Henschke Hill of Grace Shiraz is Australia’s greatest single vineyard wine. Its fame is connected profoundly with the work of Stephen and Prue Henschke. This intensely perfumed, concentrated and velvet textured wine evokes a family tradition, extreme craftsmanship and a beautiful inimitable aesthetic. It belongs to an unfolding and endless story that evokes the soul of this Australian age.
The vineyard was established at Parrot Hill in the Eden Valley (around 1860) by Nicolaus Stanitzki and has since been handed down through the generations to the Henschke family.
Henschke... gets my nod as one of Australia's two or three finest producers. Each of these wines coats the mouth with glorious levels of jammy fruit, extract, glycerine, and silky tannin. They are all dense ruby/purple-coloured, full-bodied, and capable of lasting at least a decade, and in the case of the 1991 Shiraz Hill of Grace, possibly 20+ years. The 1991 Hill of Grace is the most backward of the Henschke wines, with an earthy minerality, and explosive black fruits the likes of which are often seen in northern Rhone Valley wines made from ancient vines. This huge, broodingly backward, muscular, brawny, immensely concentrated yet formidably endowed wine requires another 4-5 years of cellaring; it should keep for 15-20 years. These are awesome examples of what Australia is capable of producing. The Wine Advocate (1997).
Deep brown-brick in colour, the 1991 Hill of Grace offers intensely scented notes of warm black fruits, Chinese dried plums, dark chocolate-covered cherries and licorice. It is very pure, full-bodied and rich in the mouth, with profound and seductive flavours, a great backbone of crisp acid and firm, finely-grained tannins through the long finish. It is mature now but no rush to drink. 97 points, The Wine Advocate (2013).
Dark crimson with some blackish hues. Rich start but very lovely texture. Spice and some quite dry tannins but wonderfully mellow overall. So complete. A real pleasure. Drink to 2040. 19/20 points, jancisrobinson.com (2013).
Medium to full red-purple, with abundant, smooth and sweet dark cherry fruit aromas; the oak is subtle but there is some lift. In the mouth a potent wine with some striking similarities to Grange Hermitage, not the least being the degree of lift, and also the tremendous length on the palate. Wine Companion (1995).