Henschke Hill of Roses Shiraz 2018
Henschke-Hill-of-Roses-Shiraz-2018
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Henschke Hill of Roses Shiraz 2018

Sale price$495.00
Eden Valley, South Australia, Australia

Style: Red Wine

Variety: Shiraz

Closure: Vinolok

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Henschke Hill of Roses Shiraz 2018

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Burke Road
Camberwell VIC 3124
Australia

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Producer: Henschke

Country: Australia

Region: Eden Valley

Vintage: 2018

Critic Score: 98 and 18.5/20

Alcohol: 14.5%

Size: 750 ml

Drink by: 2045


The palate literally dances in the mouth, but does so with supreme elegance - James Halliday

The historic Hill of Grace Vineyard is without doubt Australia's most famous vineyard and was first planted in 1860 with pre-phylloxera shiraz vines brought from Europe. The vineyard is about 8 hectares in size and is divided into six distinct blocks of varying soils, vine ages and grape varieties. These blocks are vinified separately before a final blend is made prior to bottling.

There is also a 7th block of Shiraz planted in 1989 as a nursery block, known as Post Office Block Young, which is 0.94ha in size. At present the vines are too young to be considered for inclusion in the Hill of Grace vintages - as per the Barossa Old Vine Charter, an 'old vine' must be equal to or greater than 35 years of age. The quality of the grapes from the block, however, produced a wine that warranted a separate bottling and limited release under the Hill of Roses label. These vines were a mere 12 years old when the wine was first produced in 2001. Hill of Roses is named as a tribute to Johann Gottlieb Rosenzweig (German for 'rose twig'), a member of the early Barossa Lutheran community who settled at Parrot Hill in the Eden Valley. 

"The nose and the palate are totally aligned: red licorice, raspberries, crushed rocks, red velvet, sage, squid ink, aniseed/anise, quartz and brine. This is a sensational wine. This is texturally svelte and seamless (the nod to red velvet above is a textural observation). I love it. If ever I was going to fall for this wine, it would be here, in this clear-spoken, gracefully enunciated 2018 vintage."  Erin Larkin

"Deep ruby with ruby hues. Fragrant aromas of blackberry, wild red berries, blueberry, star anise and pepper, with hints of vanilla pod, sage, bay leaf, crushed herbs and cooking spices. The palate is rich and textural, with a vibrant core of blueberry, redcurrant and black cherry, supported by rosemary, thyme, anise, pepper and cedar, and beautifully balanced by lifted acidity, offering excellent depth and length, with amazingly fine velvety tannins. Matured in 25% new and 75% seasoned French oak hogsheads for 18 months prior to blending and bottling."  Henschke (Aug 2022)

Expert reviews

"A single 0.94ha block of shiraz, planted 1989. First made in 2001, then and now still too young for inclusion in the Hill of Grace. The perfumed bouquet of cherries and blood plum leads into a palate that literally dances in the mouth, but does so with supreme elegance. 14.5% alc, Vinolok. Drink to 2048."  James Halliday, The Weekend Australian - 98 points

"The nose and the palate are totally aligned: red licorice, raspberries, crushed rocks, red velvet, sage, squid ink, aniseed/anise, quartz and brine. There's the telltale black tea and minerality of the Eden on show, too. This is a sensational wine. This is texturally svelte and seamless (the nod to red velvet above is a textural observation). I love it. If ever I was going to fall for this wine, it would be here, in this clear-spoken, gracefully enunciated 2018 vintage."  Erin Larkin, Wine Advocate - 98 points

"The aromatics are the thing. They rise, swirl and play with the senses in dark rose petals, lilac, anise, a splash of riotous florals, joining bramble, dark cherry, sage, allspice. Free flowing, Hill of Roses presents a youthful, almost exuberant version of Hill of Grace with young vines lending a rare energy and forceful personality. Too young to be considered for inclusion in Hill of Grace, the young vines remain, nevertheless, a depositary of concentrated flavour and sophistication. Grown on what is described as the Nursery Block (planted 1989) on the Hill of Grace vineyard, it has to be acknowledged that the grapes and the wine have surely outgrown the nursery and are ready to play with the big boys and girls.

