Henry's Drive Shiraz 2004
-The Wine Advocate
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 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 proprietor in this part of the state was a certain Henry John Hill. His operation drove directly through a property, owned more recently by the Longbottom family. Today, Kim continues to build the business in honor of Mark; with fine winemaking and brands such as Henry’s Drive, Parson’s Flat, The Trial of John Montford, Dead Letter Office, The Postmistress, The Scarlet Letter, Pillar Box and Morse Code. These wines are testament to Kim and Mark’s dedication to crafting fine wines from Padthaway, one of one of Australia’s great wine growing regions.
Proprietor Kim Longbottom, who hails from New Zealand’s famous wine producing region of Marlborough, has winemaking in her blood. Her late husband, Mark was a third generation pastoralist and had a natural affinity with the land. Together, they shared a passion for viticulture and winemaking—a passion that is central to the business. In 1992, Kim and Mark carefully selected sections of their properties for vine planting. Six years later, a dream was realized with the release of their first wines, coinciding with another life-affirming moment—the birth of their daughter, Margo. Sadly, Mark passed away in 2008. A loyal and honest man with a wry sense of humor, Kim and Margo’s loss was felt far outside his beloved Padthaway.
An inland subregion of the Limestone Coast, Padthaway has made a name for itself as a significant source of quality Shiraz even though the region grows other varieties. Padthaway is home to only a handful of producers; most Padthaway Shiraz goes to wines made outside of its borders.
Marked by an unmistakable deep purple hue and savory aromatics, Syrah makes an intense, powerful and often age-worthy red. Native to the Northern Rhône, Syrah achieves its maximum potential in the steep village of Hermitage and plays an important component in the Red Rhône Blends of the south, adding color and structure to Grenache and Mourvèdre. Syrah is the most widely planted grape of Australia and is important in California and Washington. Sommelier Secret—Such a synergy these three create together, the Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre trio often takes on the shorthand term, “GSM.”