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.
Huge fragrance, all that exotic spice, old spice cupboard, pepper, cinnamon, salted liquorice, dried flowers, dried leaves, blackcurrants, plum. A very epic perfume. Haunting, beautiful, draws you in to find all those details. Intensity is the word for flavours. So powerful yet a sense of restraint, a tension between the concentration and the taut webbing of acidity and fine, suede tannins with exceptional length. The layers here, the grace, the texture. Accessible and formidable now, so much good of everything, though wait for this one too. Tasted: Mar 2021 Alcohol: 14.5%; Price: $890; Closure: Screwcap; Drink: 2021-2050+; Rated: 96 Points; Mike Bennie; The Wine Front
Henschke's 2016 Hill of Grace Shiraz is locked up tight behind a stubborn wall of firm tannins. Scents of pencil shavings, mocha, bay leaf, mixed berries and plums appear on the nose, while the full-bodied palate starts off broad, expansive and creamy, then draws to a chewy, drying finish. There's ample concentration, length, complexity and a definitive track record of aging, so put this version away for several years while waiting for it to emerge and show its true glory. If you absolutely must drink it now, decanting for a couple of hours helps soften the tannins and brings the fruit forward. Date: March 2021; Drink: 2025-2045; Rating: 98 Points; Joe Czerwinski; Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate
Deep garnet. A quiet start – builds slowly – black plum, preserved fig, blackberry, briar, earth, leather, cola.Classic seamless and deep concentration of fruit on the palate – quite subtle, not forward in the least – it’s dark and intriguing and harmonious. Tannins are fine and savoury, tight and long. Oak is a picture of integration. The fruit is intense, exploring added notes of aniseed, bitter chocolate and more on the palate.This is a wine that urges you to think about IT, it’s not going to deliver everything on a plate to you immediately. You are required to put something into the process, too! It remains tight-lipped, structured and firm . . . just for the present. Like the Mount Edelstone, Hill of Grace is assured of a long life. Date Tasted: March 2021; Rating: 98 Points; Jeni Port; Wine Pilot
Deep ruby-red colour with a trace of purple. The bouquet is multi-faceted and beguiling in its mellow complexities, invoking earthy, humus, undergrowth, dried herbs and ironstone, blackberry and licorice aromas with a hint of mocha, the same flavours appearing on the palate, which is tremendously concentrated and powerful, without loss of its essential elegance. A miraculous wine of concentration and balance. A powerful vintage of this wine. Date: March; Drink: 2021 to 2041; Price: $890.00; Alcohol: 14.5%; Rating: 98 Points; Huon Hooke; The Real Review
Gorgeous floral lift and vibrant plum and fresh, pureed blackberry and mulberry aromas. The palate is full of rich, ripe, sculpted and slippery-smooth fruit, so young and lithe it runs away from you, trailing deep notes of spice, black olive, dried herbs and ironstone minerals in its wake. On day two, it is buoyant and muscular: the fruit starts to build, bearing waves of ground black pepper, anise, liquorice, baking spices, tamarind, cardamom and cigar smoke. Fine but distinct layers of lacy tannins and gently creamy oak support an ultra- long and harmonious finish. Powerful but perfectly proportioned; the consummate Shiraz. Date: March 2021; Rating: 99 Points; Sarah Ahmed; Decanter
From a core of vines planted around 1860 (plus some 100+ and 35+ yo vines) at 400m elevation. Matured 18 months in 85/15% French/ American oak, 29% new. Such effortless grace and caressing elegance, in the presence of commanding endurance that will sustain it for half a century. This is the paradox that defines the legendary fable that is Hill of Grace. 2016 embodies this: the profound depth of black fruits, bathed in the inimitable fragrance and exotic Chinese five-spice that characterises these old vines, set to tannins more finely textured yet more commanding than ever. Resist the seductive temptations of its youth and drink the 2015 first, because the true spectacle of 2016 is decades away. Drink to: 2066; Price: $890.00; Date Tasted: Jan 2021; Alcohol: 14.5%; Rating: 99 Points; James Halliday Wine Companion
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