2018 Henschke Hill Of Grace Shiraz Eden Valley

Backstory/Tasting: The 2018 Henschke Hill Of Grace Shiraz from the Eden Valley showcases 100% Shiraz grapes sourced from pre-phylloxera material brought to Australia by early settlers in the mid-1800s. These vines are nurtured in the historic Hill of Grace vineyard. Over 165 years ago, Johann Christian Henschke journeyed from Silesia to establish roots in the Eden Valley. By 1914, when third-generation Paul Alfred Henschke took charge, the iconic Hill of Grace vines had already surpassed 50 years in age. Planted around the 1860s by ancestor Nicolaus Stanitzki, these vines thrive in rich alluvial soil within a shallow fertile valley northwest of the winery. The red-brown earth, transitioning to deep silty loam, offers excellent moisture retention for these dry-grown vines, situated at an altitude of 400m with an average rainfall of 520mm. Hill of Grace stands as a unique and historic single vineyard, opposite the picturesque Gnadenberg Lutheran church, named after a region in Silesia.

Cyril Henschke crafted the first single-vineyard Shiraz wine from this site in 1958, utilizing handpicked grapes vinified in traditional open-top fermenters. The 2018 vintage wines boast remarkable complexity, richness, depth, and balance, echoing the quality of exceptional vintages such as 1982, 1990, 2002, and 2010. Exhibiting an expressive terroir-driven character and refined, mature tannins, they promise excellent aging potential under optimal cellaring conditions. With its deep ruby hue, the wine offers ethereal aromas of blackberry and blood plum, intertwined with exotic spices like five-spice, star anise, clove, and fennel seed, along with subtle hints of bay leaf and crushed herbs. The palate is opulent, complex, and robust, featuring a core of supple blackberry and blueberry fruit enriched with spice and pepper, all elegantly balanced by fine acidity, leading to a long and graceful finish characterized by velvety tannins. Under proper cellaring conditions, the Henschke Hill of Grace 2018 is poised to mature confidently for over 30 years.

Vintage: 2018

100 Points: Andrew Caillard MW


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