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Henschke to release 58th Hill of Grace and 2019 single-vineyard wines

By J'aime Cardillo

7 Apr, 2024

Henschke will release its 2019 collection of single-vineyard wines on May 1. The collection includes the 58th release of the Hill of Grace and two museum-release wines.

Henschke in the Eden Valley will release its single-vineyard wines from the 2019 vintage on Wednesday May 1. The 2019 vintage marks the 58th release of the iconic Hill of Grace. Also included is the Mount Edelstone Shiraz (67th release), The Wheelwright Shiraz (fifth release) and Cyril Henschke Cabernet Sauvignon (39th release).

Alongside the 2019 Hill of Grace and the Mount Edelstone, Henschke are opening the cellar to release two treasured museum wines – the 2008 Hill of Grace Shiraz and the 2013 Mount Edelstone Shiraz.

"While these three vintages; 2019, 2013 and 2008 all produced excellent wines in their own right, they share a common thread – warm, dry seasons that resulted in small, but extremely high-quality yields with an outstanding ability to age. This is a rare opportunity to experience a unique collection of our acclaimed single-vineyard wines, that offers a rich taste of three vintages from our 150 years of Henschke family winemaking history," says Stephen Henschke.

Hill of Grace vineyardHill of Grace vineyard.

Stephen is a fifth-generation winemaker and the youngest son of Cyril Henschke. His partner in life and in wine is viticulturist, botanist, environmentalist, and inaugural inductee to the James Halliday Hall of Fame, Prue Henschke.

Stephen says the 2019 vintage wasn't an easy feat, but it was bolstered by Prue's unrivalled connection to the vines. "Her dedication to nurturing the land and regenerating our vineyards and soils with organic and biodynamic practices over the past forty years has been vital. Prue has dramatically improved the fruit quality as well as vine resilience to weather extremes."

"Although the yields were minuscule, the quality produced by these old vines shines through. Our love and nourishment in the vineyard has been returned in the wines," says Prue.

Prue and Stephen HenschkePrue and Stephen Henschke.

The Hill of Grace vineyard spans just four hectares of old-vine shiraz, its first vines were planted in 1860. The Mount Edelstone slopes cover 16 hectares, and were planted in 1912. Planted a century after the Hill of Grace's first vines, in the 1960s, were The Wheelwright and Cyril Henschke vineyards, which combine for a total of 4.8 hectares.

Stephen says the 2019 wines are comparable to the 1966, 1977, 1983, 1995, 2008 and 2013 vintages. "All of which were warm and dry seasons that produced small, but extremely high-quality yields."

"This year we celebrate Prue’s enduring commitment to the health of these vineyards, nominating the 2019 vintage as one graced by The Nurturer."

Dave Brookes' Henschke tasting notes

2019 Henschke Hill of Grace Eden Valley

2019 Henschke Hill of Grace Eden Valley

Henschke has deemed the 2019 release 'a vintage graced by the nurturer', a reference to Prue Henschke's work in the vineyards and relentless pursuit of perfection in the viticultural field. I used to live on the property between Hill of Grace and Mount Edelstone and have seen first hand the hard work and love given to these vines, so hats off to the nurturer. Again, tiny yields in 2019, but it is a beautifully detailed, layered wine – as expected from these gnarled ancestor vines (160 years old). It's seamless, with perfectly poised blackberry and dark berry fruits, five-spice, sage, softly spoken oak and the gentle tug of superfine, toothsome tannins. Lacy, mineral-laden acidity propels the wine forward and the finish is long, elegant and in perfect pitch. Grace by name, grace by nature. – Dave Brookes, Halliday Wine Companion, 99 points

