x
  • Country ranking ?

    74
  • Producer ranking ?

    26
  • Decanting time

    2h
  • When to drink

    now to 2035
  • Food Pairing

    Roasted 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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Latest Pro-tasting notes

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Written Notes

Very big, bold, ripe and opulent on the nose – very 1990 in fact. Much browner than the 1991. Full, evolved, exuberant and essentially Australian with spice and very firm tannins even now. Quite pronounced acidity. The palate is much more austere than the nose.

  • 90p

This Aussie classic was a slight disappointment. It’s sweetly aromatic with warm cherry and herb fruit. The palate shows notes of spice, meat, tar and herbs with a hint of mint to the cherry fruit. Very warm and quite Grenache like. 92/100

  • 92p
Picture perfect season. Good winter rains, perfect spring, mild summer, excellent ripening conditions. Largest yields on record with possibly the best quality for 2-3 decades. Medium crimson colour. Intense, pure choco-berry aromas with some gamey nuances and malt/tropical oak characters. A well knitted wine with plenty of sweet fruit. The palate is richly flavoured and beautifully concentrated with plenty of choc-berry and meaty/gamey flavours and developing soy/demi-glace characters – all underpinned by savoury slightly tropical (American) oak, fine grainy tannins and plenty of flavour length. Superb wine showing quality of vintage. The sheer fruit power envelops the oak. Despite the success it appears this vintage foreshadowed a toning down of the American oak component in subsequent vintages. 19.5 points (97/100)
  • 97p
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Information

Origin

South Australia, Eden Valley

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