Henschke Hill of Grace 2015
I have awaited the release of Hill of Grace 2015 with great anticipation, ever since arriving at the vineyard half an hour before dawn, amidst gentle mist and the soft light of the full moon on the day of harvest, a week before Easter, just over five years ago. The fruit tasted textbook perfect that day, as it did six months later from barrel, when Stephen Henschke quietly declared it ‘one of those fairy-tale vintages that comes around every 10 or 20 years.’
A record-breaking coolest January in 11 years and a mild autumn gave birth to a Hill of Grace of particular elegance. Its greatness is declared not in depth of colour or might of flavour. A medium, perfectly penetrable red more akin to pinot noir than Barossa shiraz unashamedly declares its restraint. The inimitable fragrance and spice of this hallowed place is stamped with greater clarity and fragrance than ever in 2015. It is the signature of Hill of Grace, brimming bountifully with Chinese five spice, pot pourri, rose hip, sage, white pepper, blueberries and dark chocolate. Every detail is laced together eloquently with velvet fine tannins of a suppleness only possible from vines of such commanding maturity, yet with an endurance that will propel it for decades. 2015 sits confidently and resolutely alongside 2010 and 2012 as the greatest expressions of the modern era of this fabled and spiritual vineyard.
99 points. Drink 2020-2045.
To celebrate its release, it’s my great pleasure to rerelease People of the Vines Barossa Episode 6, telling the story of how a 160 year old legacy was brought to life in the harvest of Hill of Grace 2015.
And below is a gallery of photos that I shot while we were filming on the day of harvest – prefaced with a few from my tasting today! Click on each to view in high res.
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