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1999 Henschke Hill of Grace
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- Closure: Cork
Notes sourced from Henschke.
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 Conditions: The latter part of spring led into one of the hottest summers on record, with virtually no rain. The drought conditions resulted in smaller berry size producing spicy, dark intense reds. Tropical cyclones Elaine and Vance brought unseasonal rains in mid March, causing widespread botrytis problems requiring careful handpicking. 1999 proved to be another challenging vintage for Eden Valley although the final quality results were outstanding.
Tasting Notes: Very deep opaque crimson in colour. Complex aromas of roast meats, spices, bacon, tar, prunes, plums and blackberries, with hints of anise, mint, earth and exotic spices. New characteristics emerge each time you return to the glass. Sweet rich complex, concentrated and dense with chewy textured tannins; very long and memorable. An exceptional vintage, optimum year 2014. Decant before serving.
Robert Parkers Tasting notes
The prodigious 1999 Shiraz Hill of Grace is a magnificent Eden Valley Shiraz, fashioned from vineyard blocks ranging between 52-144 years of age. Its inky/ruby/plum/purple color is followed by a fragrant perfume of black fruits intermixed with underbrush, dried herbs, vanilla, and spring flowers. Full-bodied, magnificently concentrated, pure, and delineated, this gorgeous, still young, compelling Shiraz is another example of a vintage that more and more appears to be underrated. It should hit its prime in 2-4 years, and last 15-20.
Rating: 98 points
Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate #155 (Oct 2004)