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Hill of Grace Shiraz 2010

Henschke Hill of Grace 2010

Henschke Hill of Grace 2010

A fabulous offering from cult producer Henschke. This received 99 points from James Suckling, Lisa Perroti-Brown and James Halliday, for all three it is the highest score ever awarded to this wine. From one of the great Australian producers and one which easily rivals in quality that other New World icon, Penfolds Grange, the Hill of Grace is huge scorer year after year and a prestigious wine to secure for the collection.

In Parker’s words: “no Australian wines are richer than these offerings from Henschke”. The Langton’s Classification – the benchmark of Australian fine wine – concurs, rating it as “exceptional” and saying simply: “Henschke Hill of Grace Shiraz is Australia’s greatest single vineyard wine.” James Suckling calls this “the Eden Valley equivalent of Burgundy’s Le Chambertin”.

First released in 1958, but the vineyards were worked by four generations of the Henschke family before that, these gnarled old vines – some of which are pre-phylloxera – are grown without irrigation using organic and biodynamic principles. This wine is not to be missed in any year, but from Wine Advocate’s highest-ever rated vintage for South Australia, it is a must-have.

The South Australian shiraz vies with (the slightly more expensive) Penfold’s Grange Hermitage for the title of our most prestigious wine. Henschke would like to catch up but is not there yet. Its price growth in the past 30 years has been exponential, and the 2010 vintage is $49 more expensive than the 2009 but is yet to catch Grange, which is $785 a bottle.

Stephen Henschke, fifth-generation winemaker, is particularly proud of the 2010, which he has dubbed “a vintage graced by radiance”. “It’s a tiny vintage and it’s one with a sense of place,” 

It also has staying power, which is fortunate considering that heavy rains during the growing season pretty much guaranteed there won’t be a 2011 vintage. Unlike Grange, which is a blended wine from different vineyards and districts, Hill of Grace comes from just one place. The family-owned vineyard in the Eden Valley lies opposite a beautiful old Lutheran church, named after a picturesque region in Silesia called Gnadenberg, which means hill of grace.

When the vines were planted, Abraham Lincoln was the US president. The first vintage was made in 1958 by Stephen’s father Cyril Henschke. His initials still adorn the Henschke crest on all its wine labels. “I don’t have a big enough ego to change it,” Henschke confides over dinner.
The Henschke Hill of Grace 2010 vintage benefited from lots and lots of sun. Henschke describes it as “beautifully spicy, not as dense as the 09”.

Henschke Hill of Grace 2010 – a truly staggering vintage

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Producer: Colour: RedGrape: ShirazRegion: South Australia, Barossa ValleyVintage: 2010Grape Details: ShirazOrder Status: Please allow an additional 5 days for orders in excess of 1 bottleSKU: HENSC13

£599.00 £499.00 a bottle

Available on back-order



“The Henschke family is one of the longest-established wine names in the Barossa. Johann Christian Henschke purchased land for a farm at Keyneton in 1861 and planted a small vineyard and orchard, and produced his first commercial vintage in 1868. His son, Paul Gotthard, continued farming and winemaking and planted more vines to increase wine production. Upon his father’s death in 1914, third-generation Paul Alfred took over the property and as demand for fortified wines grew, winemaking assumed greater significance. Each generation built upon the reputation for quality, but it was fourth-generation Cyril Alfred Henschke who in 1958 created the wine that has most captured the red wine world’s imagination – Hill of Grace. His first vintage of this Shiraz was produced in 1958.
Today, fifth-generation Stephen Henschke and his wife Prue uphold the family name and reputation, as winemaker and viticulturist respectively. The original two-storey cellar, built into the side of the hill in time for the 1868 vintage, has been added to throughout the generations. Now covered with ivy, the stone building retains an old-world charm with its open fermenters and winemaking memorabilia on display.”

Barossa Valley

The Barossa Valley is one of the major regions in Australia, where many of the major wine companies are based. It is believed the first vineyards were planted in the 1840s by Silesian migrants (who settled in Bethany). There followed a rapid expansion of plantations. The early styles of wines produced were heavy dry red wines and fortified wines that were popular both domestically and in Britain. After the Second World War the styles shifted to lighter table wines with production of Chardonnay, Riesling, Semillon, Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz. The Barossa Valley is home to some very well known names such as Seppelt, Wolf Blass and Penfolds as well as many smaller producers. The climate is Mediterranean with hot dry summers and cool wet winters, making it ideal for viticulture. The main wine styles: White – Semillon, Riesling, Chardonnay, Semillon-Chardonnay blend; Red – Shiraz (full bodied & ripe) with Old Vine Shiraz a speciality of many vineyards, Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, Shiraz-Grenache-Mataro blend, Cabernet-Merlot blend.


flourish in a range of climates. In the warm to hot climates you can expect extremely intense aromatic, rich, full bodied wines, with hugh fruit (almost sweet) and chocolately tasting. In the more moderate/cooler climates you’re more likely to find structured Shiraz wines with black cherry, pepper and spice characters rather than the chocolate and fruit styles found in warmer climates.

Australian Wines Online c/o Wine Buffs Ltd, 43 Arizona Crescent, Warrington, Cheshire, WA5 8DA

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