x
  • Country ranking ?

    9
  • Producer ranking ?

    3
  • Decanting time

    3h
  • When to drink

    from 2018
  • Food Pairing

    Lamb with Vegetables

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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The 2010 growing season was preceded by above average winter rainfall. Spring was mild with little frost damage and gave us an even budburst. The weather remained cold and wet through spring, which held back growth until a two-week high 30s heat wave in November affected flowering and fruit set. Spring rains continued into early summer right through until mid-December, making it the wettest year since 2005. The vines responded to the heat and grew vigorously until early January, developing lush canopies, but bunch development suffered as a result.

A roller-coaster ride of heat spikes and cool changes continued through a warm summer with occasional thunderstorms. The vines went through veraison a week earlier than 2009. Lower yields coupled with the mild ripening period resulted in concentrated fruit. Vintage began a week earlier than 2009 and was in full swing by mid-February. The white vintage was all but finished a month later while the red harvest continued with deeply coloured, well-balanced grapes being picked during mild, dry conditions until the end of April.

 

An elegant vintage from the Henschke family's historic vineyard, this shiraz blends fruits from generations of vines. The oldest date to the 1860s, with subsequent plantings propagated from those original vines. This 2010 has the depth of flavor and layered complexity that great old-vine fruit can give. One taster compared it to the long, slow concentration of flavor in a braise. The fruit flavors that rise out of those umami depths add tension and vibrancy to the wine, a sour cherry note of restraint to match the tannic refinement. The long, juicy fruit flavors have power without any excess weight. Built to evolve for decades.

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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

2010 Henschke Hill of Grace was released in May 2015. Fifth generation winemaker Stephen Henschke describes the vintage as blessed by nature, a comparison to the prized years 2002 and 2005. From a tiny vineyard site in South Australia’s Eden Valley, overlooked by the spire of the historic Gnadenberg church, the single-vineyard shiraz has quietly carved out a name alongside the great single-vineyard wines of the world.

 

Pioneered by fourth generation winemaker Cyril Henschke in 1958, the release of 2010 Hill of Grace marks the 52nd season and the 32nd wine crafted by Stephen and his viticulturist wife Prue. Henschke Hill of Grace is held in the greatest esteem by generations of Australian and international wine lovers. Deeply connected to the Australian landscape, each vintage represents a piece of the journey of the Australian wine story. Following the philosophy of Henschke forebears, Henschke Hill of Grace is carefully nurtured using biodynamic and organic principles. The yield from the dry-grown ancestral vines now over 150 years of age, is always low with the small berries delivering incomparable texture and complexity.

 

2010 is a beautifully balanced wine; from a season that was perfect in many ways. I could sit and savour the nose on this wine for hours; exotic spices, sage, pepper and rich layers of blackberry, plum and cedar. These amazing old vines delivered a complex palate of dark brooding flavours, texture and refined silky tannins with incredible length.

Stephen Henschke

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Latest Pro-tasting notes

15 tasting notes

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Written Notes

A year like no other - you would have read this 100 times. I feel it is reason enough to raid the cellar and get out three of the best wines Australia has to offer for three consecutive nights. You only go around once. Last night it was the 2010 Henschke Hill Of Grace. I do not buy these wines anymore, as prices have gone through the roof, but I used to buy a couple of bottles from the great vintages, and 2010 was one. To start with, the wine comes in a nice wooden box.

Any value in this? Not really. But onto the wine. Mulberry flavours dominate on the nose. This translates to the palate. Aniseed, exotic spices and a hint of mint add to the flavours, as well as earthy notes. This is quite an opulent and ripe, even brooding version of this wine. The mouthfeel is elegant and smooth, if slightly fat.

So what is extra special in a wine like this, after you parted with hundreds of dollars? Three things for me: the tannins are extra silky; the finish is super long, and the wine, made from 150 year old vines, is at peace with itself. This is difficult to put into words. This is a special wine, but not perfect.

  • 97p

2010 is a beautifully balanced wine; from a season that was perfect in many ways. I could sit and savour the nose on this wine for hours; exotic spices, sage, pepper and rich layers of blackberry, plum and cedar. These amazing old vines delivered a complex palate of dark brooding flavours, texture and refined silky tannins with incredible length.

Hill of Grace 2010 / Dark and deep colour. Surprisingly wide and open nose with loads of wild blackberries, smoky grilled meat, liquorice, and white truffle aromas. Solid and firm. Very powerful, almost too gigantic a wine with sweet tannin and a multilayered texture. The massive, super intense finish lasted forever. In my judgment this is fuller and more intense than the great 2005 and has better structure than the outstanding 2002. Very good start for the new decade from Henschke.
  • 98p
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Information

Origin

South Australia, Eden Valley

Vintage Quality

Excellent

Value For Money

Very good

Investment potential

Average

Fake factory

None

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Inside Information

Suckling 99 points: The 2010 vintage will be remembered as one of the most perfect renditions of this single site planted dating back to 1860. The signature spice and sage leaf are here. It's bursting with an array of dark brown spice aromas, pepper too, the fruits run from raspberry tinges through to deep blackberry, cassis and blueberry fruits, blue plums too. The palate is immensely smooth and soft, velvety tannins have deep-grained texture. It floats with richness yet lightness, and really fills out the palate and occupies every possible space. The balance is superb and the finish runs so long and deep in several phases of favor, from plum to cherry, from roasted spice and mocha, it goes on seemingly endlessly, saturated in old vine Shiraz flavor yet perfectly poised. Tannins shimmer, acidity reflects off their smooth-honed surface. This is the Eden Valley equivalent of Burgundy's Le Chambertin - a bottomless well of flavor, elegant yet profoundly powerful and another brilliant addition to a superb run of recent vintages. Best from 2022. 

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