May 3, 2023, is a big day for Henschke. Not only will the Eden Valley winery release the 2018 vintage of its single-vineyard wines, it will also celebrate 60 years of the famed Hill of Grace from the vintage that marked its 150th year of family winemaking.
The annual collection will include the Hill of Grace Eden Valley Shiraz (57th release), the Hill of Roses Eden Valley Shiraz (15th release), the Mount Edelstone Eden Valley Shiraz (66th release), The Wheelwright Eden Valley Shiraz (4th release), and the Cyril Henschke Cabernet Sauvignon (38th release).
Henschke's Hill of Grace vineyard.
The 2018 Hill of Grace marks 60 years since fourth-generation winemaker Cyril Henschke captured the first iteration of the iconic wine from the 1958 vintage. The ancestor vines that produce the Hill of Grace are now more than 160 years old, says fifth-generation winemaker Stephen Henschke. "Majestic and gnarled, they are dry-grown and naturally low yielding due to their age. They deliver berries of incomparable texture and complexity, which gives Hill of Grace its trademark elegance, intensity and finesse."
"The wines from 2018 have wonderful complexity, richness, depth and balance, an expressive sense of place, and fine and mature tannins. They are comparable to exceptional quality vintages such as 1982, 1990, 2002 and 2010, all from mild seasons that have shown excellent ageing potential in ideal cellaring conditions,” says Stephen.
Henschke's centenarian and ancestor vines.
Below are Tasting Team member Dave Brookes' tasting notes and scores for the 2018 single-vineyard collection.
2018 Henschke Hill of Grace Eden Valley ShirazThe 60th anniversary of what is widely considered Australia's finest single-vineyard wine. Sometimes you've got to pinch yourself and ponder what a lucky existence this wine hack stuff is, sitting here in the Henschke cellar door having just tasted 26 vintages of Hill of Grace spanning back to 1958. Grace by name, grace by nature, it is an elegant, beautiful wine, tannin–acid architecture on point, the fruit depth is just stunning, dotted with five-spice, sage, pepper, charcuterie, crushed quartz and the most lovely, kinetic tannin structure. Finishes with great sustain, harmony and grace. Voluminous and complex, with amazing fruit density and just a complete wine. A classic! 99 points, Halliday Wine Companion, Dave Brookes.
RRP $950 | Drink to 2070
2018 Henschke Hill of Roses Eden Valley Shiraz
Sourced from 29-year-old vines grown on a single block on the Hill of Grace vineyard; matured in French oak (25 per cent new) for 18 months. A core of pure blackberry and dark plum characters leap from the glass along with hints of blackcurrant pastille, sage, bay leaf, dried meats, earth and a gentle violet note. A wonderfully balanced release with a pure, savoury fruit flow flecked with spice and gentle herbs on the finish. Powdered, granitic tannins frame the wine beautifully, finishing mineral-laden with crystal clear definition and impressive persistence. 97 points, Halliday Wine Companion, Dave Brookes.
RRP $455 | Drink 2045
2018 Henschke Mount Edelstone Eden Valley ShirazI lived on the property that lies between the Mount Edelstone and Hill of Grace vineyards for eight years. My god it's a beautiful part of the world. Planted in 1912 by George Fife Angus and purchased by Cyril Henschke in 1974, though it had been bottled as a single-vineyard wine since 1952. Picture perfect blackberry and blackcurrant fruits, shades of mixed spice, purple floral tones, earth, licorice, rosehip and crushed quartz. A gorgeous expression of site, pure with long, ripe tannins, lacy mineral-laden acidity providing clarity and drive and a finish that sails on for some time before finishing chalky and sustained. 98 points, Halliday Wine Companion, Dave Brookes.
RRP $245 | Drink to 2045
2018 Henschke The Wheelwright Eden Valley ShirazShiraz from the Wheelwright vineyard in Eden Valley; 18 months in 65/35 per cent French/American oak (21 per cent new). A relatively new addition to the Henschke quiver and one that is fast becoming a favourite of mine. Pure mulberry, blueberry and blackberry fruits with hints of fine spice, sage, bay leaf, licorice, dark chocolate and crushed stone. Firm granitic tannins melt into the wine, pure and true with a fine, lively cadence and superb fruit density and detail on display. Drink or hold. 96 points, Halliday Wine Companion, Dave Brookes.
RRP $150 | Drink to 2040
2018 Henschke Cyril Henschke Cabernet SauvignonSome of the vines for this wine were planted by Cyril Henschke back in the 1960s. This year's blend is 97/2/1 per cent cabernet sauvignon/merlot/cabernet franc matured in French oak (10 per cent new) for 18 months. Bright blackberry and blackcurrant fruits with top notes of redcurrant and red cherry. Olive tapenade, cedar, light briar notes and mountain herbs. Fine lacy acidity and tight, powdery tannin provide the frame, and there is no doubt that this release will age magnificently. 96 points, Halliday Wine Companion, Dave Brookes.
RRP $175 | Drink to 2043
Henschke's 2018 single-vineyard collection will be available through the Henschke website and cellar door, fine wine retailers, and restaurants from Wednesday May 3, 2022.