Henry's Drive Shiraz 2008
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
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.
Though Syrah originated in the Rhône Valley of France, Australia is home to the oldest Syrah (called Shiraz here) vines on the planet. Found in Australia’s Barossa Valley, where phylloxera has never threated viticulture, these ancient vines are between 140 to 175 years old!
Having brought fame and merit to the country’s wine scene since the early 1950s, namely via the debut of Penfolds Grange, today Syrah (Shiraz) claims rank as the most widely planted grape in Australia. In fact, the amount of land dedicated to Shiraz in Australia is now almost equivalent to what it is in France. Australian Shiraz has its own personality with flavors and aromas of intense blackberry, fruitcake, menthol, tobacco leaf and umami. Conveniently one can find great Australian Shiraz at a variety of price points but the very best will be dense, gloriously complex and capable of long aging.