Henschke Hill of Grace Eden Valley Shiraz 2018 IN BOND

henschke hill of grace - wimbledon wine cellar

Over 180 years ago, Johann Christian Henschke settled in the Eden Valley where he built his farm. When third generation, Paul Alfred Henschke took over the reins in 1914, the now famed Hill of Grace vines were more than 50 years old. The original vines were planted around 1860 on rich alluvial soil in a shallow fertile valley just north-west of the winery. Sitting at 400 metres above sea level, the 4 hectare Hill of Grace vineyard lies opposite the beautiful Gnandenberg Lutheran Church (‘Gnadenberg’ translates to ‘Hill of Grace’ in German).

Cyril Henschke made the first vintage in 1958 from handpicked grapes vinified in traditional open top fermenters. The site’s original Ancestors are now approximately 160 years old and remain the heart of Hill of Grace, along with a small selection of ungrafted Centenarians (vines over 100 years old), Survivors (vines over 70 years old) and Old Vines (over 35 years old) complete one of Australia’s most-celebrated wines. The wine was aged in oak hogsheads for 18 months, of which 20% was new and 80% seasoned (83% French and 17% American).

Stephen Henschke recently stated: ‘2018 was a year of wonder for several reasons. We celebrated 150 years of Henschke family winemaking and 60 years since Cyril captured that first shimmering edition of Hill of Grace. That year, nature collaborated too, delivering an exceptional season. The 2018 Hill of Grace sings with the rains that nurtured, the sun that warmed, and the nights that cooled. It reflects the inherent characters of this wondrous vineyard site with exotic spices, plush complex layers of fruit, pure fine acidity and long, velvety tannins.’

99 points - Tina Gellie, March 2023,Decanter.com: The 60th anniversary of Australia's most famous single-vineyard wine, whose oldest contributing patch – the 0.56ha Grandfathers – was planted an incredible 160 years ago. There can't be many wines whose inaugural vintage came from 100-year-old vines! 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. Named for the Gnadenberg Lutheran church which stands opposite the vineyard, itself named for the region in Silesia from which Johann Christian Henschke emigrated in 1841.

99 points - Matthew Jukes, April 2023,Club Oenologique: The 2018 vintage coincides with 150 years of Henschke family winemaking. This is immediately juicy and forward, then it regains its composure, remembers its origins and finishes closed and firm. This is a classic 2018 with a great fruit expression, yet the incredible concentration and inbuilt density of tannins are in perfect sync. The length is impressive, 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 in this wine. Only 20% new oak was used here; I suspect because the earth and spice notes are so prevalent in this vintage, a decision was made not to push them even harder by adding oak, and so it is a fascinatingly juicy wine.

99 points – Dave Brookes, March 2023,WineCompanion.au: The 60th anniversary of what is widely considered Australia's finest single-vineyard wine. Sometimes you've got to pinch yourself and ponder what a lucky existence this wine hack stuff is, sitting here in the Henschke cellar door having just tasted 26 vintages of Hill of Grace spanning back to 1958. 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. A classic!

98 points - Erin Larkin, April 2023,Wine Advocate: The Hill of Grace vineyard, in Eden Valley, comprises 13 separate blocks, six of which feed into the Hill of Grace Shiraz. The oldest block (0.56 hectares), known as 'Grandfathers', was planted around 1860. The other blocks were planted in 1910 (0.33 hectares), 1951 (1.08 hectares), 1952 (0.7 hectares), 1956 (0.88 hectares) and 1965 (0.57 hectares). The 2018 Hill of Grace Shiraz was matured in a combination of new (20%) and seasoned (80%) oak hogsheads (83% French, 17% American) for 18 months prior to blending and bottling. On the nose, the 2018 vintage assists this wine in speaking clearly of its regional location: raspberry and liquorice, coal dust, black tea and tobacco leaf. There are inflections of black truffle and bone broth, which always seem to emerge, however the wine is brighter and more focused than I have seen. It offers a beautiful, svelte display of fruit and tannin, with all things in harmony in the mouth. This is very long, as we would expect from the pedigree of this wine and the vineyard. It is concentrated and intense, sinewy, elegant and powerful—a wine for the future generation.

