Henschke will release the 2018 vintage of their single-vineyard wines on Wednesday 3 May including Hill of Grace, Hill of Roses, Mount Edelstone, The Wheelwright and Cyril Henschke.
Fifth-generation winemaker Stephen Henschke says the 2018 vintage was one “graced by wonder” and it celebrates several significant milestones for the family.
“The 2018 Hill of Grace marks 60 years since my father Cyril captured the first shimmering edition of Hill of Grace from the 1958 vintage,” he says.
“In 2018, we also celebrated 150 years of Henschke family winemaking.
“Nature collaborated too, delivering an exceptional season that reflects the inherent characters of this wondrous vineyard site and will be considered a standout of this decade.”
“The wines from 2018 have wonderful complexity, richness, depth and balance, an expressive sense of place, and fine and mature tannins.
“They are comparable to exceptional quality vintages such as 1982, 1990, 2002 and 2010, all from mild seasons that have shown excellent ageing potential in ideal cellaring conditions.”
Fourth-generation winemaker Cyril Henschke took a trailblazing leap of faith when he began crafting single-vineyard, single-varietal wines, going against the prevailing Barossa norm of making fortified or blended wines.
Following the success of his Mount Edelstone Shiraz, he turned his attention to the small planting of Shiraz lying opposite the Gnadenberg Lutheran Church and farmed by his brother, Louis.
“This congregation of ancient vines had waited in anonymity for 100 years before Cyril produced the first Hill of Grace Shiraz, a wine that would become recognised around the world,” Stephen says.
“Centenarian and ancestor vines provide the magical components in Hill of Grace, with the oldest vines now over 160 years old.
“Majestic and gnarled, they are dry-grown and naturally low yielding due to their age. They deliver berries of incomparable texture and complexity, which gives Hill of Grace its trademark elegance, intensity and finesse.”
In 1979, Stephen and his wife Prue, one of Australia’s most talented and dedicated botanically trained viticulturists, became the custodians of Cyril’s vineyards and vision, carrying on his legacy with the creation of three new single-vineyard, single-varietal wines: Cyril Henschke, Hill of Roses and The Wheelwright.
Over the past four decades, Stephen’s meticulous work in the winery, combined with Prue’s constant drive for improving the health of their vineyards with organic and biodynamic practices, has delivered a fresh depth and intensity to the Henschke wines.
Their passion for a more sustainable way of living seeks to restore balance to the natural environment, regenerate vineyard ecosystems and minimise harmful impacts to the earth.
“We see the nourishing of our land as a way of connecting healthy soils, healthy produce and healthy people,” chief viticulturist Prue Henschke says.
“We want to tread as lightly as possible on our land; land that has been nurtured by six generations of Henschke and is our past, our present and our future.”
Stephen adds, “Our vision for Henschke would not be complete without the expectation that future generations will perpetuate our beliefs that our vines should thrive in a healthy balance with our natural landscape; and that our historic, unique single-vineyard sites can inspire perfection and produce exceptional wines that are prized for their beauty and rarity.”
Henschke Hill of Grace 2018, Hill of Roses 2018, Mount Edelstone 2018, The Wheelwright 2018 and Cyril Henschke 2018 will be available through fine wine retailers, restaurants and the Henschke Cellar Door and website (henschke.com.au) from Wednesday, 3 May 2023.
Henschke Hill of Grace Eden Valley Shiraz 2018
Henschke notes: “Hill of Grace is produced from pre-phylloxera material brought from Europe in the mid-1800s. The original vines were planted around 1860 by ancestor Nicolaus Stanitzki, in rich alluvial soil in a shallow fertile valley just north-west of the Henschke family winery. The vineyard comprises of red-brown earth grading to deep silty loam and has excellent moisture-holding capacity for these dry-grown vines. Hill of Grace is a unique, delineated, historic site that lies opposite a beautiful old Lutheran church, which is named after a region in Silesia known as Gnadenberg, translating to ‘Hill of Grace’. Sixtieth anniversary and 57th release. RRP $950.”
Henschke Hill of Roses Eden Valley Shiraz 2018
“Hill of Roses is produced from a mass selection from the Grandfather vines in the Hill of Grace Vineyard, planted as a nursery block in 1989 by Prue Henschke. The planting is known as the ‘Post Office Block’ after the historic Parrot Hill Post Office ruins overlooking the vineyard. These vines were a mere 12 years old when the wine was first produced in 2001 and while the vines are too young to be considered for inclusion in Hill of Grace, the quality of fruit from this selection has produced a wine that warrants a separate bottling and limited release. Fifteenth release. RRP $455.”
Henschke Mount Edelstone Eden Valley Shiraz 2018
“Mount Edelstone has been crafted by the Henschke family for over 65 years now and is arguably the longest consecutively produced, single-vineyard wine in Australia. Planted in 1912 by Ronald Angas, a descendant of George Fife Angas who played a significant role in the founding of South Australia, the Mount Edelstone Vineyard comprises solely of Shiraz, which was unusual for its time. The unique geological make-up of deep red-brown clay-loam to clay results in low yields from the dry-grown, ungrafted centenarian vines. First bottled as a single-vineyard wine in 1952 by Cyril Henschke, it has become recognised as one of Australia’s greatest Shiraz wines. Sixty-sixth release. RRP $245.”
Henschke The Wheelwright Eden Valley Shiraz 2018
“The Wheelwright Shiraz expands on Cyril’s legacy and his belief in the outstanding quality of Eden Valley Shiraz. On the winery’s centenary in 1968, Cyril planted a small Shiraz vineyard in the cooler part of the Mount Lofty Ranges, in the central Eden Valley. It first became a source of Shiraz for his ‘Claret’ style wines and decades of patience have allowed these vines to develop their own fascinating character and complexity. As the vines approached 50 years of age in 2018, Stephen and Prue released the first vintage of this wine from the 2015 season to commemorate 150 years of Henschke family winemaking. Fourth release. RRP $150.”
Henschke Cyril Henschke Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
“This wine was named in tribute to fourth-generation winemaker Cyril Henschke (1924-1979), in recognition of his impact as one of Australia’s outstanding winemakers and a passionate pioneer of single-vineyard, single-varietal wines. The Cyril Henschke Cabernet Sauvignon was first produced as a single-vineyard wine in 1978, originally from vines planted by Cyril in 1969. Since the early 1990s the fruit has come from Stephen and Prue’s 1988 planting of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc in the same vineyard, and celebrates the incredible beauty that emerges from the vibrant rows of the north facing site. This wine is revered for its texture, depth, complexity and fine-grained tannins. Fortieth anniversary and 38th release. RRP $175.”