By Tam Allenby, Assistant Editor National Liquor News and Beer & Brewer
The 2012 vintage of Australia’s most famous single-vineyard wine, Henschke Hill of Grace, was released to market on Monday 1 May.
It is the first new vintage from the low-yielding single vineyard to be released in two years, after the disappointing season in 2011 when wet conditions meant that no Hill of Grace was able to be made.
The wine is crafted from a tiny four-hectare and historic dry-grown vineyard in the Eden Valley, where the gnarled vines are believed to be among the oldest producing vines in the world.
Fifth-generation winemaker, Stephen Henschke, says he was filled with joy when 2012 proved to be an exceptional vintage.
“We experienced mild weather throughout the growing season, with a slow ripening period that delivered lower yields and intense fruit flavours, great colour, high natural acidity and beautiful, mature and fine tannins.
“From my experience, the greatest wines we have made have been from vintages like this.”
Every vintage of Hill of Grace is a limited release, but some more so than others: just one barrel was produced in 2003 with extremely small vintages for 2013 and 2014. There was no vintage made in 1960, 1974, 2000 and 2011.
“Henschke Hill of Grace 2012 Shiraz is a captivating expression of this extraordinary vintage,” added Stephen Henschke.
“It has trademark alluring five spice, star anise and black peppercorn aromatics, with a palate of incredible length and purity wrapped by beautifully integrated layers of silky tannins and flavours that linger endlessly.”
This will also be the last year Henschke Hill of Grace will be taken to market by long-standing national distributor Fine Wine Partners following the cessation of this business.
“It has been an honour for Fine Wine Partners to represent Henschke and Henschke Hill of Grace in Australia,” said Chairman Rob Hirst.
“This wine deserves its reputation as one of the great wines of the world – it is without a doubt an Australian ‘grand cru’ – one Australians can be truly proud to call our own.”
Henschke will announce its new distribution plans in the coming months. Henschke Hill of Grace 2012 (RRP $825) is now available through fine wine retailers, restaurants and the Henschke website and cellar door.