Hill of Roses stands alone with its joyous, aromatic-led personality, its warmth wrapped in dark fruits, earth and woodsy spices, its balance and its length. To borrow from the maker, a 'long, linear, cool line of tannin' makes for a relaxed and inviting wine. Drink: 2023-2038."  Jeni Port, Wine Pilot – 98 points

"2018 Roses is more serious, dryer, closed, and tense than I expected. With a more obviously spicy palate which features an overriding savoury theme, as opposed to a more fruit-ripe message, this is a curiously engaging wine. From a fruit point of view, the Shiraz tones are always more skewed to the red fruit spectrum versus Hill of Grace's black fruit stance, and this is, again, true in 2018. But in addition to the red spectrum, there are blueberry and plum hints, and coffee bean notes that bring more complexity to the fore, making this a delightful wine and one that will start to entertain all-comers early in its life."  Matthew Jukes - 18.5/20 points

"Prue has noted that the five-spice character found in Hill of Grace itself is now becoming evident in the Hill of Roses vineyard but notes that it took between 25 and 30 years before it became apparent. Deep, dark magenta, fragrant and exciting. There is an appealing purity here. Chocolate, black fruits, and tobacco leaves—and it does indeed have that spice note. The length is impressive, the acidity fresh, and the length is very good, too. A superb wine, with 20 years ahead of it."  Ken Gargett, The World of Fine Wine - 97 points

"Sourced from 29-year-old vines grown on a single block on the Hill of Grace vineyard; matured in French oak (25% new) for 18 months. A core of pure blackberry and dark plum characters leap from the glass along with hints of blackcurrant pastille, sage, bay leaf, dried meats, earth and a gentle violet note. A wonderfully balanced release with a pure, savoury fruit flow flecked with spice and gentle herbs on the finish. Powdered, granitic tannins frame the wine beautifully, finishing mineral-laden with crystal clear definition and impressive persistence. Drink by 2045."  Dave Brooks, Halliday Wine Companion - 97 points

"Deep and full, bold and youthful red with a good purple tint, the bouquet is highly floral and multi-layered, lifted and aromatic, with traces of lavender and various fragrant herbs, including sage and marjoram, and a left-field note of nutmeg (from oak?). Background smoky char-oak and gunpowder traces. The wine is lusciously full and fine-boned in the mouth with sneaky depth and concentration. The texture is finely woven and beautifully harmonious. More aerial and refined than the Hill of Grace, and a shade less powerful. Drink 2023-2038."  Huon Hooke, The Real Review – 96 points 

"Complex nose full of minty blackberries and blueberries. Spearmint, anise and licorice spices give a cool yet deep and "dark” tone to the nose. Almost rich, plush and pretty full but fresh on the palate, carried by svelte tannins that glide through to a super lengthy and nuanced finish. A little more vertical and powerful than Hill of Grace. Drinkable now, but will hold exceptionally well. Glass stopper.Zekun Shuai, JamesSuckling.com – 96 points

"Concentration and succulent. A dark and deep red of intense depth, stewed fruits, toasted hazelnuts, rose water elements, exotic spice, milk chocolate and licks of salt bush and bay leaf with piquant lavender lift – what an array of characters here! Wonderful texture, and with that depth, a grace, of course, that feels so even and long. Glorious stuff, in a riper, richer vein. Drink: 2026 - 2045."  Mike Bennie, The Wine Front - 95 points 

Hill of grace vineyard

Henschke Hill of Grace Vineyard

The historic Hill of Grace Vineyard is without doubt Australia's most famous vineyard and was first planted in 1860 with pre-phylloxera shiraz vines brought from Europe. The vineyard is about 8 hectares in size and is divided into six distinct blocks of varying soils, vine ages and grape varieties. These blocks are vinified separately before a final blend is made prior to bottling. The six blocks are:

Grandfathers - 0.69ha planted in 1860
Post Office Block 1 - 0.51ha planted in 1910
Post Office Block 2 - 0.57ha planted in 1965
Church Block - 0.74ha planted in 1952
House Block - 1.08ha planted in 1951
Windmill Block - 0.88ha in 1956

There is also a 7th block of Shiraz planted in 1989 as a nursery block, known as Post Office Block Young, which is 0.94ha in size. At present the vines are too young to be considered for inclusion in the Hill of Grace vintages - as per the Barossa Old Vine Charter, an 'old vine' must be equal to or greater than 35 years of age. The quality of the grapes from the block, however, produced a wine that warranted a separate bottling and limited release under the Hill of Roses label. These vines were a mere 12 years old when the wine was first produced in 2001.

