2014 Joseph Hill Gewürztraminer

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Pork Nahm Dtok
Pale straw with lime hues. Lifted honeysuckle, old-fashioned rose petal and white lavender aromas with the characteristic nuances of Turkish delight, musk stick and ginger spice. The palate begins with a lovely intensity of tropical fruits and citrus zest that is balanced with crisp acidity and minerality that create texture and a long finish with lingering rose and bath salt nuances.

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2014 Joseph Hill Gewürztraminer

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The 2014 vintage began with the winery coming alive to the fragrant aromas of fermentation. But what a year we’ve had! This year, the moon cycles put Easter quite late in the season, so the expectation of a late harvest prevailed...until South Australia experienced its record number of heat days over 40C in January, culminating in the worst bushfire in Eden Valley in living memory. This taste of hell ended in the wettest February in 44 years - all in 48 hours, when we received between 115 and 150mm of rain. Fortunately, Eden Valley and the Adelaide Hills were still in veraison, which allowed the quenching rain to rebalance the fruit, particularly in the older dry-grown vineyards. The yields appeared depressingly minuscule, due to a severe black frost in spring and cold windy weather during flowering in early December. Early picks of semillon and shiraz after the heat wave were in response to vine stress. The change to mild autumnal weather in late February after the rains allowed for a focus on other early vintage varieties, riesling in Eden Valley and pinot noir at Lenswood. Mild weather with cold dewy mornings and windy days prevailed. Disease pressure increased as March became colder and wetter, which seemed to change to a winter pattern after the solstice. It was indeed a late vintage and also resulted in one of our longest vintages. The picking of Eden Valley cabernet and Lenswood merlot brought the season to a close at the beginning of May, where skilled vineyard teams played a critical role by hand selecting and picking the best quality fruit during the onset of rain and cold wintery weather. In summary, a challenging season with good quality but very low yields.

In the Bottle

Vintage 2014
Grape Variety 100% gewürztraminer grown in the Adelaide Hills and Eden Valley.
Technical Details Harvest Date: 6 March | Alcohol: 12.5% | pH: 3.04 | Acidity: 7.0g/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 Excellent vintage, 15+ 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.