1998 Henschke "Hill of Grace" Shiraz Eden Valley South Australia
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
It is hard to find a more compelling red than Henschke’s 1998 Shiraz Hill of Grace. Made from 100% Shiraz (from vines averaging 52-144 years of age), and aged in primarily new American and French oak for 18 months, it is unquestionably profound. Its dense ruby/purple color is followed by a gorgeous perfume of blackberries, graphite, and subtle wood. Dense and full-bodied yet extraordinarily well-defined and layered, it remains young and backward, with tremendous potential. It is the finest Hill of Grace I have ever passed over my palate and down the gullet. Anticipated maturity: 2006-2020+.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Bright red-ruby. Explosive if idiosyncratic aromas of tobacco, pepper, black olive, mocha and hot stones. Pungent and penetrating, with compelling flavors of raspberry, tobacco, black olive, dried rose, mocha, herbs and spices, plus a strong underlying minerality (I was variously reminded of Lafite, Haut-Brion and Ausone!). Suave and perfumed in the mouth; wonderfully ripe but dry. Finishes with noble tannins and great palate-staining length and grip. This wine is not for everyone-and a good thing, too, since it's extremely limited-but it certainly flipped my switch.
Wine & Spirits
*no tasting note given*
Hill of Grace has a smell that reminds me of my grandmother’s handbag--cloth, with a wooden handle,-- says Stephen Henschke. Strange but understandable. I thought it smelled like an odd but nice mix of green olive, eucalyptus and eggroll wrapper. It’s a beautiful wine, with a base of red plums on the palate, dusted with mulling spices. Finishes with a flourish of clay and chalk.
A rambunctious wine, brimming with personality. Round and earthy, with a distinct barnyard note that cuts through the rich black cherry, blackberry and leathery, leafy, almost rustic flavors that persist on the finish...
Still quite purple and youthful-looking. Intense, ripe, briary nose with some notes of a decongestant. Quite high-toned with decided lift. A real baby with extraordinary amounts of tannin tucked in beneath satin-smooth overlay of carefully vinified fruit. Very fine tannins and a very dry finish. 18.5/20 points.