Wine lovers rejoice because Australia’s best Riesling has just been crowned!
The Henschke 2021 Julius Riesling has been named Riesling of the Year at the 2023 Halliday Wine Companion Awards where more than 8,000 wines were blind tasted by a panel of eight judges.
The event was led by renowned wine critic and vigneron, Founder James Halliday AM, and award-winning wine communicator, Tyson Stelzer as Chief Editor.
Hosted at Melbourne’s iconic Stokehouse restaurant in St Kilda and broadcast online nationally and internationally.
The coveted annual wine awards were presented by Tyson Stelzer, James Halliday AM and representatives from the Halliday Wine Companion tasting team, Jane Faulkner, Jeni Port and Erin Larkin. The event marks the release of the 2023 edition of the Halliday Wine Companion, which is available from today.
Fifth-generation winemaker Stephen Henschke and his viticulturist wife Prue were in attendance to accept the award alongside joint winner Best’s Wines for Riesling of the Year.
“We are delighted that our 2021 Julius Riesling has been recognised as one of the best rieslings in Australia. Henschke has a long history of producing exceptional riesling, dating back to the 1960s when my father Cyril established a beautiful planting of riesling in Eden Valley,” said Stephen.
Named as a tribute to ancestor Julius Henschke, a famous craftsman and highly acclaimed artist and sculptor, this old-vine, single-vineyard riesling was first released by Henschke in 1992.
The 2021 vintage marks the 29th release of the Julius Riesling, which was awarded a silver medal at the 2021 Barossa Wine Show and Best Riesling at the 2021 Royal Melbourne Wine Awards.
“The 2021 Julius was the wine of the vintage. It is finely structured with excellent flavour intensity and concentration. A cool season with slow ripening on the vine has built incredible aromas of frangipani, Kaffir lime, citrus blossom and lime zest, with hints of green peppercorn. This wine has minerality and texture in spades, showing layers of lime, grapefruit and white peach on the palate, balanced by defined acidity and a long, crisp finish.
“Our focus is always to enhance the natural flavours of the vineyard in our viticulture and winemaking processes. Prue’s biodynamic and organic techniques, such as planting native grasses in the rows, adding organic compost and straw mulch under the vines, all play a pivotal role in making excellent riesling,” said Stephen.
The 2021 Julius Riesling received a score of 98 points from the Halliday Wine Companion, with James Halliday AM writing: “Citrus and passionfruit blossom soar as you swirl the glass, and the palate achieves the seemingly impossible with the volume of turbo-charged fruit. It reaches every receptor in the mouth and there’s no hint of added acidity, the balance and length faultless.”
Below is a list of the Henschke wines included in the 2023 Halliday Wine Companion:
· 2017 Hill of Grace Shiraz, 99 points
· 2021 Julius Riesling, 98 points
· 2017 Mount Edelstone, 97 points
· 2017 Hill of Roses, 97 points
· 2021 Peggy’s Hill Riesling, 97 points
· 2017 The Wheelwright Shiraz, 96 points
· 2018 Keyneton Euphonium Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Franc Merlot, 95 points
· 2019 Abbotts Prayer Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon, 94 points
· 2019 Tappa Pass Shiraz, 94 points
· 2019 Marble Angel Cabernet Sauvignon, 94 points
· 2020 Johann’s Garden Grenache Mataro, 94 points
· 2019 The Rose Grower, 93 points
· 2020 Five Shillings Shiraz Mataro, 93 points
· 2020 Henry’s Seven, 92 points
Full reviews and scores have been published in the 2023 Halliday Wine Companion book and are also available on winecompanion.com.au.
For more information about Henschke and the range of Henschke wines, please visit henschke.com.au.