Are youone of those people who has a collection of bottles at home which you prefer to spend time with over your family? Does the phrase ‘single vineyard’ make you quiver like you’ve just been touched by an angel? Would you swim the Torrens if it meant being gifted one of the rarest, most collectable old wines in Australia?
Probably don’t do that last one, it’s just not a good idea. Instead, you need to start taking notes because one of Australia’s oldest, and most acclaimed single vineyards (*shivers) is re-releasing two of it’s finest classic vintages. And when they’re gone, they’re gone.
The 2005 and 2006 Henschke Hill of Grace, are now available for those who just have to drink ’em all, and have been paired together in a custom-made wooden presentation box accompanied by a book of stories, history, tasting notes and technical information. These ‘museum releases’ as they are known, tell the story of a unique single vineyard, two distinct seasons and a winemaking family.
If you don’t happen to know the story of the Hill of Grace, the vines were planted in the 1860s. At the same time, a beautiful Lutheran church was built on land donated by the Henschke family in the Eden Valley. It was named it Gnadenberg in tribute to their homeland, with the vineyard overlooked by its spire. It seemed only natural that the vines took on the same name, which in English translates as ‘Hill of Grace’.
There were no releases for 1960, 1974, 2000 and 2011 due to unfavourable vintage conditions. One barrel was made in 2003. Extremely small releases are pending for 2013 and 2014. The 2005 and 2006 have been kept aside in the family cellars until now in perfect cellaring conditions for lovers of back-vintage wines.
“One of the great pleasures of keeping back small components of special vintages is discovering how they age over time. Hill of Grace is one of the oldest single-vineyard wines today which still recognises the first moment of its creation; the same unique site, dream and desire for integrity and excellence,” says winery owner Stephen Henschke. “Opening these wines now, brings much to reflect on the 2005 and 2006 vintages; both showing wonderful structure, longevity, balance and character.”
So, you should be chomping at the bit to try them but at $1795 for the pair, this is for serious drinkers. Only selected fine wine retailers and restaurants Australia-wide will be hosting them. Which is why the miracle of the Internet is probably your best bet if you can’t make it into their Cellar Door. Visit the website now.