Named after the proprietor of the 19th century mail coach service that once ran through their property, Henry’s Drive Vignerons is the wine operation established by Kim Longbottom and her late husband Mark. During the nineteenth century establishment of the farming and wine industries of south eastern South Austra-lia, only horse drawn coaches provided the transit of mail and passengers. The coach drivers reigned supreme on top of their coaches and won the respect and admiration of their passengers. The coach service proprietor in this part of the state was a certain Henry John Hill. His operation drove directly through a prop-erty, owned more recently by the Longbottom family. Today, Kim continues to build the business in honour of Mark; and the wines are testament to Kim and Mark’s dedication to crafting fine wines from Padthaway, one of Australia’s great wine growing regions.
During the nineteenth century establishment of the farming and wine industries of south eastern South Australia, only horse drawn coaches provided the transit of mail and passengers. The coach drivers reigned supreme on top of their coaches and won the respect and admiration of their passengers. The coach service pro-prietor in this part of the state was a certain Mr Henry John Hill. His operation drove directly through a property, owned more recently by three generations of the Longbottom family of Padthaway. Routes were known as Drives, thus the fam-ily’s wine business is today known as Henry’s Drive.
This is an aromatic wine, showing fresh blueberry, fragrant violet and underlying earthy spice notes.
The palate is finely structured showing delicacy; vibrant rhubarb and blueberry characters are mixed with hints of anise and lavender. The flavours lingers and the wine finishes with delicate fine tannins.
We select vineyard sites that produce fruit showing delicacy and finesse and much of the fruit is sourced from our hillside vineyards on deep sandy loam over a thick limestone.
The fruit is harvested when flavour ripe and fermented on skins for 5-10 days. Some parcels are fermented to dryness on skins to give tannin length and fineness to the wine and others complete primary fermentation in barrel which integrates the oak and imparts soft approachable tannins. The wine then undergoes malo-lactic fermentation and is matured for a period of around 15 months in oak hogs-heads and barriques.
The oak composition is as follows; 80% French, 20% American, 25% new, 25% one year old, 20% two year old and the remainder in 3 year old barrels.
Replacing the “Dead-letter Office” label, the deep garnet-purple colored 2012 “H” Syrah has pretty, lifted, black cherry and crushed blackberry aromas dotted with hints of anise, mocha and baking spices. Big and voluptuous in the mouth with a nice structure of medium to firm, grainy tannins and refreshing acid, it finishes long. Drink it now to 2020. - Robert Parker 91 Points
Sandy tannins underlie the ripe cherry and spice flavors in this trim Shiraz. Leans toward the sharp side on the finish. Best from 2015 through 2018. 3,000 cases made.–HS - Wine Spectator Magazine 88 Points