18.5 points - Max Allen, March 2023,JancisRobinson.com: Tasted in two different contexts, a few hours apart: first at the end of the vertical of Hill of Grace which stretched back to the 1958; then again, as the last wine in the line-up of new 2018s (Wheelwright, Mount Edelstone, etc). Coming after a cavalcade of developed, complex previous vintages – particularly the super-dense 2016 – the 2018 seemed refreshingly ‘elegant’, spicy and bright to smell, and intense but restrained and composed in the mouth. Tasting it straight after the Hill of Roses, by contrast, made its perfume seem a touch more subdued, but made you realise how much more depth, density, richness and sheer length it has in comparison to the younger-vine Shiraz from the same site. Either way, an exceptional vintage of the HoG.

18+ points - Jancis Robinson MW, March 2023,JancisRobinson.com: Mid lustrous, shaded crimson. Subtle nose of minerals and earth with quite a 'sharp' palate entry. Lots of ripe-but-refreshing fruit suggests there's hardly any tannin here at all. It's somehow more 'comfortable' and settled – less sharp – than Hill of Roses 2018, with notes of molasses but nothing heavy nor obviously sweet. Wonderfully long and refreshing. It does taste like a vineyard in a bottle! I'm sure Stephen H works awfully hard in the winery but this almost tastes as though he doesn't. Difficult to know how long this will still offer great drinking; the Henschkes suggest '30+ years from vintage'.

97 points - Angus Hughson, April 2023,Vinous: The 2018 Shiraz Hill of Grace is stunning from the get-go, boasting ethereal aromas that immediately draw you in, including mixed spices, damson plum, new leather, five-spice and old earth notes with a gravelly edge. Oak sits comfortably in the background with remarkable all-around composure. The immaculate palate showcases robust flavours and muscular tannins packed tightly together. The wine slowly builds in the glass to reveal layers of roasted meat and spice with exceptional palate tension and vigour to finish. The 2018 is so complete and destined for greatness.

“2018 was a year of wonder for several reasons. We celebrated 150 years of Henschke family winemaking and 60 years since Cyril captured that first shimmering edition of Hill of Grace.” -Stephen Henschke

The Henschke family has been making wine since Johann Christian Henschke planted his first vineyard in Barossa’s Eden Valley in the early 1860s, with the first commercial release in 1868. These wines were initially produced for family and friends, however, demand grew considerably.

Fourth generation winemaker Cyril Henschke pioneered single varietal and single vineyard wines in the 1950s. His greatest legacy being the creation of Hill of Grace and Mount Edelstone, wines made entirely from Shiraz from the Eden Valley that have become an integral part of Australia’s fine wine history. Today, fifth generation winemaker Stephen Henschke and his viticulturalist wife Prue are recognised around the world for their exceptional wines, innovation, and sustainability in the vineyard.

The Henschke family continue to craft their wines with a strong sense of place, according to organic and biodynamic farming paired with traditional red winemaking and meticulous oak ageing. The sixth generation, Johann, Justine and Andreas are all actively involved in the family business and are proud custodians of the Henschke vineyards, mindful of the need to nurture them for future generations.


A moderately wet winter combined with average spring conditions meant that vines grew well in the mild weather. Ideal flowering conditions in late spring/early summer led to the potential for near-average yields. Late December became warm and dry, ensuring healthy canopies with low disease pressure. The summer months of January and February were typically warm and dry, characterised by above-average overnight temperatures.  The old-vine vineyards coped well with the warm nights, their deep roots able to withstand the warming and drying effect on the topsoil, maturing the balanced crops as autumn approached. March and April provided light and warmth to the Eden Valley which led to full and balanced maturity being achieved across all grape varieties. With warm sunny days and cool nights, the dry autumn guaranteed that pristinely healthy grapes arrived in the fermenters.

The 2018 vintage will be considered a standout of the decade; recognised for complex wines with wonderful richness, depth and balance, an expressive sense of place and fine and mature tannins, with a likeness to exceptional quality vintages such as 1982, 1990, 2002 and 2010, all of which were mild seasons and have shown excellent ageing potential in ideal cellaring conditions.

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£1,500.00 a case (3 x 75cl)