99Points James Halliday
98 Huon Hooke
97 Points Campbell Mattinson
Australia’s most famous single-vineyard wine, Henschke Hill of Grace 2012 was awarded the hotly contested ‘Wine of the Year’ and ‘Best Shiraz’ titles at the fifth annual Qantas epiQure Halliday Wine Companion Awards ceremony, held on Wednesday night, 2 August in Melbourne.
Fifth-generation winemaker, Stephen Henschke was thrilled with the result after only launching the exceptional 2012 vintage of Hill of Grace Shiraz on 1 May 2017.
“It is an absolute honour to receive these accolades. Hill of Grace vineyard is a special site. The vineyard is only made up of 4 hectares of shiraz ranging from 70 to over 150 year old vines. The wine really is history in the bottle,” said Stephen.
This award acknowledges Stephen’s pioneer ancestor Nicolaus Stanitzki who planted the vineyard in 1860 and his father Cyril, a pioneer of single-vineyard table wines, who produced the first vintage of Henschke Hill of Grace in 1958 when those original vines were already almost 100 years old.
Henschke Hill of Grace is the most celebrated of the wines crafted by Stephen and Prue Henschke.
Every vintage from the revered single-vineyard Hill of Grace is a limited release, but some are more limited than others. Just one barrel was produced in 2003 with extremely tiny vintages for 2013 and 2014. There was no Henschke Hill of Grace made in 1960, 1974, 2000 and 2011.
“It’s been worth the wait, and then some, for this is a flawless Hill of Grace. It’s an old cliche, but it’s unavoidable: it is the ultimate iron fist in a velvet glove. While the fruit remains supreme, there are savoury tannins to support the 50-year cellaring potential of the wine. It is bottled under screwcap, not the elegant Vino-Lok of past vintages, because you want the most secure closure for ultra-long cellaring. The wine? Perfect colour, fragrant dark cherry/berry aromas and flavours, positive tannin and French oak support, great aftertaste.” – 99 Points & Wine of the Year James Halliday
“Gravitas. Depth of fruit. Lift, life and spice but a weightiness, an aristocratic presence. Hill of Grace Shiraz has a special place in Australian wine life but this is a particularly special release. There are myriad flavours and aromas on offer here. It’s entrancing. Fennel, blackberry, violets, ground spice, a lick of soy, flickers of light, purrs of dark. A rumble of firm, integrated, robust tannin. This is a great one.” – 97 Points Campbell Mattinson
“Deep, dark red with a good tint of purple and a classic Hill of Grace bouquet of blackberry, raspberry, blueberry and dried herbs, with the trademark hint of mulberry jam and a little forest floor. The palate is powerful, intense, concentrated, with more smoky oak than Hill of Roses, but it’s been subtly handled. Remarkably supple, fine-grained tannins, gorgeous texture, tremendous length. There is great profundity but also elegance. A very stylish wine. It’s at a far remove from the blockbuster Barossa style. A totally authentic vineyard wine: it could not be anything but Hill of Grace. As a new release Hill of Grace, this is as good a vintage as I’ve ever tasted. I suspect it will rate 99 points when mature” – 98 Points Huon Hooke