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1998 Henschke Hill of Grace
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- Cellar 12 - 15 years (2016-2019)
- Closure: Cork
Barrel sample tasting note 09/11/1998: The wines of the 1990's move from superlatives to hyper-superlatives, and if the 1998 is an example of what is to follow for the next decade, then we are going to be launched into a vinous orbit! One has to understand, that this wine is a barrel sample, and has not had the full opportunity to integrate with the oak, however, the youthful fruit flavours are the expression of a wine that has truly been made in the vineyard.
Opaque, purple crimson mauve colour. Vibrant! The nose has tremendous youthful vigour - violets, freshly crushed inky blackcurrants and spice aromas fill the nose and return in a reverberation of aromas to leave a powerful mark of violet aromas. The palate is as vigorous as the nose, and the youthful fruit flavours are in an abundant flavour bliss. Magnificent flavour impact, and as great a barrel sample that I've seen, and that's a big statement, having seen all the 1982 Bordeaux classed growths. A wine that will be eagerly awaited and will no doubt set a new price benchmark for Hill of Grace.
The below notes are sourced from Henschke.
Made from 100% shiraz grapes from pre-phylloxera material brought from Europe by the early German settlers in the mid 1800s and grown in the Eden Valley wine region. Hill of Grace is a unique delineated single historic vineyard. The famous century-old Hill of Grace vines were planted around the 1860s by an ancestor, Nicolaus Stanitzki, in rich alluvial soil in a shallow fertile valley just north-west of the winery. The vineyard lies opposite a beautiful old Lutheran Church, built of local field stone, which was euphoniously named Gnadenberg, meaning 'Hill of Grace'.
Vintage Description: The preceding winter was unusually dry, with frosty nights and clear days. The rain instead came in spring, and the luxuriantly growing vines benefited from the greenhouse effect. The indicators were of a hot dry summer, although only a serious burst of heat was experienced in mid January and again at the end of February; otherwise it was a mild summer, which had a significant delaying effect on the ripening process. An early onset of autumn caused a late harvest, with average yields, good to exceptional quality and intense flavour in the grapes.
Tasting Notes: Very deep crimson in colour. A sweet ripe complex exotic nose of prunes, plums, blackberries, cedar and chocolate aromas. A rich sweet succulent palate, complex and well-structured with excellent concentration and texture, finishing long with velvety tannins. An exceptional vintage, optimum year 2018. Extremely Limited Stocks.
It is hard to find a more compelling red than Henschke’s 1998 Shiraz Hill of Grace. Made from 100% Shiraz (from vines averaging 52-144 years of age), and aged in primarily new American and French oak for 18 months, it is unquestionably profound. Its dense ruby/purple color is followed by a gorgeous perfume of blackberries, graphite, and subtle wood. Dense and full-bodied yet extraordinarily well-defined and layered, it remains young and backward, with tremendous potential. It is the finest Hill of Grace I have ever passed over my palate and down the gullet. Anticipated maturity: 2006-2020+.
Robert Parker - The Wine Advocate