RRP $975 | Drink to 2073

2019 Henschke Mount Edelstone 2019 Eden Valley

2019 Henschke Mount Edelstone Eden Valley

Shiraz from the esteemed 107-year-old single-vineyard in Eden Valley, farmed organically and biodynamically and matured in French (80/20 per cent new) and American (20 per cent) oak for 18 months. Tiny yields due to untimely weather events during budburst and flowering. Stephen mentions they had to send a search party out to find grapes, 5.5t is all; in the end picked before the Wheelwright and after Hill of Grace. But what a beautiful wine. Pure blackberry and black cherry, sage, pepper, rosehip, crushed stone, softly spoken cedar tones and liminal tobacco and pan juice glimpses. Superfine savoury tannins and a long draw on the graceful finish. – Dave Brookes, Halliday Wine Companion, 98 points

RRP $260 | Drink to 2053

2019 Henschke The Wheelwright Vineyard Eden Valley

2019 Henschke The Wheelwright Vineyard Eden Valley

Organic and biodynamically raised shiraz from the Henschke's Eden Valley property; matured in French and American oak for 18 months. An expressive offering from the low-yielding 2019 vintage that shows the trademark Henschke elegance. Supple blackberry and blueberry fruits with hints of fine spice, crushed herbs, sage, redcurrant, purple florals, cedar and a liminal glimpse of wintergreen in the background. Fine, powdered sandy tannins and lacy acidity – a simpatico base for the graceful fruits – travel across the palate, finishing long and true. – Dave Brookes, Halliday Wine Companion, 96 points

RRP $155 | Drink to 2040

2019 Henschke Cyril Henschke Eden Valley

2019 Henschke Cyril Henschke Eden Valley

From my own experience and from words uttered by many a producer, 2019 was a fine year for cabernet sauvignon in the Eden Valley. And indeed, from this low-yielding vintage the wine is 100 per cent cabernet sauvignon matured for 18 months in French oak hogsheads (32 per cent new). As is to be expected, it is a graceful wine with poised cassis tones and hints of flowering herbs, cedar, sage, fine spice, some distant spearmint, bay leaf and black olive. There is a touch of morello cherry as the wine fades with lovely fine-grained savoury tannin grip and a tail of spice and elegant black and red fruits. – Dave Brookes, Halliday Wine Companion, 97 points

RRP $180 | Drink to 2040

2008 Henschke Hill of Grace M&R Release Shiraz Eden Valley

2008 Henschke Hill of Grace M&R Release Shiraz Eden Valley

We are indeed lucky to get a 2008 Hill of Grace from the Museum & Rare program this year, which is largely due to the paltry volumes of the current 2019 wine (due to low yields). It was a stinking hot vintage in the Barossa. Prue Henschke had been farming the site biodynamically for a few years by that stage, employing composts and mulching practices that had a positive impact in a stressful, hot year. That and she got the grapes off Hill of Grace before the major heat event. It is in a terrific place with gentle red fruits and layers of complex fine spice, sage, leather, tobacco and intriguing tertiary characters coming into play along with gentle oak spice and a dab of milk chocolate. Comforting, graceful and long of finish. The interplay of characters is constantly evolving in the glass and it is in great form at this stage of its evolution. – Dave Brookes, Halliday Wine Companion, 98 points

RRP $1250 | Drink to 2043

2013 Henschke Mount Edelstone M&R Release Shiraz Eden Valley

2013 Henschke Mount Edelstone M&R Release Shiraz Eden Valley

A lovely Mount Edelstone release under Henschke's Museum & Rare program. From the famous 107-year-old single vineyard in the Eden valley. It's in a wonderful place with some light tertiary tones beginning to make themselves known in the form of gentle leather and tobacco notes that lie behind the elegant red and dark berry fruits. On a Zoom meeting as I tasted this wine, Stephen described the tannins as savoury and akin to a 'rollercoaster of tiny pebbles', which is a description that I love. It's a pleasure to see these museum releases, and this one is in a beautiful place.  – Dave Brookes, Halliday Wine Companion, 97 points

RRP $315 | Drink to 2040

The 2019 single-vineyard wines will be available through Henschke, fine wine retailers and restaurants from Wednesday May 1, 2024. For more information please visit henschke.com.au.

View all Henschke tasting notes.

Image credit: Henschke and Dragan Radocaj.