2013 Joseph Hill Gewürztraminer

'...Attractive turkish delight and floral roses lift from the glass, while lovely lemon juice pith and acidity keep its exotic fruit flavours refreshingly tight a beautiful aperitif wine...'
Tony Love, Adelaide Advertiser, 9 April 2014

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Pale green-gold in colour. Lifted, fragrant and intense aromas of rose petals, lychee, Turkish delight and passionfruit husk with hints of musk, green peppercorn and ginger spice. The palate is sweetly fruited with layers of white peach, passionfruit and rosehip flavours, with lovely crisp acidity and freshness, lush mouthfeel and excellent balance and length.

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2013 Joseph Hill Gewürztraminer

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The 2013 harvest in the Adelaide Hills 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. All varieties woke to a cool and mild spring, with a surprising snow flurry in early October, which led into a mild November of warm days and nights, providing excellent conditions for flowering. Lenswood first saw rain at the end of harvest, seven dry months that produced a green drought with exceptional yields and quality. Eden Valley also experienced an early onset of summer, with occasional thunderstorms, and a cooler than average January followed by a warm February completed the dry-fecta of winter/spring/summer. The roller-coaster weather ride continued through March with almost weekly cycles of hot and cold. Cool drizzly weather at the end of March nearly brought the harvest to a halt, but with a return to the Indian summer conditions in early April, it gave us a chance to get all varieties in Eden Valley over the line, returning us to another great vintage of average yields and fabulous rock solid quality.

In the Bottle

Vintage 2013
Grape Variety 100% gewürztraminer grown in Henschke’s Lenswood vineyard in the Adelaide Hills and Eden Valley vineyard.
Technical Details Harvest Date: 14 February & 20 February | Alcohol: 12.5% | pH: 3.02 | Acidity: 6.8g/L
Maturation Fermented in tank and bottled post-vintage to preserve the aromatic fruit characters.
Background The traminer grape originated in the Tramin area of the north-east of Italy. This variety has been grown for centuries in French Alsace and Germany. The altitude, cool climate and deep loam soils of Eden Valley provide excellent conditions for this variety. The gewürztraminer vineyard is planted on well-drained deep sandy loam and silt and is named after Joseph Hill Thyer who pioneered the first vines on this property in the early 1900s. This year a percentage from the Henschke Archer’s Vineyard has been included to lend greater aromatics and complexity.
Cellaring Potential Exceptional vintage, 10+ years (from vintage).

Vintage 2013. 9 April 2014, Tony Love, Adelaide Advertiser

Don’t think this is some new alternative variety — the Henschkes have been crafting this most distinctively aromatic white wine since 1978 and their experience shows. Attractive Turkish delight and floral roses lift from the glass, while lovely lemon juice pith and acidity keep its exotic fruit flavours refreshingly tight — a beautiful aperitif wine. Another dessert style gewurz’ also is exquisite.

Vintage 2010. June 2011, Tyson Stelzer, Wine 100

Joseph has been out toning up on the hills of the Eden Valley. Taut minerality and poised acidity, a crisp, delicate chap with quite a perfume.

Vintage 2009. 20 February 2010, Tony Love, Adelaide Advertiser

The name of this wine breaks in two: "gewurz", referring to a spicy character that the traminer grape exhibits, so relate this to the fish cake with a pile of aromatic ingredients like coriander, basil and ginger and you find a bright and shiny mirror at the table, fragrant, a little lime fruit flavour and tartness, as well as a waft of rose perfume and yep, a touch of ginger spice. No, it's not a pop hit in disguise but an appealing exotic star.

Fast fact: Named after Joseph Hill Thyer who grew the first vines on this Eden Valley property.

Vintage 2009. 17 October 2009, Ken Gargett, Courier Mail, Brisbane

Also from Eden Valley, this is gently perfumed with hints of Turkish delight and florals. Broadens across the palate. Drink young. 89/100

Vintage 2007. 3 February 2008, Sally Gudgeon, Sunday Age

Gewürztraminer can shout its identiy out of the glass but this Eden Valley example is more restrained. It's floral rather than spicy, with vibrant fruit and fresh acidity. Try it with honey soy chicken.

Vintage 2007. 1 February 2008, Nick Stock, Adelaide Review

Going back a few years to the days when Australian gewürztraminer was even more of a rarity than it is now, this Henschke bottling was always one of the most reliable. Australian gewürz often struggles to deliver the phenolic and flavour ripeness whilst retaining even a semblance of balance, but not so here. Where others fail, Henschke excels, making their spicy, fragrant version one of the local stalwarts of this charismatic and elusive variety. High up in Eden Valley, they capture the perfumed musk, rose water and lychee that make this variety so ethereal and unique. Crisp apple and citrus fruit flavours, it's custom made for Thai cuisine.

Vintage 2005. August 2007, James Halliday, Australian Wine Companion

A bright, clean bouquet with faint spice and rose petal aromas; a tight, reserved palate. Rating 90/100.

Vintage 2004. August 2005, James Halliday, Australian Wine Companion 2006

Delicate but bell-clear rose petal and spice and spice varietal fruit;a dry but very long and fine palate; one of the very best examples of the variety.

Vintage 2004. December 2005, Tyson Stelzer, The Top 500 Wines 05-06

The difference between average gewurz and great gewurz in Australia usually comes down to structure and length. There are other examples which show the Turkish Delight, rosewater and fine perfume of the Joseph Hill, but few that support this with the same tight acidity and length of finish, thanks to the cool climate and altitude of this Eden Valley vineyard. An excellent example of what gewurztraminer is capable of achieving in Australia.