Shiraz Eden Valley South Australia
A growing season which proved too hot and dry for most vineyards across South Australia, budburst and fruit set were a disappointment, bringing softer yields which continued to diminish throughout the summer. The Henschke wines from 1981 stood out brilliantly, as traditional viticulture and generations of accumulated skill make an essential contribution. Hill of Grace was spared the excesses ofe vintage, yielding exquisite grapes with ripe tannin levels, ideal for flavour development. A genuine, but rare class effort from the vexed 1981 vintage.
The various old vine blocks of Shiraz at Hill of Grace are picked at different times according to ripeness and maturity, to be treated as individual lots. Keeping parcels separate allows for variations of soil types, vigor and age of vines, all of which produce different profiles which become a part of the completed wine. In some years, vines gowing on the ancient Grandfathers block, planted to very deep soils, can have quite big bunches and big berries due to moisture retention. The fruit of House Block, which can be picked anywhere from one to three weeks earlier, can be rather small and the berries quite tiny. Segregation of parcels from picking to assemblage, represents the ultimate in site selection.