TN: 1998 Henschke Shiraz Hill of Grace (Australia, South Australia, Barossa, Eden Valley)

Drunk at the monthly WIMPS lunch at the Ledbury, in London.

  • 1998 Henschke Shiraz Hill of Grace - Australia, South Australia, Barossa, Eden Valley (1/26/2012)
    Lighter crimson. Nose strikingly reminiscent of a Bloody Mary, with prominent celery and elements of tomato and spices. The fruit is dark, in the blueberry/blackberry range, but with no perceivable sweetness. In the mouth it’s refreshingly light-bodied but with palpable tannin. At least in a flight with four other Australian Shirazes, this wine feels admirably austere: its discipline makes me think of a harsh, scolding German schoolteacher. Definitely an Old World style. But in the end I’d say it was more impressive than enjoyable. (91 pts.)

Posted from CellarTracker

Does anyone think this wine is near the level of the better competitors at its $500 price point?

Thanks for the note - I had one years back, and from your description, it does not seem to have moved at all. I particularly liked the harsh, scolding German schoolteacher description.

I handed all my 1998 Henschke Mt Edelstones back to the winery and had them swapped with the current vintage no questions asked. There was a brett problem and a rumor of poor storage.

I never bought the 98 despite the hype. There are fantastic bottles and there are average bottles. Something really went wrong at Henschke in 98.

I have stopped buying HofG as it is so expensive and the Henschke premium never sees a discount abroad. That is, on international markets, where the absurd local Australian wine taxation of around 50% won’t apply and should see the wine at Chave pricing. It is an exceptional wine and certainly worthy of the same pricing as Chave.

Here’s a tip. Mt Edelstone can show better than HofG at different stages of its evolution and is a fifth of the price. And I believe Mt Edelstone is getting better and better.