Thursday, May 7, 2015

Henschke Hill Of Grace - New Vintage

One of the events of the year on the Australian wine calendar is the release of the new Hill of Grace, and it does not come much bigger than for the 2010 vintage. This highly regarded year started with a hot spring in Eden Valley, which kept the yield down. It was followed by a mild summer and autumn with very little rain. The grapes were very even when they were harvested. But what is the wine like?

As expected the colour is deep purple, but what surprises is the aroma. It is intense, very spicy and full of sage. The 2010 Henschke Hill of Grace is medium bodied and quite perfumed. The fruit is blackberry and mulberry, but the dominant element on the palate is white pepper, five spice, and sage, in particular. This is unusual. Spicy notes often occur, but they are intertwined with mocca notes. This is not the case with the 2010. This is a more lifted and fragrant wine. The 60/40 American French oak combination is not very noticeable, This is partly due to the unusual long seasoning period of the American oak. The wine has great length, but does the fruit fill the mouth? There is probably just enough weight. Alcohol at 14+% is noticeable. The tannins are velvety and fine grained, showing the age of the vines.

The wine did not grab me initially, but the complexity combined with the elegance and lasting penetration of the wine won me over in the end. This could be very special in a few years.

Score: 97/+++


Willunga Wino said...

Lucky you to have been able to try it! I'd give my back teeth for a taste. Oh hang on, I've already had my wisdom's out hahaha :-)

Alontin said...

You are in South Australia, you should be able to manage a taste, for example at the Hill of Grace Restaurant at the Adelaide Oval. It would be worth it.

Anonymous said...

Can you explain in a little more detail (keep it basic) how the age of the vines can influence the tannin level?
Colin r

Alontin said...


You are asking a good question. I cannot answer it technically, but let me try in simple terms. Old vines tend to produce small berries. Tannins In comparison with fruit and water are more prominent. Roots of these vines go quite deep, which means more consistent water supply. This reduces the risk of coarse or harsh tannins in my view. The result is prominent, but soft or silky tannins. Does this make sense?

Nicole Rouge said...

What I treat. I have never managed to score a taste of any of these really iconic Australian wines. Will have to try to seek this out at a trade event

Nicole Rouge said...

Also, thank you for liking up with #Winenot Wednesday :)