x
  • Country ranking ?

    229
  • Producer ranking ?

    39
  • Decanting time

    4h
  • When to drink

    now to 2040
  • Food Pairing

    BBQ T-Bone Steak with Chimichurri salsa

The Tb points given to this wine are the world’s most valid and most up-to-date evaluation of the quality of the wine. Tastingbook points are formed by the Tastingbook algorithm which takes into account the wine ratings of the world's 50 best-known professional wine critics, wine ratings by thousands of tastingbook’s professionals and users, the generally recognised vintage quality and reputation of the vineyard and winery. Wine needs at least five professional ratings to get the Tb score. Tastingbook.com is the world's largest wine information service which is an unbiased, non-commercial and free for everyone.

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A pure, single vineyard wine from Shiraz grapes picked off pre phylloxera material brought to the Barossa by European settlers in the mid 1800s. Vinified from the fruit of vines up to a century and a half of age, to be luxuriously aged under a selection of completely new oak for eighteen months. Australia's finest and most distinguished single vineyard wine.

The preceding winter in 1998 was unusually dry, with frosty nights and clear days. The rain instead came in spring, and the luxuriantly growing vines benefited from the greenhouse effect. The indicators were of a hot dry summer, although only a serious burst of heat was experienced in mid January and again at the end of February, otherwise it was a mild summer, which had a significant delaying effect on the ripening process. Harvested 15 to 16 April, the early onset of autumn caused a late vintage with average yields, good to exceptional quality and intense flavour in the grapes. Alcohol 13.7%

Very deep crimson colour. A sweet, ripe complex and exotic nose of prunes, blackberries and plum, cedar oak and chocolate notes. A rich, sweet succulent palate, complex and well structured, brimming with an excellent concentration of flavour, finishing memorable and long, supported by fine textures and velvet tannins.

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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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Wine Information

1998 Vintage Report/ The preceding winter was unusually dry, with frosty nights and clear days. The rain instead came in spring, and the luxuriantly growing vines benefited from the greenhouse effect. The indicators were of a hot dry summer, although only a serious burst of heat was experienced in mid January and again at the end of February; otherwise it was a mild summer, which had a significant delaying effect on the ripening process. An early onset of autumn caused a late harvest, with average yields, good to exceptional quality and intense flavour in the grapes.



 

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Tasting note

color

Full

ending

Long

flavors

Blueberry, Pepper, Tar, Plum, Smoky and Herbs

nose

Intense, Opulent, Refined and Round

recommend

Yes

taste

Concentrated, Complex, Full-bodied, Firm, Rich and Ripe

Written Notes

1998 The vintage was the result of an unusual year, that in general terms was attributed to El Nino. The preceding winter was unusually dry with frosty nights and clear days, with the rain coming in spring. The flourishing vines benefited from the greenhouse effect. Generally a mild summer with a burst of heat mid-January and at the end of February that delayed the ripening process. An early onset of autumn meant a late harvest. Average yields, good to exceptional quality, with a lot of flavour. Approximately 70mm of rain during Easter and the following two weeks heralded the onset of Botrytis, affecting late varieties. An exceptional vintage for colour.
  • 89p

Deep garnet-brick in color, the 1998 Hill of Grace has a medicinal nose of iodine plus warm plums, prunes, licorice and espresso. A bit hard in the mouth, it has crisp acid, medium to firm, chewy and somewhat astringent tannins through the long finish. Mature now, it should keep through 2020+.

  • 90p

Dark crimson. Healthy looking. Minty note for the first time. Very direct nose. Opulent fruit. Rich. Exotic ladies’-handbags notes. Broad and attention grabbing. Mellow start but then the framework becomes quite obvious. Ambitious. Sore-throat wine.

  • 96p

Sweetly elegant with notes of leather, herbs and tar and a slightly bitter note on the finish. Sweet raspberry and black cherry fruit with some forest floor notes. 93/100

  • 93p

Deep ruby, sweet vanilla, blackberries and if I'm kind, some floral highnotes. Almost charcoal and smokey touch. Again this boringly low acidity that make the wine even sweeter, overripe tannins that cannot hold any structure, like lazy teenagers who can't stand upright, plump, and Mike is still trying, and still failing....... 79

  • 79p
Still a very youthful wine evident from its deep undeveloped colour and primary aromatics. Fairly closed nose of dark forest berries, elegant pepperyness and earthyness. A firm-textured tight and mineral mouthfeel is appealing by being pronounced and restrained at the same time. Very elegant wine with promises of great future due to inherent harmony and complexity.
  • 97p
Deep, ruby colour, Very pronounced aromas - herbaceous eucalyptus, cassis and blueberry jam nose with mint and chocolate, gently spirity. Reminding Bordeaux. Intense, full-bodied, nicely concentrated firm youthful tannins, jammy cassis fruit, eucalyptus and warming finish with masculine but refined tannins, high alcohol dilutes the concentration. Very youthful still, improving after 5-10 years, keeping well another 15 years.
  • 93p
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Information

Origin

South Australia, Eden Valley

Vintage Quality

Outstanding

Value For Money

Good

Investment potential

Good

Fake factory

None

Glass time

2h

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Inside Information

Australian Wine Companion / Medium to full purple-red; a clean and rich array of black berries, spice, licorice and compatible oak, then a palate with abundant dark berry and bitter chocolate flavour, with controlled tannins and oak. Has great length and great balance; fully reflects the outstanding vintage, and has an indefinite life in front of it if well-cellared.

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