Henschke Hill of Grace Shiraz is Australia’s greatest single vineyard wine. Its fame is connected profoundly with the work of Stephen and Prue Henschke. This intensely perfumed, concentrated and velvet textured wine evokes a family tradition, extreme craftsmanship and a beautiful inimitable aesthetic. It belongs to an unfolding and endless story that evokes the soul of this Australian age.
The vineyard was established at Parrot Hill in the Eden Valley (around 1860) by Nicolaus Stanitzki and has since been handed down through the generations to the Henschke family.
From a core of vines planted around 1860 (plus some 100+ and 35+ yo vines) at 400m elevation. Matured 18 months in 85/15% French/ American oak, 29% new. Such effortless grace and caressing elegance, in the presence of commanding endurance that will sustain it for half a century. This is the paradox that defines the legendary fable that is Hill of Grace. 2016 embodies this: the profound depth of black fruits, bathed in the inimitable fragrance and exotic Chinese five-spice that characterises these old vines, set to tannins more finely textured yet more commanding than ever. Resist the seductive temptations of its youth and drink the 2015 first, because the true spectacle of 2016 is decades away.
99 points, Wine Companion (January 2021)
Pretty deep purplish crimson. Not much evolution at the rim (unlike the Hill of Roses). Initially pretty reticent on the nose. Then fumes started to swirl up from the glass as from a cauldron! I'm thinking witches here. Luscious ripe fruit within a stern framework – it really is impossible to spit out. Strong saline quality on the (very long) finish. Just unfurling in the glass but the intensity of the fruit almost masks the tannic charge. I know Stephen Henschke talks about the red and black fruit here but I get lots of mineral stuff. It is a really very unusual combination of lift/freshness with intensity of historic Shiraz. Such throat-soothing persistence! But what a price!! (Though more or less the same as Penfolds Grange 2016.) 24 hours later the colour seems to have mellowed. But the wine is still amazingly luscious and broad with strong mineral and saline notes. Decant this and you could enjoy it immediately.
18.5+ points, JancisRobinson.com (March 2021)
Deep ruby-red colour with a trace of purple. The bouquet is multi-faceted and beguiling in its mellow complexities, invoking earthy, humus, undergrowth, dried herbs and ironstone, blackberry and licorice aromas with a hint of mocha, the same flavours appearing on the palate, which is tremendously concentrated and powerful, without loss of its essential elegance. A miraculous wine of concentration and balance. A powerful vintage of this wine.
98 points, The Real Review (March 2021)
Henschke's 2016 Hill of Grace Shiraz is locked up tight behind a stubborn wall of firm tannins. Scents of pencil shavings, mocha, bay leaf, mixed berries and plums appear on the nose, while the full-bodied palate starts off broad, expansive and creamy, then draws to a chewy, drying finish. There's ample concentration, length, complexity and a definitive track record of aging, so put this version away for several years while waiting for it to emerge and show its true glory. If you absolutely must drink it now, decanting for a couple of hours helps soften the tannins and brings the fruit forward.
98 points, Wine Advocate (April 2021)
Gorgeous floral lift and vibrant plum and fresh, pureed blackberry and mulberry aromas. The palate is full of rich, ripe, sculpted and slippery-smooth fruit, so young and lithe it runs away from you, trailing deep notes of spice, black olive, dried herbs and ironstone minerals in its wake. On day two, it is buoyant and muscular: the fruit starts to build, bearing waves of ground black pepper, anise, liquorice, baking spices, tamarind, cardamom and cigar smoke. Fine but distinct layers of lacy tannins and gently creamy oak support an ultra-long and harmonious finish. Powerful but perfectly proportioned; the consummate Shiraz.
99 points, Sarah Ahmed, Decanter (March 2021)
Huge fragrance, all that exotic spice, old spice cupboard, pepper, cinnamon, salted liquorice, dried flowers, dried leaves, blackcurrants, plum. A very epic perfume. Haunting, beautiful, draws you in to find all those details. Intensity is the word for flavours. So powerful yet a sense of restraint, a tension between the concentration and the taut webbing of acidity and fine, suede tannins with exceptional length. The layers here, the grace, the texture. Accessible and formidable now, so much good of everything, though wait for this one too.
96 points, The Wine Front (April 2021)