Saturday, June 10, 2006

Henschke Keyneton 1986

I managed to find a couple of bottles of Henschke Keyneton Estate red 1986 on Lay and Wheelers bin end list. Ive always liked the Henschke wines, and the Keyneton was always a favourite. Up until 1999 it was made of a blend of cabernet sauvignon, shiraz and malbec, but in 99 they changed the malbec for merlot. Personally I think it was much better with the malbec as it had a more polished finish and a character that I cant really define. Dont get me wrong, it is still a great wine, and at a great price too, its a good introduction into the Henschke way of winemaking.

I sold a bottle of the 86 the other day, to someone who I honestly wouldnt have figured to go for that kind of wine. All of which shows that you cant always judge a book by its cover. I was pleasantly surprised by the wine, which showed really vibrant fruit character on the nose - big stone fruits, berries and currants with that aroma of prunes and aged fruit that I find in mature reds. (As an aside it had this awful plastic capsule which was a nightmare to remove). The colour was a gloriously violet red with russet brown rim. It was a bit dull with some hazing, but I put that down to being slightly disturbed bringing it up from the cellar. On the palate it was a fantastic wine, really rich fruit following on from the nose, with soft supple tannins still and a touch of acidity still. I dont believe that there is much more lifespan left to the wine, its not a keeper, but by heck its drinking well now. I only hope the other five bottles are as alive as that one was.

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