I whipped down to Melbourne to attend the highly anticipated launch of the 2012 Henschke Hill of Grace in late April (a spectacular wine that I’ll write about in the near future). But there was one wine in the tasting lineup that stood out like a beacon.
A newly released Mataro that goes by the name The Bootmaker. It is a beauty. It’s a blend of 96 per cent Mataro and four per cent Grenache from the old, gnarled vines of the Barossa Valley and is aged in old-seasoned French hogsheads for nine months before release.
The Henschkes have been buying grapes from the vineyard for more than a decade and the grapes previously made their way into their Johann’s Garden red blend, but it is certainly deserving of its own home.
What is striking about Henschkes’ new The Bootmaker Mataro is its fruit purity. Sure, there are those savoury touches we all love from Mataro – the light meaty facets, the sprinkle of white pepper and the exotic spice notes. But the fruit here shines.
Still quite primary, it leaps from the glass with aromas of dark plum, mulberry, and blueberry. Underscored with hints of mace, freshly cut fennel, licorice, Chinese spice shop and some frangipani-like high tones, it is an expressive rendition of a variety that the Barossa does better than most and one from a cracking vintage.
A stunning debut and one that will provide great drinking well into the future.
HENSCHKE 2015 The Bootmaker Mataro