TN: 1994 Henschke - Mount Edelstone, Hill of Grace, Cyril

Nice chance to line these three up from a great vintage over a long dinner. All three wines poured together. The note just go to show there’s only good bottles, with the HoG seeming the weakest and the Cyril with the best potential. Suits me - I wasn’t exactly looking for reasons to buy HoG again at today’s stoopid prices :slight_smile:

Henschke Mount Edelstone 1994 (Shiraz, South Oz)
Big nose of brambly fruit and some leather. The same sort of color as the HoG, perhaps a little more purple remaining at the edges. It’s a lot of fun to keep sniffing; never mind the differences between patagonian wolfberry and goji - what matters is that it moved around nicely, even showing some syrah-like band aids. Suggestions of a bit of VA and there is heat on the palate - only to a flaw level for those very sensitive I suspect. Lovely creamy texture, flavours well integrated and not too sweet at all. Fresh coffee and spices come over to say hello and huddle over the bbq. At peak for me. 91

Henschke “Cyril” Cabernet Sauvignon
This one is youngest looking of the lot. Nose is more restrained than either, actually quite reminiscent of ripe year bdx. Minus the violets. It has the graphite and perhaps some other flowers, actually smells of Cab Sauv so that’s good. Really tasty too - largely primary but with resolved tannins. There’s layers to the onion, think Jaffas but instead of orange on the outside it’s small berries, instead of sugar next it’s graphite, instead of more sugar next it’s blood-drenched pot pourri, and instead of chocolate in the middle it’s, well, a pebble. Great balance. Yum and will probably keep well another decade or so. 93

Henschke Hill of Grace (Shiraz, South Oz)
A detailed color compare suggests this is darker in the middle than either of the others, but it has the most bricking at the edges. Nose starts of cooler but along the same lines as the MtE. Coffee suggestions strut through after a while (less the fresh, more yesterday’s grounds) and are not entirely welcome. But then they are considerate enough to bring some of their stewed plum and strawberry friends - while these are not exactly welcome either, they are well-behaved, sitting very quietly in the background. Tiny crushed ripe berries is what I immediately think of the taste - including some freshness from seeds. A bit awkward on the finish, maybe a touch of heat again. Stewy and Coffee come knocking again just as the party gets interesting. More “grainy” than “creamy”. Ok, re-reading the note it’s like I’ve only focused on negatives, but it was actually quite good. But not great. 90

Strange the 94 HoG I had a few years back was black and unyielding. Very closed and brooding I think I described it as. What was the bottle’s provenance?

All three with same provenance - perhaps an odd bottle, perhaps an awkward phase and showing, or perhaps just not that great a wine for my tastes

PS: same provenance being stored and cellared since release

While I know some folks like this vintage, its never been my favourite. I feel they lost their way on Mt Ed and HOG between 92 and 01, with brett being part of the problem. They are superb before and after.


Mike, spot on, although 93 Mt Edelstone is one of my all time favs.

I’ve not had a problem with Brett yet after many mid90s MtEs, perhaps good fortune. I had felt an unwelcome change in style from about '98 (plus higher prices) so basically stopped buying.