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The acclaimed Henschke family, foundation members of Australia’s First Families of Wine, was one of the pioneering families of South Australia when Johann Christian Henschke migrated from Silesia (Germany in 1841). Each generation has contributed to the legend with fourth generation Cyril Henschke pioneering varietal, single-vineyard wines in the 1950s, most famously Mount Edelstone and Hill of Grace Shiraz. Fifth-generation winemaker Stephen and his viticulturist wife Prue have won many awards for their talent, innovation and integration of vineyard and winery. They lead the way with environmental, biodynamic and organic principles. Henschke wines are handcrafted and deeply personal, reflecting the unique terroir of vineyards: the wine names tell either a personal story of the family or the cultural history of their region.

It's been worth the wait, and then some, for this is a flawless Hill of Grace. It's an old cliche, but it's unavoidable: it is the ultimate iron fist in a velvet glove. While the fruit remains supreme, there are savoury tannins to support the 50-year cellaring potential of the wine. It is bottled under screwcap, not the elegant Vino-Lok of past vintages, because you want the most secure closure for ultra-long cellaring. The wine? Perfect colour, fragrant dark cherry/berry aromas and flavours, positive tannin and French oak support, great aftertaste. Drink by: 2062; Date Tasted: March 2017; Alcohol: 14.5%; Rating: 99 Points; James Halliday Wine Companion

100% grown on a small shiraz vineyard planted some time in the mid 1800s. Stephen Henschke noted, emotionally, that there are four generations of the Henschke family buried in the cemetery beside the Hill of Grace vineyard. The climate, the soil, the aspect, the dancing, the music, the food, the vines, the struggles and joys, and all those each-important lines of Henschke people; this is the terroir from which this wine comes. Gravitas. Depth of fruit. Lift, life and spice but a weightiness, an aristocratic presence. Hill of Grace Shiraz has a special place in Australian wine life but this is a particularly special release. There are myriad flavours and aromas on offer here. It’s entrancing. Fennel, blackberry, violets, ground spice, a lick of soy, flickers of light, purrs of dark. A rumble of firm, integrated, robust tannin. This is a great one. Tasted: April 2017; Alcohol: 14.5%; Price: $825; Closure: Glass Stopper; Drink: 2020-2038+; Rating: 97 Points; Campbell Mattinson; The Wine Front


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