An Exploration of Riesling with Henschke, Taylors and Howard Park

Presented as a virtual tasting, coordinated by Brian Chase Olson of Blend PR  with three wineries of Australia’s First Families of Wine Henschke, Taylors and Howard Park, this set out to showcase aged versus new Rieslings. Presented in 60ml format individual serves, perfectly re-bottled by Trust In Taste.

Justine Henschke, Richard Burch and Mitchell Taylor talked us through their world class wines.

Henschke

Justine advised that their museum program started in the 70s, started by Cyril Henschke. The naming of Julius comes from Justine’s Great Grand Uncle, who was an artist and sculptor. The vineyard was planted in 1968 to celebrate their centenary. 1997 first vintage of Julius, but Cyril had been making Rieslings from the 50s. From 2000 onwards Henschke whites have been bottled under screwcap. Justine also mentioned that they have a new Riesling coming out, “Alfred’s Final.” A “Hock” style with a white label and aged in old French oak. It will be for their Cellar Members only, a good reason to sign up.

Henschke, Julius, Riesling, Eden Valley, 2007

Current museum release. Soft yellowing hue. Developing notes of citrus sorbet, elderflower, ripe apple, toasty honey notes poking through from the warm vintage. Broad structure and slight waxy/viscous texture through the back palate. Dry and developing, with savoury, earthy elements alongside the lime and a little touch of TDN.  Lingering clove spice and acidity still zings through.

RRP: $80
Alc: 12.5%
Rating:  18.25/20 (93/100)

Henschke, Julius, Riesling, Eden Valley, 2021

Bright and lifted. Incredibly floral with frangipane and vibrant near pink to red apple. Lime leaf and flesh. Big flavour push and textural front palate. So fresh, with a handful of clove providing spice and near mint cleanliness. Beautifully balanced with long length.

RRP: $47
Alc: 11.5%
Rating:  18.5/20 (94/100)

Taylors

After having plenty of long lived reds, Mitchell had to fight the family to get the St Andrews Riesling released. The first release entered into a show came second only to Penfolds Grange. The fruit is always night harvested and whole bunch pressed. Mitchell likes seeing lower pH in the fruit as the natural acidity ages the wines better.

Taylors, St Andrews, Riesling, Clare Valley, 2012

From a great vintage. Lime zest and marmalade, blossom, chalk, with hints of honeycomb and crumpet toasty richness, yet still retaining purity. Tightly structured, mouth watering, succulent and long. Acidity is vibrant and electric. Such a youthful expression with many years to go.

RRP: $22
Alc: 12%
Rating:  19.25/20 (97/100)

Taylors, St Andrews, Riesling, Clare Valley, 2019

Candied lime, lime flesh, linen/flax and wet stones with easy blossom and freshly opened chalk packet.
Some awkward “teenager” sharp elbows to the flesh but the quality is obvious. Acidity is quite searing through the long finish. It will take a while to fill into its skin where my points may seem a little miserly.

RRP: $43
Alc: 12.5%
Rating:  18.25/20 (93/100)

Howard Park

Richard introduced Howard Park as the new kids in the block alongside the history of Henschke and Taylors. They had their start in Denmark in 1986 and forayed into Margaret River in 2000. Riesling was the first wine released and Howard Park wanted to make sure that people were able to see the developed wines, thus starting the cellar program immediately. Screw caps introduced in 2000…and the rest is history to ensure reliability.

Howard Park, Riesling, Great Southern, 2010

86% Mt Barker and 14% Porongurups. Initially riper with tutti frutti/stone fruit elements over a bony, chalky, stony spine. Incredible texture, plenty of unfurling layers in a just waxy texture. Hints of development with richer citrus, nearing mandarin. Spiced (ginger to clove) with intense concentration, green apple acidity and incredible persistence.

RRP: $43
Alc: 11.5%
Rating:  19/20 (96/100)

Howard Park, Riesling, Mount Barker, 2020

Richard advises that they moved to 100% from their Mt Barrow vineyard for this release in the Mount Barker sub region of Great Southern. With three different aspects, most coming of the bottom blocks. The dry growing season provides ginger and kicking spice. The juxtaposition is a joy: Stony, dry, rocky, floral and with a very light citrus buzz leading to green apple flesh. Pure understated class with moreish texture and drive.

RRP: $43
Alc: 12.5%
Rating:  18.75/20 (95/100)

Wine sample courtesy of Taylors, Henschke and Howard Park/Burch Family Wines

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