Henschke Hill of Grace

The scorching heatwave of January and early February played out differently for Hill of Grace than it did for much of South Australia, as this vineyard had not yet gone through veraison. The character of the vintage thus reflects more of the cool conditions of the remainder of the season, and Stephen Henschke compares the result with the intense and long-maturing 2005. To me, there is an immediacy, a generosity and a fruit plumpness to 2009 that promises medium- if not long-term potential, yet in every way fine and focused. A wonderfully exotic, characteristic and inimitable Hill of Grace, laced with signature notes of blueberries, black pastilles, curry, exotic five spice, dried sage and savoury hints of game. It’s rich, voluptuous, fleshy, even creamy, layered with sweet berry compote fruits and mixed spice of grand proportions, exotic, cuddly and generous, yet well poised. Tannins are firm and velvet-fine, promising grand longevity, supported by creamy, milk chocolate oak. $595 direct and at The Museum Wine Shop.