Henschke Croft Chardonnay 2019


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“Although marked by accents of toasted grain and nuts, the focus of the excellent 2019 Croft Chardonnay is on the wonderfully pristine white peach and pineapple fruit. Medium to full-bodied and joyfully generous on the palate, it’s focused and streamlined at the same time, flowing easily into a long, citrus-inflected and silken finish. The best Croft Chardonnay to date? Drink: 2021-2027. 93 points

Johann Christian Henschke, the patriarch of the Henschke family, arrived in Australia in 1841 and by 1847 had purchased land in Krondorf (Barossa Valley). His son, August, subsequently purchased land in the Eden Valley, donating a portion of the property for the Gnadenberg (Hill of Grace) Lutheran church. Christian would later add to the family’s holdings in the Eden Valley and transfer that acreage to another son, Paul Gotthard. This land is still the family’s home base.

The first recorded sales of Henschke wine date back to 1868, with a ledger that continues to the present day. Fifth-generation member Stephen Henschke is the winemaker and his wife Prue is the viticulturist, while the next generation—Johann (winemaker), Justine (marketing and public relations) and Andreas (brand ambassador)—are gradually taking on more responsibilities.

Flagship bottlings include the single-vineyard Hill of Grace and Mount Edelstone Shiraz and the Cyril Henschke Cabernet Sauvignon, but there are a number of less-expensive offerings that illustrate the family’s commitment to quality, including Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir and Merlot from the Lenswood Vineyard in the Adelaide Hills. The vineyards are farmed along organic and biodynamic lines, and the family has gone to exceptional lengths to preserve the old-vine genetics of its vineyards and ensure sustainability going forward.

Joe Czerwinski, Wine Advocate (03/21)