The Henschke family will globally release the highly anticipated 2018 vintage of their single-vineyard wines on Wednesday, 3 May 2023. This prestigious collection includes Hill of Grace, Hill of Roses, Mount Edelstone and The Wheelwright, as well as the acclaimed Cyril Henschke.
The 2018 vintage, according to fifth-generation winemaker Stephen Henschke was one ‘graced by wonder’, and it celebrates several significant Henschke milestones.
“The 2018 Hill of Grace marks 60 years since my father Cyril captured the first shimmering edition of Hill of Grace from the 1958 vintage. In 2018, we also celebrated 150 years of Henschke family winemaking. Nature collaborated too, delivering an exceptional season, that reflects the inherent characters of this wondrous vineyard site and will be considered a standout of this decade,” says Stephen.
The wines from 2018 have wonderful complexity, richness, depth and balance, an expressive sense of place, and fine and mature tannins. They are comparable to exceptional quality vintages such as 1982, 1990, 2002 and 2010, all from mild seasons that have shown excellent ageing potential in ideal cellaring conditions.”
Fourth-generation winemaker Cyril Henschke took a trailblazing leap of faith when he began crafting single-vineyard, single-varietal wines, going against the prevailing Barossa norm of making fortified or blended wines. Following the success of his Mount Edelstone Shiraz he turned his attention to the small planting of shiraz, lying opposite the Gnadenberg Lutheran Church and farmed by his brother Louis. This congregation of ancient vines had waited in anonymity for 100 years before Cyril produced the first Hill of Grace Shiraz, a wine that would become recognised around the world.
“Centenarian and ancestor vines provide the magical components in Hill of Grace, with the oldest vines now over 160 years old. Majestic and gnarled, they are dry-grown and naturally low yielding due to their age. They deliver berries of incomparable texture and complexity, which gives Hill of Grace its trademark elegance, intensity and finesse,” says Stephen.
In 1979, Stephen and his wife Prue, one of Australia’s most talented and dedicated botanically trained viticulturists, became the custodians of Cyril’s vineyards and vision, carrying on his legacy with the creation of three new single-vineyard, single-varietal wines: Cyril Henschke, Hill of Roses and The Wheelwright.
Over the past four decades, Stephen’s meticulous work in the winery, combined with Prue’s constant drive for improving the health of their vineyards with organic and biodynamic practices, has delivered a fresh depth and intensity to the Henschke wines. Their passion for a more sustainable way of living seeks to restore balance to the natural environment, regenerate vineyard ecosystems and minimise harmful impacts to the earth.
“We see the nourishing of our land as a way of connecting healthy soils, healthy produce and healthy people. We want to tread as lightly as possible on our land; land that has been nurtured by six generations of Henschke and is our past, our present and our future,” says Prue Henschke, chief viticulturist.
“Our vision for Henschke would not be complete without the expectation that future generations will perpetuate our beliefs that our vines should thrive in a healthy balance with our natural landscape; and that our historic, unique single-vineyard sites can inspire perfection and produce exceptional wines that are prized for their beauty and rarity,” adds Stephen.
Henschke Hill of Grace 2018, Hill of Roses 2018, Mount Edelstone 2018, The Wheelwright 2018 and Cyril Henschke 2018 will be available through fine wine retailers, restaurants and the Henschke Cellar Door and website (henschke.com.au) from Wednesday, 3 May 2023.
HENSCHKE HILL OF GRACE EDEN VALLEY SHIRAZ 2018
“Beautifully balanced with voluminous blackberry, mulberry, elderberry roasted chestnut flavours, lovely fine grained and loose knit tannins, superb volume, and integrated acidity. Finishes firm and minerally long. A superb young wine. Destined to become a classic vintage.”
𝟭𝟬𝟬 𝗽𝗼𝗶𝗻𝘁𝘀 – Andrew Caillard MW, The Vintage Journal
“Inky plum colour, the deepest of the Henschke single vineyard lineup for this iconic wine. Hang out with the aromatics before even heading in for a sip, because they are beautiful, with a hit of star anise, fennel and white pepper. On the palate, you get rosebud, peony, blackberry, redcurrant and slate, all revving up and lifting off. This just tingles with fine tannins and keeps you fully engaged.”
