryness but thankfully frost free, and as summer approached the vines developed beautifully balanced canopies and rain was just a distant memory. It was not to rain again until the end of harvest, seven dry months that produced a green drought. As harvest time approached, it was abundantly clear that 2013 was going to be exceptional in terms of yield and quality across all varieties - a rare thing in the lofty airs of Lenswood, where weather events usually dictate terms that are best described as challenging! Chardonnay and riesling were fabulous, as too were sauvignon blanc, gewürztraminer, pinot gris, merlot and cabernet. Lenswood does not give up her fruit easily but every now and then she tosses a furtive glance your way and delivers the unexpected. The 2013 harvest will be remembered as near perfection in a year of snow and drought, truly a rare and exceptional vintage.
Wine Description: Green gold in colour. Pronounced aromas of pear skin, melon, citrus and clove spice are supported by underlying notes of cashew, crème brûlée and honey yoghurt. The palate is complex and layered with flavours of custard apple and white currant, fine acidity, fleshy texture and beautiful weight with an attractive fine French oak finish.