Henschke’s “Cyril Henschke” cabernet sauvignon from 1996 is a blend of 60% cabernet sauvignon, 20% merlot and 20% cabernet franc, all grown from the Eden Valley region. The Eden Valley in South Australia in my view is mostly too warm to do justice to these grape varieties, but this wine is extremely good, subtly reminding that general rules are only that.
The wine opens to a soft ever so slightly oxidative aroma of delicate white pepper, plums, delicatessen meats and dried tea leaves. The palate is also delicate, with medium-long length, firm acidity and soft spices and pepper, which together season its ripe blackcurrant and plum fruit core. This wine more closely resembled a “Henschke wine”, than a cabernet blend (frankly it could have been a shiraz), which is perhaps tribute to the careful focus of the Henschkes on terroir and low intervention viticulture. Whatever your view on such matters, this wine deserves your attention. 90 points (extremely good)