𝟭𝟬𝟬 𝗽𝗼𝗶𝗻𝘁𝘀 – Jane Anson, Inside Bordeaux
“The focus and structure will see the wine sail into the future. A profound wine of finesse and ethereal class. Well cellared bottles will easily see out forty or fifty years. And blossom over that time.”
𝟭𝟬𝟬 𝗽𝗼𝗶𝗻𝘁𝘀 – Ken Gargett, WinePilot
“As always, it’s a powerful, muscular wine built for the long haul, showcasing silky but structured tannins, fresh acidity, and concentrated, complex yet graceful flavours of ripe blackberry and boysenberry, lighter red and blue fruits, earthy beetroot, peppery cured meat and an exotic, herbal incense note.”
𝟵𝟵 𝗽𝗼𝗶𝗻𝘁𝘀 – Tina Gellie, Decanter
“This is a classic 2018 with a unique fruit expression, yet the incredible concentration coupled with the inbuilt density of tannins is in perfect synch. The length is impressive, too, and the fruit character is kept up from start to finish, and while the earth, five spice and pepper notes seem to sit back a little in the glass, they are buried deep down in this wine.”
𝟭𝟵.𝟱+/𝟮𝟬 – Matthew Jukes, MatthewJukes.com
“It opens with gloriously heady scents of wild herbs, spice and pepper, thence flawlessly balanced dark berry fruits, velvet tannins and quicksilver acidity. It’s not often a red wine with a 30-plus-year future is ready for consumption from day one.”
𝟵𝟵 𝗽𝗼𝗶𝗻𝘁𝘀 – James Halliday, The Weekend Australian
“Subtle nose of minerals and earth… Lots of ripe-but-refreshing fruit suggests there’s hardly any tannin here at all… Wonderfully long and refreshing. It does taste like a vineyard in a bottle!”
𝟭𝟴+/𝟮𝟬 – Jancis Robinson, JancisRobinson.com
“…refreshingly ‘elegant’, spicy and bright to smell, and intense but restrained and composed in the mouth … an exceptional vintage…”
𝟭𝟴.𝟱/𝟮𝟬 – Max Allen, JancisRobinson.com
“A superb and harmonious Hill of Grace with wonderful complexity on the nose that keeps bringing you back to the glass. Intense, lush and concentrated… Super silky and svelte tannins glide through the even and cohesive palate.”
𝟵𝟵 𝗽𝗼𝗶𝗻𝘁𝘀 – Zekun Shuai, James Suckling
“Grace by name, grace by nature, it is an elegant, beautiful wine, tannin–acid architecture on point, the fruit depth is just stunning, dotted with five-spice, sage, pepper, charcuterie, crushed quartz and the most lovely, kinetic tannin structure. Finishes with great sustain, harmony and grace. Voluminous and complex, with amazing fruit density and just a complete wine.”
𝟵𝟵 𝗽𝗼𝗶𝗻𝘁𝘀 – Dave Brookes, Halliday Wine Companion
“One of the most exquisitely elegant and stylish of any Hill of Grace I have tasted. There is a beautiful purity of minerally fruit augmented with a mix of sage and the dried herbs. It is bright and alive with vibrant and elevated palate. The balance and poise are perfect, and this is a wine that will handle many years to reach its best.”
𝟵𝟵 𝗽𝗼𝗶𝗻𝘁𝘀 – Ray Jordan, The Western Australian
“The fruit soars in blackcurrant pastille, black fruits, briar, earth, bramble, toasted spice, supported by – once again – the most magical and lifted floral aromatics in violet and rose. A fine web of tannins offers a deeper insight, one that is dense and firm, built to last. The word on the palate is elegance.”
𝟵𝟵 𝗽𝗼𝗶𝗻𝘁𝘀 – Jeni Port, Winepilot
“The 2018 vintage was a beauty: warm, largely free from disease pressure and responsible for a suite of wines across the region that still today speak of vitality, energy and grace. It will go down as one of the greats of the past decade and likely more and, for me, is on par with the great 2015.”
𝟵𝟴 𝗽𝗼𝗶𝗻𝘁𝘀 – Erin Larkin, The Wine Advocate