It's been worth the wait, and then some, for this is a flawless Hill of Grace. It's an old cliche, but it's unavoidable: it is the ultimate iron fist in a velvet glove. While the fruit remains supreme, there are savoury tannins to support the 50-year cellaring potential of the wine. It is bottled under screwcap, not the elegant Vino-Lok of past vintages, because you want the most secure closure for ultra-long cellaring. The wine? Perfect colour, fragrant dark cherry/berry aromas and flavours, positive tannin and French oak support, great aftertaste.
Medium to deep garnet colored, the 2012 Shiraz Hill of Grace is a little reticent on the nose to begin, opening out to a somewhat paradoxically tantalizing black forest cake, beef dripping, fertile loam and tree bark nose with hints of black pepper, Marmite, bay leaves, eucalyptus, licorice and baker’s chocolate. The medium to full-bodied palate is a wonderfully intricate mélange of mineral, savory, dark fruits and spice layers, framed by velvety tannins and refreshing acidity, finishing epically. This is a truly great Hill of Grace that has just entered the first stage of its drinking window and should continue to develop beautifully over the next 25+ years. (LPB)
One of the great iterations of this regal single site wine. Very spicy, dried ground baking spices on the nose as well as dried sage leaves and other roasting herbs and a kind of wet chalky element too. Not the saturation and swagger of 2010 or 2009, a very tightly cut palate that's contained and reserved. Plenty of fine layers here and the sustained length is a real thing of marvel. The nose has all the blackberry and dark cherry fruits on offer with a wealth of fresh-roasted coffee, plums and blackberry. Tight and contained, real elegance with power and a long, fresh and even-handed finish. Best give this some time to fill out. Will be complete around 2025 and historic tastings would suggest it will really peak around 2035.
This is wonderfully harmonious, refined and elegant, blending a supple, silky texture with a profound level of detail. Aromas of mahogany, cedar, juniper and black truffle mingle with a core of bright cherry and cranberry flavors, gaining momentum and traction on the epic finish. Shiraz. Drink now through 2040. (MW)
From the relatively cooler climes of Eden Valley, Henschke’s most famous wine focuses on expressing the unique terroir of its 10 acres of 150 plus year old vineyards rather than on power, oak and extraction. This translates to savory and earthy secondary characters at the fore, highlighting herbal notes with licorice, currants and cocoa powder. The palate is silky and savory, and while the toasty oak notes are apparent, they’re kept in check with wonderfully balanced acidity. Approachable now, it will morph into a thing of stunning beauty with time. Drink now–2037. *Cellar Selection* (CP)
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2013 Leeuwin "Art Series" Cabernet Sauvignon Margaret River Western Australia (Elsewhere $55)