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.
Australia's finest single-vineyard site? I think so. With its core of gnarled shiraz vines planted circa 1860 and its picture-perfect location alongside the Gnadenberg church, it is a much adored and discussed vineyard which has been producing stellar wines since the first single-vineyard Hill of Grace was released in 1958. Today, those original vines are bolstered with its 'young' 100+ and 35+yo kinfolk and aged in 83/17% French/American oak hogsheads (29% new) for 18 months. Grace by name, grace by nature; it's a perfectly framed, elegant snapshot of pristine fruit, site and season. Precisely ripened berry fruits are underscored with notes of Chinese five-spice, sage, jasmine, licorice, mocha, blackberry pastille, charcuterie, wild flowers and cherry clafoutis. Pitch-perfect and elegant on the palate, the tannin-acid architecture tuned and sympatico with the pristine ancestor-vine fruit and a very long, silken finish that resonates with style and place. My goodness it's lovely. Drink to: 2065; Date Tasted: Feb 2022; Alcohol: 14.5%; Rating: 99 Points; Dave Brookes; James Halliday Wine Companion
Muscular with great vitality and sensuality, Hill of Grace 2017 combines gravitas with grace. Supple swathes of fruit – blackberry with blueberry and red cherry – come scented with china ink, tinder bush, black pepper, star anise, wattleseed, tea leaf and baking spices. Tobacco pouch, mulch and subtle game undertones strike a savoury note. Rafts of seamless, spicy tannins build and buoy layers of flavour. Terrific authority, strength, complexity and length. Date: March 2022; Rating: 99 Points; Sarah Ahmed; Decanter
Strikes its own level of fragrant complexity and fruit vitality that places it a cut above the other 2017 Henschke Eden Valley shiraz wines, with aromas of boysenberries, red plums, blackberries and mulberries, swathed in baking spices, sage, brown pepper and forest wood. So fresh and very spicy. The palate has a very layered and elegantly fine brand of tannin, with a rich, velvety array of fresh dark fruit, such as blackberry and satsuma plum, swirling spice flavors and a late dusting of white pepper. The acidity is so well balanced with such fine and elegant tannins. Very detailed. The tannins creep and clench, claiming stealthy palate length that bodes well for cellaring potential. Date: March 2022; Rating: 98 Points; Nick Stock for James Suckling
Medium deep crimson. Intense blackberry, cassis, roasted coffee, sage aromas with vanilla, roasted chestnut, panforte star anise. Amazingly complex wine with pure blackberry, blackcurrant, espresso, hint of peppery flavours, fine loose knit chalky al-dente tannins and mocha, vanilla crème brulée oak. Finishes grainy al dente firm with lovely pastille fruits. Date: March 2022; Rating: 98 Points; Andrew Caillard MW
Deep ruby to brick-red colour with a tinge of purple lingering in the meniscus. The bouquet is very expressive and multi-layered with raspberry and cassis, regional dried herbs—especially sage and oregano, while the palate is tremendously intense and profoundly flavoured with multifaceted flavours and the kind of effortless concentration and seamless texture that only the greatest shirazes achieve. There is something mysterious and hard to identify about this wine which is seriously delicious. A great Australian shiraz. Date Tasted: March 2022; Rating: 98 Points; Huon Hooke; The Real Review
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