Australia’s most famous single-vineyard wine, Henschke Hill of Grace 2012 was awarded the hotly anticipated ‘Wine of the Year’ and ‘Best Shiraz’ titles at the fifth annual Qantas epiQure Halliday Wine Companion Awards ceremony, held last night in Melbourne.
The Henschke family has been making wine since Johann Christian Henschke planted his first vineyard in the
Barossa’s Eden Valley in the early 1860s. Today, fifth-generation winemaker Stephen Henschke and his viticulturist wife Prue, alongside next generation family members Johann and Justine, are recognised around the world for their exceptional quality wines, innovation and sustainability in the vineyard. As a family, they continue to craft their white wines with a focus on purity, and their red wines with a strong sense of place, leading the way with organic and biodynamic practices, complemented by traditional winemaking.
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 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.
This shiraz, internationally hailed as the pinnacle of Australian winemaking, is crafted from a tiny four-hectare
historic dry-grown vineyard in the Eden Valley, where the remarkable gnarled sentinels are believed to be amongst the oldest producing vines in the world. 2012 is the first new vintage from the low-yielding single vineyard to be released in two years, after the devastation of the wet 2011, when no Henschke Hill of Grace was able to be made.
“We experienced mild weather throughout the growing season, with a slow ripening period that delivered lower yields and intense fruit flavours, great colour, high natural acidity and beautiful, mature, fine tannins. From my experience, the greatest wines we have made have been from vintages like this,” says Stephen, “Henschke Hill of Grace 2012 shiraz is a captivating expression of this extraordinary vintage. It has trademark alluring five spice, star anise and black peppercorn aromatics, with a palate of incredible length and purity wrapped by beautifully integrated layers of silky tannins and flavours that linger endlessly.”
“My wife Prue has done incredible work in this vineyard, looking after such old vines with organic and biodynamic principles. Her work is already showing huge benefits in soil health and moisture retention. Hill of Grace Shiraz is a reflection of the wonderful flavours and balance this site can achieve, and the separate parcels are ‘nursed’ in the winery using very gentle, traditional open-top fermentation techniques.”
The awards are based on the reviews in the 2018 Halliday Wine Companion book, published by Hardie Grant in paperback and on sale nationwide from today.
Stephen and Prue were delighted to find an additional 38 wines from their portfolio reviewed in the 2018 Halliday Wine Companion, with no wine being scored below 90 points.
“It’s fantastic to see Hill of Roses 2010 and Mount Edelstone 2014, wines that have shaped the Henschke story, so high up on the list,” Stephen remarked.
An extended profile of Stephen and Prue Henschke will feature in the next issue of Halliday Wine Companion magazine, on newsstands from early September.
Hill of Grace 2012 Key Accolades:
• August 2017 – Shiraz of the Year, Wine of the Year, 99 points, Halliday Wine Companion, James
• June 2017 – Shiraz of the Year, Wine of the Year, 99 points, Tyson Stelzer’s Australian & New
Zealand Wines of the Year 2017, Tyson Stelzer
• June 2017 – 98 points, JamesSuckling.com, Nick Stock
• March 2017 – 98 points, Wine Spectator, MaryAnn Worobiec
For further details about Henschke and the range of Henschke wines, please visit www.henschke.com.au