Stephen & Prue

Stephen Henschke

Winemaker Stephen Henschke, fifth-generation family member and youngest son of Cyril Henschke, showed great interest in science and winemaking at an early age. With a wonderful family heritage of more than 140 years of grape growing and winemaking spanning five generations, this came as no surprise. He is proud that the Henschke name and reputation is inexorably linked with red wines in general and Hill of Grace in particular, but with winemaking in his lifeblood, he approaches all wine styles with the same depth of passion and commitment to quality.

Stephen has retained the traditional approach to red winemaking used by his forebears. They handled the wines gently, used minimal racking, low sulphur, and gentle fining and filtration. They took a puristic, holistic approach that had been passed down from generation to generation so his winemaking techniques are almost intuitive.  He keeps intervention to a minimum, favouring gentle extraction of his reds so as to retain freshness and subtlety, and applies Old World techniques to his New World white grapes for elegance and texture. At the '50 Years of Hill of Grace' celebration in 2008 when Stephen tasted every vintage – some for the first time – he was struck by how closely he was emulating his father's winemaking of the late 1950s and the 60s with his minimal intervention techniques.

Stephen is also mindful of his European roots and is a proud supporter of the historical language, food, religion and wine culture of his Silesian forebears still alive in pockets in the Barossa.

Stephen's support and contribution to the Barossa was acknowledged in 1984 when he was inducted into the Barons of Barossa wine fraternity, of which his father Cyril was a founding member.

Prue Henschke

Viticulturist, botanist and environmentalist Prue Henschke  manages their 105 hectares of vineyards in the Eden Valley and Adelaide Hills. With today's advanced viticultural practices the greatest focus at Henschke is given to the quality of fruit in the vineyard. The increase in quality of both the red and white wines, which has helped take this iconic wine brand to the next level, is largely attributed to the increase in fruit quality.

Although Prue didn't set out to work in the wine business, she has become a key figure in the evolution of Australian viticulture and wine. She has a commitment to restoring balance to the natural environment, minimising harmful impacts and to regenerating the Henschke vineyard ecosystems. This has seen her win numerous local and international awards.

Prue became part of the Henschke world when she married Stephen, a fifth-generation Henschke. And for over 30 years, she has been a true pioneer. Her influence in the vineyards has been a balancing act of respecting tradition and protecting history while making bold decisions to innovate and improve. She restructured the vineyards, introduced new trellis types and transformed soil management using composts and mulches, which has led to adoption of organic and biodynamic practices.

How has Prue managed to blaze new trails among precious, historic vineyards. It all comes down to science. Science is the link between the vines and the quality of the wines that come from it. And it's how Prue's world collided with the Henschke dynasty. Her early interest in science led her to study botany and zoology at Adelaide University in the early 1970s. There she met Stephen, a fellow science student. After graduating, the pair headed to Germany for two years, where Prue became involved in viticulture and plant physiology. She worked at the Geisenheim Institute Vineyards and volunteered on a project in the Botanic Institute at Geisenheim – an experience that sparked a lifelong passion and set her on the path to becoming a leading viticulturist.

After returning to Australia and studying Wine Science alongside Stephen, Prue gained more experience in viticultural research, before becoming a viticultural consultant. In 1980 she started working with Stephen, who had taken over as winemaker at Henschke. They bought an apple orchard in the Adelaide Hills, near where the very first Henschke vineyard had been planted in 1862, and converted it to a vineyard, creating a 'living research station' where they experimented and tested theories on cool-climate viticulture. This revolutionary research became vital in growing and improving cool-climate wine production in Australia.

In 1987, Prue took on her current role at Henschke. She not only manages over 100 hectares of vineyards but is custodian of precious old vines, some of which have been in the earth since the first days of the family estate.

