“The Yin Of Australian Wine”: Henschke Hill of Grace 2015


The story of Henschke begins with a tragedy. In the 1840s Johann Christian Henschke left behind his homeland of Silesia in modern-day Poland and made the 98-day journey to Australia in search of a new life. Sadly his wife and two of his children did not survive the journey. Henschke settled down in Australia and eventually purchased land in Barossa in 1862, first selling wine under his family name in 1868. Unlike many historic Australian wineries, Henschke is still owned by the original founding family. Today it is run by the fifth and sixth generations with Stephen and Prue Henschke at the helm while their son, Johann, is the estate’s talented winemaker.

The estate’s legendary flagship wine is Hill of Grace, Australia’s most famous single-vineyard wine, which is based on a tiny 4 hectare plot of land planted to Shiraz in the Eden Valley. Key to Hill of Grace’s distinctive elegance and complexity is the ancient vines which were planted in 1860 and are known as the Grandfather block. The vineyard enjoys cool nights thanks to the 400 metres of altitude which allow the Shiraz to mature and ripen slowly, retaining freshness and balance which help the wine to age gracefully in the cellar for decades.

“Unlike Penfolds Grange, also first produced in the 1950s, Hill of Grace is not made every year and production is much smaller,” explains Oeno’s Chief Wine Analyst and Master of Wine, Justin Knock. “These two great wines have grown up together and represent the yin and yang of Australian wine. Where Grange is rich, powerful and tannic and shows the depth and breadth of Penfolds’ blending skills, Hill of Grace is infinitely articulate through one site and its layered, effortless, elegant complexity. The 2010 Hill of Grace is the best young Australian wine I have ever tasted, and the just-released 2015 is regarded by the Henschke family to be as great as the 2010.” 

“It’s impossible to understate the importance of this wine. Grange is wonderful for Bordeaux lovers, Hill of Grace will appeal to Burgundian hearts. Together they are the two greatest expressions of Shiraz on the planet outside of France.”

Oeno currently has available a limited quantity of the ethereal Hill of Grace 2015 which has already been awarded a perfect 100-point score by James Suckling. Also available are Henschke’s magnificent Mount Edelstone 2015, a powerful Shiraz crafted from a 103-year old single vineyard, and Cyril Henschke 2015 which is a single vineyard edition composed of 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. Completing the collection are Keyneton Euphonium 2015, a punchy Shiraz-Cabernet, and a classic Grenache-Shiraz-Mourvedre blend, Johann’s Garden 2016.

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