Holy smokes! Now this is Shiraz! One of Australia's finest expression of the grape, the 2012 Hill of Grace blew our hair back upon first sip! The aromatics are lead with blackberry, exotic spice with a touch of anise and black pepper. The palate is loaded with black fruits, herb, and savory flavors. The finish goes on and on....incredible!
The Henschke family came to Australia from Germany in 1875. They began as The Henschke Family Brass Band (you can't make this stuff up). One of their most prized instruments was the B flat Euphonium, which is actually a large brass wind instrument that still survives with the family today. You can almost see them migrating from Germany to Australia, Joad Family style, with a big truck full of brass instruments and grandma sitting on top. The humor stops there, as the family, for the last 130 years, has taken their music and their winemaking very seriously. The Barossa hills village of Keyneton, pioneered by pastoralist Joseph Keynes in 1842, was a musical and cultural focus for the early settlers, and has been home to Henschke winery for centuries. Henschke has mastered balancing dense fruit on the palate with wonderfully textured tannins. Their wines are an affirmation from our friends Down Under.
Medium to deep garnet colored, the 2012 Hill of Grace Shiraz is a little reticent on the nose to begin, opening out to a somewhat paradoxically tantalizing Black Forest cake, beef dripping, fertile loam and tree bark nose with hints of black pepper, Marmite, bay leaves, eucalyptus, licorice and baker’s chocolate. The medium to full-bodied palate is a wonderfully intricate mélange of mineral, savory, dark fruits and spice layers, framed by velvety tannins and refreshing acidity, finishing epically. This is a truly great Hill of Grace that has just entered the first stage of its drinking window and should continue to develop beautifully over the next 25+ years.
One of the great iterations of this regal single site wine. Very spicy, dried ground baking spices on the nose as well as dried sage leaves and other roasting herbs and a kind of wet chalky element too. Not the saturation and swagger of 2010 or 2009, a very tightly cut palate that's contained and reserved. Plenty of fine layers here and the sustained length is a real thing of marvel. The nose has all the blackberry and dark cherry fruits on offer with a wealth of fresh-roasted coffee, plums and blackberry. Tight and contained, real elegance with power and a long, fresh and even-handed finish. Best give this some time to fill out. Will be complete around 2025 and historic tastings would suggest it will really peak around 2035.