Deep crimson with violet hues. Entrancing aromas of spicy star anise, black pepper, sage, bay and tarragon add complexity to blueberry, mulberry, blackberry and black plum, anise, violets and cedar. Concentrated flavours of spicy, crushed mulberry, blueberry, and black pepper are balanced by gentle acidity and velvety, layered tannins creating depth, structure and excellent length.
Buoyant, generous and impactful with superb density, vim and vigour. A very strong sub-regional expression that unleashes the atmospheric spirit of the Gnadenberg enclave of the Eden Valley.
The 2016 vintage began with well below-average winter rainfall, followed by a warm and dry spring, which enhanced flowering and set to give average to above-average yield potential. Low disease pressure was maintained by one of the hottest Decembers on record, though temperatures cooled down in the New Year and rainfall around veraison in late January brought relief to the dry-grown, old-vine Eden Valley vineyards. This was followed by further rainfall in early March which eased the stress on all varieties. The fruit matured with an earlier harvest, as predicted due to an early Easter. Open, light and airy vine canopies allowed for good flavour, sugar and colour and mature tannins to develop at harvest, which was overall characterised by average yields but very high quality.
"Flavours of chocolate, florals, black fruits, coffee beans, possibly a touch of five-spice? This has very fine tannins. Length which maintains its intensity. This wine surely has a good fifteen to twenty years ahead of it and is a really fine Hill of Roses. For me, 96 and that will surely rise over time."
"This is the best example of this wine I have seen from the time the first one was produced in 2001. Powerful and concentrated wine with notes of beef consomme and dark, plummy, blackcurrant fruit. There’s a heady lift of lavender on the nose, with traces of sage and tar. The palate length is exceptional. I suspect some might opt for this ahead of the Hill of Grace."
"Born of a single vineyard and it could be born of no other. Its flavour profile is unique. Pretty and perfumed but deep and brooding. Blackberries soaked with prunes, forest berries infused with mint, tobacco buried in earth, potpourri synched to the tannin. It’s a beautiful wine, calm, strong, generous, considered. The Henschke family have roamed the wines of this vineyard for so long that they’ve come to share attributes. The firm finish of this wine is something. The whole wine is."
"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."
"Deep crimson. Fresh blackberry, mulberry, espresso aromas with roasted chestnut, sage notes. Generous and inky with deep set blackberry, mulberry, roasted coffee flavours, underlying roasted chestnut vanilla oak notes, lovely mid-palate richness persistent fine looseknit chalky – al-dente tannins and integrated mineral acidity. Finishes slinky firm with plentiful sweet fruit notes. Buoyant, generous and impactful with superb density, vim and vigour. A very strong sub-regional expression that unleashes the atmospheric spirit of the Gnadenberg enclave of the Eden Valley. From 27-year-old “Post Office Block” vines, a subset of the Hill of Grace Vineyard."
"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..."
"Just two barrels of Shiraz are sourced from Post Office Block 3: 1,000 rows of the Hill of Grace vineyard, planted to heritage cuttings in 1989. It may not yet have the fruit definition or refinement of Hill of Grace, but Hill of Roses oozes with personality. Inky, sleek black fruit is nuanced by intriguing salted liquorice, black pepper, iodine, dried mint, baking spices, mulch, roast chestnut and pomegranate syrup, supported by layered tannins. Pronounced lavender notes emerge with time in the glass. A singular slice of history."
"...The overriding sense of red rose perfume is insane and the fruit is refreshingly pure and silky, too. ...Planted in 1989 and with a first vintage release in 2001, this wine is certainly into its stride and I feel that at this relatively youthful stage of its life, and in a vintage like 2016 which brings a degree of composure and gravitas to proceedings, this is an extra special Hill of Roses. Aside from the overriding rose petal perfume, there is a musky five-spice note which cuts through with savoury élan. Beneath the aromatic display, the fruit majors on mixed black and red berry notes and this is another differing factor from purely black-fruited Hill of Grace. I have not had the pleasure of tasting many vintages of Hill of Roses, but on this showing, it is a mesmerising and all-encompassing wine.”
"So fragrant and lively at five-years-old, it pulsates with life. Is it the power of suggestion but are there dark rose notes amongst the violet and floral aromatics? Maybe the mind is playing tricks with this wine. If it is, it’s not a bad trick to play. Alluring aromas here of turned earth, briar, black fruits, port wine dark jelly, anise, and baking spice. A balance of sweet shiraz fruit intensity, a smidge of the savoury and a lifted, aromatic prettiness and delicacy. Oak and tannins fully absorbed. A warm and embracing but also substantial shiraz that will age a treat."
"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..."
"Deep ruby-red colour with tints of purple, and a glorious bouquet of mixed dried herbs and earthy, ironstone, licorice and undergrowth complexities. The wine is full-bodied and has lovely soft tannins with a satiny texture, the finish rolling on long, satisfying and harmonious."
"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."