The grapes to produce Shiraz The Beauty Hentley Farm where combined with Viognier skins (3%), destemmed only, and transferred to their fermentation vessel. A combination of inoculated and natural yeast strains performed the fermentation. After an initial temperature spike, 1/3 of Shiraz The Beauty Hentley Farm was sent to oak for fermentation off skins. The balance was chilled and returned over the skins where a minimal pump-over regime (1-2/day) was employed to ensure the softness of palate for which The Beauty is known. It was then basket pressed to a combination of new (40%) and old French barrels where it underwent natural malolactic fermentation. The wine spent a total of 18 months maturation in oak. No fining or filtration were used in the production of this wine.
The Beauty block is grown at the lowest point of the Hentley Farm vineyard, directly on the banks of Greenock Creek. The western aspect results in a shaded morning; the low topographical position is where cool air settles; and the large gum trees surrounding the block create significant barriers to air movement, so cool air remains present well into the morning. This results in early morning air temperatures 2-3 degrees cooler than the higher Shiraz blocks.
Bought by Keith and Alison Hentschke in 1997, Hentley Farm is located on the rich red soils of the Seppeltsfield/ Marananga area in the North Western section of Barossa Valley. At the time of acquisition, Hentey Farm were derelict and unsalvageable, which led to extensive planting in 1999, with a focus on minimising variation within each block and maximising variation between blocks. As a single-block, single-vineyard winery, Hentley Farm focuses on producing wines which highlight microclimates within the estate, basket pressing the red wines to compliment the softness of fruit. The first wines weren’t released from the property until 2002, thereafter the estate was extended with the purchase of the neighbouring Clos Otto block in 2004.
The 100 acres of fruit bearing vines are planted over a diverse landscape, offering unique flavour profiles, textures and complexities. Blocks range from low-lying creek level, approximately 200m above sea level, to 300+ metres above sea level. Within the estate, there are also numerous soil profiles, clones – anging from ancient to modern, various vine structures and directional plantings, which also play a vital role in capturing a “sense of place” through the wines themselves.
Specialising in rich, elegant, Barossa Shiraz, Hentley Farm also produces other varietals – including Grenache, Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel and Viognier – and blends of all of these varieties. More than 20 small-batch wines are now made from the single estate each year. With such a key focus being on the vineyard, ensuring that both agricultural and environmental practices are sustainable is a key element of what Hentley Farm does. Winemaker Andrew Quin chooses not to fine or filter the premium wines because he feels that the resulting loss in phenolic compounds detracts from a true expression of site. But above all else, Hentley Farm and Andrew consider themselves “winegrowers”, with all winemaking accentuating characteristics of the vineyard from vine to bottle.