Henschke `Hill of Grace` 2016 named Best Red in Decanter's Wines of the Year 2021

Decanter has revealed their Wines of the Year list in the latest (February 2022) issue of the magazine, and we are delighted to see HenschkeRaventós i Blanc and Morris of Rutherglen included in the 51-strong line-up.

Decanter World Wine Awards Regional Chairs, key contributors and Decanter staff were asked to nominate the "three [classic, offbeat and value] wines that most impressed them during 2021". The 126 nominated wines were then blind-tasted and ranked by a trio of judges: Michelle Cherutti-Kowal MW, Matt Walls and Stefan Neumann MS.

The 'Best Red' and overall highest-scoring wine of the tasting with 99 points on average is the Henschke `Hill of Grace` Eden Valley Shiraz 2016 (on allocation only). Stefan Neumann MS describes the wine as "perfection in a glass", adding that "this is the first time I've ever given 100 points!"

The Raventós i Blanc Mas del Serral 2009 magnum (limited availability) and Morris of Rutherglen Classic Liqueur Rutherglen Muscat NV also feature among the 27 wines scoring 96 points or above. The former is praised for its "serious depth and complexity", while the latter is "silky on the palate...[with a] never-ending layered finish."

The full Decanter Wines of the Year list is published in the February issue of the magazine, with more details on all the wines nominated and tasted in the Classic, Offbeat and Value categories (including Capezzana, Cullen, Dominio do Bibei, S.C. Pannell, Stopham Estate and Thorne & Daughters as below) available on Decanter.com/Premium.

Wines nominated and tasted in the 'Classic' category

Henschke, `Hill of Grace` Eden Valley Shiraz 2016, Australia
99 points - Best Red

Stephen and Prue Henschke are the fifth generation in charge of Henschke’s highly regarded wines, with a focus on purity and terroir, using traditional winemaking techniques. Hill of Grace is Henschke’s most renowned vineyard, producing wonderful Shiraz from just 4 hectares, with the first vines planted here in 1860. Tina Gellie
Lots of black fruit with a hint of dried herbs. Oak spice gently wraps around the fruit, tannins firm but fine grained. Lovely wine. Michelle Cherutti-Kowal MW
Elevated dark fruit with spice, chocolate and dried flowers. So inviting. Perfect execution of aromas and flavours. Perfection in a glass. This is heaven on earth. Stefan Neumann MS
Polished leather and menthol, this has a sense of measure and elegance. Generous, silky, rounded. Fruity but not sweet. A very long finish, it’s almost endless. Matt Walls
(On allocation only. Please speak with your sales representative.)

Raventós i Blanc, Mas del Serral 2009 (Magnum), Spain
96 points

This has a distinctive aromatic character of apples, honey and biscuits with ripe lychees and fresh melon scents. There’s a soft fizz on the palate accompanied by a crisp vibrant acidity. Serious depth and complexity here, with layers of flavour.
(Limited availability. Please speak with your sales representative.)

Capezzana, `Villa di Capezzana` Carmignano 2018, Italy
93 points
Concentrated nose of red and black fruits with hints of gentle baking spices and notes of dried mushrooms. Very elegant texture with velvety tannins. 

Wines nominated and tasted in the 'Value' category

Morris of Rutherglen, Classic Liqueur Rutherglen Muscat NV, Australia
96 points

Perfumed nose, full of caramelised sweet nuts, toffee, succulent dates, prunes and molasses. Silky on the palate with a line of orange zest-like acidity balancing its viscous texture. Never-ending layered finish.

Cullen, `Cullen Vineyard` Margaret River Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon 2017, Australia
93 points
Delicate floral expression with minty undertones, nettles and yellow apples with waxy nuances. Harmonious and crisp on the palate. 

S.C. Pannell, Adelaide Tempranillo/Touriga 2018, Australia
93 points
High pinched perfume and peppery nose with gamey nuances and jammy red fruits. Great concentration and freshness, firm tannins. 

Thorne & Daughters, `Wanderer's Heart` Cape Red Blend 2020, South Africa
91 points
Ripe red and black cherries with gamey notes. Spicy oak on the palate with a firm acidity and tannic structure.

Wines nominated and tasted in the 'Offbeat' category

Dominio do Bibei, `Lapola` White Ribeira Sacra 2019, Spain
93 points
Appealing nectarines on the nose with scents of golden apples, citrus, melon and hints of blossom. Tangy on the palate, round and creamy. 

Stopham Estate, Pinot Gris 2020, England
92 points
Aromatic and expressive, showing notes of ripe apple and pear, hints of apricots and grapes. Soft acidity and nice mouthfeel.

Pictured above: Henschke's `Hill of Grace` Vineyard