2016 Henschke Hill of Roses Shiraz
The vines were 26yo in '16, too young for inclusion in Hill of Grace, notwithstanding its undoubted quality, matured for 14 months in French hogsheads (30% new). There's not a single hair out of place in a perfectly framed, medium-bodied shiraz. Bred in the purple. Drink by 2046.
James Halliday's Wine Companion (March 2020)
Essentially a young-vine Hill of Grace (although the grapevines were 28 years old at the time), the 2016 Hill of Roses Shiraz comes from a single block replanted using selections from the original vines. Hints of menthol and bay leaf mark the nose, imparting an inimitable Eden Valley note to the dark berry aromas. It's full-bodied and concentrated on the palate, tannic but ripe, finishing long and velvety. It may be longer lived than the Tappa Pass—and is much more limited in production—but I might rather have three or four bottles of the Tappa Pass. Drink 2024 - 2040.
Joe Czerwinski – Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (April 2021)
Younger vines on the Hill of Grace vineyard, around 30 years old or so though. Planted in 1989, the first wine made from this site came from 2001. “The 2001 felt pretty simplistic, but lovely young shiraz character”, says vigneron Stephen Henschke, “over the years, the twenty odd years, it’s grown into a more structural, textural, better balanced wine, and the maturity figures in the vine have worked better too, better numbers, but the important thing is texture, it’s getting harder and harder to say ‘this shouldn’t go into Hill Of Grace'”. That won’t happen, the Old Vine Charter is being followed, “you see what you think tasting the two wines together; you can see the wines building and coming closer in that texture”. Ok, best I do. Thank you, Henschke family.
Incredibly aromatic, so much exotic spice (so evocative of that vineyard, Hill of Grace), lift of alpine herb, fennel, ripe plum, choc-cherry, kirsch, and, amongst it all, faint sandalwood and nougat notes. Beautiful perfume, that spice such a feature and so compelling, so distinct and original. Supple in the palate, elegant is a good word, lush in a way too. Sweet hearted, pretty, red berry and blue berry fruitiness, rose water, cinnamon spice, soft tannins that ripple seamlessly through the wine and it all draws long, long, long and then gently tugs at the palate with gummy pucker.
Mike Bennie - The Wine Front (March 2021)
Full Vinolok-stoppered bottle 1,210 g. 100% 27-year-old Shiraz grown on one single 0.94-ha block on the edge of the 4-ha Henschke Hill of Grace vineyard in the Eden Valley wine region, using organic and biodynamic practices. This is from the Post Office Block 3 and is being monitored as a scientific exercise to see at what vine age the wine starts to taste like Hill of Grace proper. Picked 14 March. Matured in 30% new and 70% seasoned French hogsheads for 18 months.
Very interesting to taste this alongside Hill of Grace 2016. The colour looks a little paler and more evolved: mid garnet and less purple than Hill of Grace. Very interesting savoury nose with everything apparently in place. Strong rockpool sort of nose. You could just imagine the sea washing over rocks… Gentle tannins and great power without flashiness. I don't see how anyone would be disappointed in this even if it is less concentrated than the Hill of Grace 2016. Some camphor on the finish. Tannins very much in the background. I poured this into my young wine decanter straight after tasting and Nick and I shared about half the bottle at dinner. 24 hours later, poured from the decanter, it had really mellowed with the fruit dominant and no suggestion whatsoever that this was too early to drink it. Does sweet tar sound off-putting? It's not meant to as this is really pretty lovely and finishes very pure – though there may be more tightly wound potential in the Mount Edelstone.Drink 2021 – 2034.
Jancis Robinson (March 2021)