Vintage: 2015

VintageProduct CodeFormatClosureAvailability
2015HE501T153 x 75VinolokAvailable
Producer

The Henschke family have been making wine at their estate in the Eden Valley since 1868, with fifth-generation winemaker Stephen Henschke taking over the winery in 1979. Together with his viticulturist wife, Prue, they have taken their two single vineyards, ‘Hill of Grace’ and Mount ‘Edelstone’ and transformed them into two of Australia’s most sought-after wines. Through a combination of Stephen’s winemaking and great viticulture from Prue, who has re-introduced native plants in their vineyards to improve biodiversity, they have built upon their inheritance and turned this traditional producer into one celebrated worldwide. The original 1860s grain barn at the family property in Keyneton, built from field stone and mud by first-generation winemaker Johann Christian Henschke, now houses the Henschke cellar door. The winery occupies the original wool shed, built next to the grain barn in 1952.

Henschke own three vineyards in the Eden Valley and one in the Adelaide Hills, all of which are farmed in line with biodynamic principles. The eight-hectare ‘Hill of Grace’ vineyard is situated in the historic village of Parrot Hill, four kilometres northwest of Henschke Cellars. First planted in 1860, it was purchased by second-generation Paul Gotthard Henschke in 1891. However, it was not until 1958 that fourth-generation winemaker Cyril Henschke made the first single-vineyard Shiraz bottling from the grapes grown here. ‘Hill of Roses’ is produced from a small selection of low-yielding, dry-grown Shiraz vines from the ‘Hill of Grace’ Vineyard. Planted as a nursery block in 1989, these vines are currently too young to be considered for inclusion in the ‘Hill of Grace’. Cyril purchased the nearby 16-hectare ‘Mount Edelstone’ vineyard in 1974, from which he had already been buying fruit and making ‘Mount Edelstone’ Shiraz for over 20 years. The 2017 vintage represents the 65th release of this unique wine, making it Australia’s longest consecutively made single-vineyard Shiraz.

In 1966, Cyril purchased 32 hectares of land on Cranes Range Road, two kilometres west of Henschke Cellars. Here, he planted the Henschke Eden Valley vineyard with predominantly Riesling and Shiraz, although other varieties, including Semillon, were added over the years. Today, the Riesling is the source of the ‘Julius’ Eden Valley Riesling and the Semillon goes into the ‘Louis’ Eden Valley Semillon. The ‘Wheelwright’ Shiraz, only released as a single vineyard Shiraz for the first time in 2015, comes from a 1.6-hectare plot in this vineyard. This is the family’s coolest, most southerly, north-facing site. Planted on sandy soils, not far from the north-western Adelaide Hills, the resulting Shiraz expression is very distinct.

Other parcels of Shiraz are blended with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc to make ‘Keyneton Euphonium’, which Jancis Robinson describes as “an Australian classic at a less than iconic price.” Cyril bottled his first Cabernet Sauvignon from this vineyard in 1976. This cool, elegant wine was named in tribute of Cyril when he passed away in 1979.

In 1981, Stephen and Prue realised the exciting potential of the Adelaide Hills region. They purchased a 13-hectare vineyard in Lenswood, covered in orchards, with beautiful steep slopes and stunning views towards the Eden Valley. They originally established this vineyard for research and development purposes, to influence the fruit quality in older Henschke vineyards. Various clones of numerous grape varieties were planted, including Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon. The fruit quality here led Stephen and Prue to incorporate wines from the ‘Lenswood’ vineyard into the Henschke range. Currently, the ‘Lenswood’ vineyard is undergoing regeneration after the devastating fires in December 2019.

In addition to their estate fruit, Stephen and Prue also buy fruit from growers with whom they’ve been dealing for decades. They use this to make their ‘Henry’s Seven’, a blend of Shiraz, Grenache, Mataro and Viognier, and the ‘Johann’s Garden’ Grenache, Mataro and Shiraz. ‘Peggy’s Hill’ Riesling takes its name from a local landmark at the top of the range between the villages of Eden Valley and Keyneton. It is produced from selected Eden Valley growers and displays similar characteristics to the ‘Julius’, yet in a softer and rounder, early drinking style.

