The 2003 Shiraz is a full-bodied, opulently-styled red that smells of creme de cassis and blackberry liqueur intermixed with smoky meats, espresso roast, jammy black fruits, licorice, earth, and toasty new oak. It should evolve nicely for a decade or more.
Full-throttle Shiraz are fashioned by winemaker Kim Johnston from vineyards owned by the Longbottom family. This is an unabashed, flamboyant, Aussie wine that is loaded with fruit, fragrance, glycerin, and intensity. This is the type of wine that Eurocentric wine tasters and condescending elitists tend to dismiss, but it is a fascinating effort the likes of which are made nowhere else in the world. There is certainly no shortage of flavor, and if you like your wines exuberant, flamboyant, and over-sized, this wine fills the tab, and then some.
Henry's Drive Winery
During the nineteenth century establishment of the farming and wine industries of southeastern South Australia, horse-drawn coaches provided the only transportation 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 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 family’s wine business is today known as Henry’s Drive.
Third generation pastoralists Mark and Kim Longbottom are forging a new family tradition of fine winemaking with brands such as Henry's Drive, Parson's Flat, Dead Letter Office and Pillar Box.
View all Henry's Drive Wines
With a landmass the size of the US, Australia has just as many appellations. Many wines are simply labeled from their state of origin. Some of these are the most popular:
New South Wales
- New South Wales has a variety of smaller wine growing regions. Many wines are a blend of these smaller appellations, leading to the more encompassing designation of New South Wales.
– A small percentage of Australia’s winemaking occurs on the West Coast. The largest Australian state, Western Australia, includes the appellations Margaret River and Great Southern.
– This appellation encompasses the states of South Australia, New South Wales and Victoria. Grapes are often trucked in from at least 2 of these states for crushing and bottling, giving the wine a more general appellation of origin. This is the broadest appellation in Australia.
Like the United States, which is about the same size, Australia's winemaking regions are huddled into one or two pockets of the country. The state of South Australia, which produces about 60% of the country's wine, also has the most wineries and sub-regions, including McLaren Vale, Clare Valley, Coonawarra and Barossa Valley. New South Wales is home to the Hunter Valley, while the smaller, southern state of
Victoria is best known for theYarra Valley. Head way west to the very large state of Western Australia and you'll find the tiny region of Margaret River at the southern tip.
Most wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.