Not even isolation and pandemics could prevent the annual release Australia’s most famous single vineyard wine, Henschke’s Hill of Grace, even if it was a little more low-key than usual. The 2015 (AUD$865), has hit the shelves and with it, some welcome good news. For the first time in several vintages, there is a reasonable quantity of the wine available (all things being relative, of course, as HoG is always a very small production).
Hill of Grace was created by Stephen Henschke’s father, Cyril, with the first vintage being the 1958. And yet, the vineyard had already been in existence for a century – the block within the vineyard, known as the Grandfathers, is around 160 years old, some of the oldest vines in the world. The vineyard is located in South Australia’s Eden Valley, opposite the picturesque Gnadenberg Lutheran Church which sits on land originally donated by August Henschke. It always amazes me to think that no one made a designated wine from this vineyard for the first one hundred years of its existence. But they were very different times.
The 2015 is a wonderful wine, from a very fine vintage. Glorious now, it will rival those which have already passed the test of longevity.
Stephen’s thoughts? “We like to visualise the grace of the harvest moon underlying the luminosity of the 2015 Hill of Grace with its purity of aromas, depth of flavour and silky lustrous tannins – a majesty and a mystery that takes our breath away with its grandeur.”
For me, black fruits dominate, with smoked meats, tobacco leaf, blueberries, dark chocolate, aniseed and florals. Oak is still evident, but it is well integrated. The wine has incredible length and the balance is impeccable. The tannins are amazingly fine and silky; the texture is supple. A wine with decades ahead of it. a great Hill of Grace and a brilliant example of how good the best Australian wines can be. 99.