Thursday, November 29, 2012

Henschke Henry's Seven

In a similar theme to the previous post about Patz & Hall, I often roll my eyes about Australian wines, especially from Barossa.  However, some producers excel and Henschke is usually one of them, albeit for a price.  They produce wines from the higher altitude areas closer to Mount Lofty and the wines retain a fresher, brighter style because of it.
Henry's Seven is a shiraz-based Rhone-style blend from Barossa and usually receives rave reviews.  I like the wine and snagged a bottle of the 2004 and 2005 when I was wholesaling them in Oregon.  Sunday night with friends seemed a good time to open them and I was shocked by the difference between the two.  The 2005 was flat and dull.  It had little nose, only hinted at flavor and finished like a wine somehow magically muted by an unseen remote.  The wine is finished with a screwcap, so perhaps it needed time to breathe.  Nope.  Even the next night it was the same.
The 2004 shone.  Some meaty aromas mingled with juicy red fruit on the palate and the wine finished with enough complexity.  This was why I bought them both, unfortunately the 2005 was a total dud.
I have no more of the wine to try the 2005 again but it seemed to just be a weird wine, not an "off" bottle.  The point, like the Patz & Hall, is that these wines reminded me how much variety there can be in regions we assume to offer a nearly indistinguishable product from vintage to vintage.

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