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Saturday 2 May 2020

A stellar Hill of Grace is unveiled

I don't think I have ever paid $865 for a single bottle of wine. 

But if were to pay $865 for one bottle then I hope it would be of the quality of the new 2015 Henschke Hill of Grace, which will be released on May 6. 

It is, quite simply, a stunner. A rare 99/100 from me. 

Demand always exceeds supply when it comes to Hill of Grace - and the reason is simple. Hill of Grace is a single-vineyard wine, which means the fruit can only come from one unique vineyard in the Eden Valley of South Australia. 

The Hill of Grace is made from 100% shiraz from vines that were originally brought to South Australia by early settlers and planted around 1860. 

The vineyard lies opposite an old Lutheran church known as Gnadenberg, or Hill of Grace in English.    

Cyril Henschke made the first single-vineyard wine from the vineyard in 1958, using hand-picked grapes vinified in open-topped fermenters.

The grapes, lovingly tended by viticulturist Prue Henschke, were matured in quality French and American hogshead oak barrels for 18 months prior to blending and bottling.

Nowadays, the Henschke wines are produced using organic and biodynamic farming methods. 

Winemaker Stephen Henschke describes 2015 as a "fairytale" vintage that perfectly suited the old vines and their heirs. 

He calls the 2015 "a vintage graced by a luminous moon" with full moon the optimal time for harvest under the biodynamic calendar.

So what is the wine like? 

Well, it tastes expensive. The aromas are inky but pure; the flavours complex and elegant with dark fruits, subtle spices, quality oak and silky tannins coming together in a symphony of flavours that are delicious now and will cellar for 30 years or more. 

If Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart had been a winemaker rather than a composer, he would surely have created something magnificent like this. 

A truly special wine that would make a magnificent Mother's Day present. 


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