February 3, 2024

Henschke Johann’s Garden Grenache Mataro

Who makes it?

The Henschke family are passionate custodians of their vineyards and are renown advocates for biodynamic vineyard management and, needless to say, all of their vineyards being grown sustainably. Johann’s Garden is just one of their fine red wines. Stephen and Prue Henschke are part of the pioneering biodynamic movement, however, they are the fifth generation of the family to make wine here and innovation is nothing new for this family.

In fact, Stephen’s family has always had a pioneering spirit from the first generation to settle in South Australia’s Eden Valley to Stephen’s father, Cyril, who was foresaw, and was well ahead of, the change in Australia’s wine drinking culture away from fortified wines to the still table wines of today.

How do they make it?

While Henschke’s best known wine may be Hill of Grace which comes from the cooler Eden Valley, Johann’s Garden is a Barossa Valley red. And it is a Rhone blend of Barossa’s key grapes, old vine Grenache and Mataro, sometimes with Shiraz blended in as well.  Grenache is always the dominant grape here. The wine spends at least 9 months in seasoned French oak to leave the fruit fresh and focused. 

What does it taste like?

This ripe cherry, thyme and fresh blackberry fruit is heightened with some liquorice coming through. The garden herb edge transforms in the mouth and is joined with a good slug of cinnamon and little hint of vanilla spiciness. Johann’s Garden is a fleshy full bodied red, that retains an elegance and a juiciness. It is complex and smooth. This elegance is Henschke’s hallmark. The primary fruit characters change even with a small dose of Shiraz. In the past, this Shiraz adds pepper and enhances the raspberry notes.

Even though this is a wine that should be in your cellar, it is lush drinking now.

What to drink it with?

A generous yet elegant wine such as this will work with any steak or lamb dish, game or even a grilled vegetables.

Cheese

A mature cheddar or gruyere would be very good with this wine.

Quickie review «A fresh and elegant Rhone style blend from the Barossa, lush with ripe raspberries, plum and liquorice. Drinking well now or in a decade or so!!»

Countryof Origin: Barossa Valley, Australia
Tasting Date:  July 2021 & January 2024
Price:  AUD$65 | UK£44 | USD66++
Drink: now – 10+ years
Needs food: no
Source: Tasting

If you enjoy this Henschke Johann’s Garden, you might enjoy these wines from Henschke.

Visit Henschke for more information.

First published 22nd November 2022. Updated February 2024.

A little bit of history….

Here is a link to the review of the 2015 vintage complete with a video review. Here is a snippet below:

This ripe raspberry, liquorice and plum fruit has a both a peppery and garden herb edge that transforms in the mouth with a nutmeg spice. 

Johann’s Garden is a fleshy full bodied red, that retains an elegance and a juiciness. This elegance is Henschke’s hallmark. Even though this is a wine that should be in your cellar, it is lush drinking now.

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