x
  • Country ranking ?

    332
  • Producer ranking ?

    52
  • Decanting time

    1h
  • When to drink

    Now
  • Food Pairing

    Lamb

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The Story

Nicolaus Stanitski, a Henschke ancestor, originally planted the Hill of Grace vineyard during the 1860s above the Barossa Valley. During the 1950s Cyril Henschke took his family concern back to wine and established the Hill of Grace label in 1956. The Shiraz vines – many now over 140 years old – are among the world's oldest genetic Shiraz plant material. It is remarkable that the vineyard remained intact considering the economic uncertainty and the social conditions of the time. The vineyard is planted on red clay soils overlain by sandy and silty loams interspersed with gravels.

There are several blocks including Grandfather’s Post Office Blocks One and Two, Young which is made up of the younger selected material located near the vines of the old post office, and the Church Block, House Block and Windmill Block. Vintage takes place during mid to late April, each parcel vinified separately to maximise blending options. The Hill of Grace style has developed along Grange lines, but by a circuitous route. Vinification takes place in open headed down fermenters with regular pumping over. Towards dryness the wine is drained and pressed. Partial barrel fermentation in a combination of new American and French oak follows to integrate oak and create complexity. The wine is then allowed to mature in the same oak for a period of about 18 months before bottling and further maturation. 

HILL OF GRACE

Location: Eden Valley wine region, 4 km north-west of Henschke Cellars at Keyneton, in the Barossa Range, South Australia.

Varieties: Shiraz (on own roots). Vines originate from pre-phylloxera material brought from Europe by the early European settlers. Riesling and Semillon.

Wines Produced: Shiraz – individual vineyard bottling since 1958.

Age: Oldest vines planted in 1860s.

Average Yield: 5 tonnes/hectare (2 tonnes/acre)

Soil: Alluvial, sandy loam over clay.

Trellis: 2 wire vertical/single wire at 70 centimetres.

Planting: Wide planting – 3.1 metres x 3.7 metres. Most are planted east-west, some north-south. Dry grown.

Treatments: Tilled and dodged for many years without herbicide. Only copper and sulphur used for foliage sprays. Now mulched and grassed down. Fungus problems are minimal. Vineyard can be considered 'organic'.

Maintenance Quality: Mass selection carried out over two growing seasons. Establishment of a mother source block.

Rainfall: 520 mm

Altitude: 400 metres


Year Vintage Quality Optimum Drinking

1984 Exceptional 20+ years
1985 Exceptional 15+ years
1986 Exceptional 20+ years
1987 Very Good 15+ years
1988 Exceptional 15+ years
1989 Great 15+ years
1990 Exceptional 20+ years
1991 Excellent 20+ years
1992 Excellent 20+ years
1993 Great 15+ years
1994 Exceptional 20+ years
1995 Excellent 20+ years
1996 Exceptional 25+ years
1997 Very Good 15+ years
1998 Exceptional 20+ years
1999 Excellent 20+ years
2000 Not Produced
2001 Excellent 20+ years
2002 Exceptional 25+ years
2003 Great 15+ years
2004 Excellent 20+ years
2005 Exceptional 20+ years
2006 Exceptional 20+ years
2007 Great 20+ years

 

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Vintage 1959

Australia / A cool dry growing season with average rainfall produced “strong” reds despite the challenge of a wet February and March.

In 1959 there were 7,171 hectares of vineyards in Barossa and 29,030 tonnes of wine grapes were crushed in that vintage.

Muscat Gordo was still South Australia’s “most used” wine grape. As well as being used for dried raisin and table grape consumption it was a mainstay of the fortified wine industry.

The first fully automatic sterile bottling line, capable of processing 200 dozen bottles per hour, was commissioned at Orlando by Henry Deinhardt.

John Vickery and Reg Shipster pioneered skin cooling methods at Leo Buring’s Chateau Leonay winery. This was the first attempt at cool fermentation and paved the way for improving the quality of red and white wines.

Peter Lehmann was appointed winemaker-manager at Saltram Wines.

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Latest Pro-tasting notes

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Written Notes

Deep brown in color, the 1959 Hill of Grace is showing some volatile acid and mushroom aromas at first, though these aromas fade into background with swirling and give way to notes of prunes, fertile earth, sandalwood and baking spices plus the faintest whiff of dried cherries. Medium to full-bodied, rich and opulent in the mouth, it is framed by a nice backbone of medium to high acid and a medium level of velvety tannins before finishing long. It is better in the mouth than on nose, though the nose emerges after about 30 minutes of aeration in the glass before fading. It is mature. The 1960 Hill of Grace was not made because it was a drought year and the grapes dried up on the vine.

  • 94p

This was Stephen Henschke's father's favourite. Looks much yellower at the rim than the 1958. A little tiny bit of decay and oxidation. Again, very salty palate. Round and velvety texture. Some sweetness. And a bit of alcohol on the finish. Just drying out a little. Massive concentration still!

  • 91p
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Information

Origin

South Australia, Eden Valley

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