Giles Pinot Noir
Matured on lees in 28% new and 72% seasoned French barriques for 10 months prior to blending and bottling.
In 1981, fifth-generation winemaker Stephen Henschke and his wife Prue purchased a
property in the Adelaide Hills with the intention of planting varieties well suited to the cooler climate of the region. The vineyard was originally part of a beautiful valley of apple orchards and natural forest that were destroyed by the Ash Wednesday bushfires in 1983. Sitting at an altitude of 550m with an annual average rainfall of 1100mm, the Lenswood vineyard slopes offer not only beautiful views towards the older vine country, but also provide enough
sunshine to fully ripen the grapes, together with cooler temperatures to retain natural acidity. The pinot noir vineyard has been named after Charles Giles, an early pioneer whose
descendants had managed the property as an apple orchard since 1864.
The 2013 harvest was expected to be early, with the Easter full moon very close to the
autumn equinox, and sure enough budburst started early in spring 2012 with green shoots emerging in the first week of September suggesting this would be so. All varieties woke to a cool and mild spring, with cabernet the last to greet the sun on October 1. A snow flurry in early October led into a mild November, with warm days and nights providing excellent
conditions for flowering. Set was excellent across all varieties. Spring was conspicuous for its dryness but thankfully frost free, and as summer approached the vines developed
beautifully balanced canopies and rain was just a distant memory. It was not to rain again until the end of harvest, seven dry months that produced a green drought. As harvest time approached, it was abundantly clear that 2013 was going to be exceptional in terms of yield and quality across all varieties - a rare thing in the lofty airs of Lenswood, where weather events usually dictate terms that are best described as challenging! Chardonnay and riesling were fabulous, as too were sauvignon blanc, gewürztraminer, pinot gris, merlot and cabernet.
Lenswood does not give up her fruit easily but every now and then she tosses a furtive glance your way and delivers the unexpected. The 2013 harvest will be remembered as near perfection in a year of snow and drought, truly a rare and exceptional vintage.
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