The 2015 vintage of Australia’s most revered single-vineyard wine, Henschke Hill of Grace Shiraz, was released today, Wednesday, 6 May 2020.
This release has already received glowing reviews, including the perfect score of 100 points from Nick Stock for JamesSuckling.com, and 99 points from both James Halliday and Huon Hooke.
A vintage described as ‘Graced by the Luminous Moon’, this 58th vintage (54th release) of Henschke Hill of Grace was handpicked from 17-26 March 2015; the final pick taking place a week before the harvest moon of Easter.
Harvesting close to the full moon is an optimal time, according to fifth-generation winemaker Stephen Henschke.
“As far back as ancient Greece, there are records noting the benefits of harvesting crops around the full moon. Prue and I researched the picking dates for Hill of Grace, going back many decades and found that most vintage dates – whether the fruit ripened early or late – occur close to the full moon after the autumn equinox (Easter). It’s a fascinating enigma of nature, as by the calendar, the date of Easter can vary by up to thirty-five days,” says Stephen.
“We like to visualise the grace of the harvest moon underlying the luminosity of the 2015 Hill of Grace with its purity of aromas, depth of flavour and silky lustrous tannins – a majesty and a mystery that takes our breath away with its grandeur.”
Hill of Grace Shiraz was created by fourth-generation winemaker Cyril Henschke in 1958, after the success of his first single-vineyard shiraz, Mount Edelstone 1952. Both wines express their unique stories of a season, a site and a family of winemakers.
Every vintage from the ‘ancient’, single-vineyard Hill of Grace is a limited release, however some are more limited than others. There was no Hill of Grace made in 1960, 1974 and 2000.
Just one barrel was produced in 2003, no vintage in 2011, and extremely tiny vintages for 2013 and 2014, 2019 and 2020.
The exceptional 2015 vintage provided good yields of stunningly elegant fruit, showing extraordinary flavour, purity and acid balance, with the potential for excellent ageing.
The cool, high-altitude nights of the Eden Valley allowed the shiraz fruit to slowly ripen and mature, and retain natural acidity for longevity.
The warmth of the sunlight has built astounding layers of fragrance and flavour; also the secret of the fine, velvety tannins that lie within the skins of the berries.
The Henschke family have released a video ‘Henschke Hill of Grace: A Vintage Graced by the Luminous Moon’ to celebrate the launch of the wine. View it here.
Australians will be able to access Henschke Hill of Grace 2015 on Henschke.com.au and through a selection of fine wine retailers from Wednesday, 6 May 2020.