Prue represents the pinnacle of viticulture in Australia. Her influence has reached cool-climate vineyards across the country, and in 2016 she was named Viticulturist of the Year at the Australian Women in Wine Awards. She is a highly respected voice in the Australian wine community and a strong campaigner for environmental issues. Prue is passionate about protecting the natural environment while growing grapes good enough to create Australia's best wine. And Henschke wines have never been better.

Reference material taken from: https://www.australianwine.com/en-AU/our-makers/prue-henschke

About the winery

Henschke Winery

Henschke is the best medium-sized red wine producer in Australia and is recognised as one of the world's great wine labels. It is home to Australia's most famous vineyard, the majestic Hill of Grace, which produces Australia's greatest single vineyard wine. Outstanding Shiraz, cabernet sauvignon and Rieslings are produced by the fifth and sixth generations of winemakers, with a focus on single-site expressions that tell the story of the land and the people that made them.

The Henschke family has been making wine since Johann Christian Henschke planted a small vineyard on his farming property at Keyneton in 1862. He was one of many Silesians who had fled their homeland in search of religious freedom. Johann Christian built a small two-storey cellar into the side of the hill and the first vintages of riesling and shiraz were released in 1868.

Each generation has built upon the foundations of Henschke. In more recent times, fourth-generation Cyril Henschke pioneered varietal and single-vineyard wines at a time when blended wines and fortifieds were in vogue. His greatest legacy was the creation of Hill of Grace and Mount Edelstone in the 1950s, single-vineyard shiraz wines from Eden Valley that have captured the red wine world's imagination.

Today, it is fifth-generation winemaker Stephen Henschke and his viticulturist wife Prue at the helm, passionately upholding the family name and reputation. This highly regarded team has won a multitude of awards that recognise the complementary nature of their roles and Henschke has gone from strength to strength over the past three decades under their guidance.

"Prue and I are the current 'keepers of the flame'. Just as earlier generations have done, we want to manage the vineyards and winery so they can be passed on to the next generation in better condition than we inherited them. The last 50 years have been an incredible journey for the Australian wine industry. Hill of Grace and Mount Edelstone are arguably the two oldest single vineyard wines produced in this country that tell the wine story of Australia. Our vision would not be complete without the expectation that future generations will uphold and perpetuate our belief that such ancient and unique single-vineyard sites can produce exceptional wines that are prized for their beauty and rarity."  

In recent years Stephen and Prue have welcomed next-generation family members into the business. Their son, Johann, has carried on the family winemaking tradition in his capacity as winemaker and viticulturist since 2013, as the fifth and sixth-generations transition through the period of the transfer of knowledge, skills, and traditions.

With many of the challenges for the next generation already well-documented, Johann expects that innovation and careful strategic planning will be crucial tools for him and his peers to utilise. Above all, continuing on the traditional winemaking techniques which the Henschke family have used for generations, and ensuring that Henschke continues to be nurtured in the same prudent way that it has always been, will allow it to be passed on to successive generations and to be held in the same high regard as it is today.

 Henschke Vineyard Map

 Henschke Vineyard Map

Wine region map of South Australia

South Australia

South Australian is responsible for more than half the production of all Australian wine. It is home to more than 900 wineries across 18 wine regions. The regions are Adelaide Hills, Adelaide Plains, Barossa Valley, Clare Valley, Coonawarra, Currency Creek, Eden Valley, Kangaroo Island, Langhorne Creek, McLaren Vale, Mount Benson, Mount Gambier, Padthaway, Riverland, Robe, Southern Fleurieu, Southern Flinders Ranges and Wrattonbully.

Many of the well-known names in the South Australian wine industry established their first vineyards in the late 1830s and early 1840s. The first vines in McLaren Vale were planted at Reynella in 1839 and Penfold's established Magill Estate on the outskirts of Adelaide in 1844.

South Australia has a vast diversity in geography and climate which allows the State to be able to produce a range of grape varieties - from cool climate Riesling in the Clare and Eden Vallies to the big, full bodied Shiraz wines of the Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale. Two of Australia's best-known wines, Penfolds Grange and Henschke Hill of Grace, are produced here. There is much to discover in South Australia for the wine lover.