Vineyards

The eight-hectare Hill of Grace vineyard is situated four kilometres northwest of Henschke Cellars beside the beautiful Gnadenberg Lutheran Church. ‘Gnadenberg’ means ‘Hill of Grace’ in German. First planted in 1860, it was purchased by second-generation Paul Gotthard Henschke in 1891, but it was not until 1958 that winemaker Cyril Henschke made the first single-vineyard Shiraz from the grapes grown here. The red-brown earth over a deep silty loam has excellent moisture-holding capacity for these old, ungrafted, dry-grown vines, which sit at an altitude of 400 metres. Organic and biodynamic practices in the vineyard are supported with undervine mulching and permanent cover crops.

Vintage

A traditionally wet winter, mild spring and excellent fruit set provided a great start to the 2015 vintage after four vintages with below average yields. The dry, warm and windy January, however, resulted in severe bushfires in the Adelaide Hills region, though thankfully well away from the Henschke property. Relief came with 60-75mm of rain and, with it, a record-breaking cold-spell. With the onset of veraison at the end of January, the rain was perfectly timed for the old dry-grown vineyards. The mild weather that followed from February through to April provided a fairy-tale vintage. The very mild, dry summer with no disease produced fruit with high natural acidity, incredible flavour and colour concentration. This 58th vintage (54th release) of Henschke Hill of Grace was handpicked from 17-26 March 2015; the final pick took place a week before the harvest moon of Easter.

Vinification

Henschke's 2015 Hill of Grace is made from 100% hand-picked, old-vine Shiraz. It was vinified in traditional open-top fermenters and aged in 86% French and 14% American (one-third new, two-thirds seasoned) oak hogsheads for 18 months prior to blending and bottling on-site.

Tasting Notes & Technical Details

The 2015 vintage of one of Australia's most collectible wines is headily scented with aromas of plum and blackberry supported by enticing inflections of star anise and exotic five spice. On the palate, it is characteristically full-bodied yet displays exquisite finesse with velveteen tannins and an enchanting texture. Its core of succulent wild berry fruit and liquorice is underpinned by fine, juicy freshness, framed by beautifully seasoned cedary oak; all the hallmarks of a superb wine with a promising future ahead.

Alcohol (ABV)

14.5%

Acidity

5.7 g/l

pH

3.44

Other wines from this producer

Producer
Wine
Product Code
Features
Style
Henschke`Cyril Henschke` Eden Valley Cabernet SauvignonHE502
R
Red
Factsheet
`Mount Edelstone` Eden Valley ShirazHE503
R
Red
Factsheet
`Keyneton Euphonium` Barossa Shiraz/Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot/Cabernet FrancHE504
Vegetarian
Vegan
Sustainable
Practising Organic
Practising Biodynamic
R
Red
Factsheet
`Johann's Garden` Barossa Valley Grenache/Mataro/ShirazHE505
Vegetarian
Vegan
Sustainable
Practising Organic
Practising Biodynamic
R
Red
Factsheet
`Henry's Seven` Barossa Shiraz/Grenache/Mataro/ViognierHE506
R
Red
Factsheet
`Julius` Eden Valley RieslingHE508
W
White
Factsheet
`Louis` Eden Valley SemillonHE509
Practising Organic
Practising Biodynamic
W
White
`Hill of Roses` Eden Valley ShirazHE515
Vegetarian
Vegan
Sustainable
Practising Organic
Practising Biodynamic
R
Red
Factsheet
`The Wheelwright` Eden Valley ShirazHE517
R
Red
`Peggy's Hill` Eden Valley RieslingHE519
Vegetarian
Practising Organic
Practising Biodynamic
W
White
Factsheet