Henschke Hill of Roses Shiraz 2016
Once it seemed to me that this was very much a unicorn wine. One heard of it but almost never saw it. Stephen sees it as something to reward loyal cellar door customers and a few on-premise sites. It is basically Hill of Grace in waiting. This comes from the vines in the Hill of Grace vineyard which have not yet attained that status, largely because of age – these vines are around three decades old, still considered too young, though it can’t be long before they ascend. As Stephen says, the tasting bench will tell the tale. The day they look at a sample, have no doubt that it belongs in Hill of Grace and discover it to be from the ‘Roses’ section, is the day that they will know that these vines can contribute to Hill of Grace.
This vintage has some serious concentration. Even a touch burly. Ripe and plush – it does seem that Stephen’s thoughts on the 2016 vintage being a little more plush than some are spot on.
Flavours of chocolate, florals, black fruits, coffee beans, possibly a touch of five-spice? This has very fine tannins. Length which maintains its intensity. This wine surely has a good fifteen to twenty years ahead of it and is a really fine Hill of Roses. For me, 96 and that will surely rise over time.
Worth noting that there would be very few wineries in Australia, indeed anywhere in the world, who would not be proud to present a wine like this, or Mt Edelstone, as their flagship. And yet here, they all fall in the immense shadow of Hill of Grace.