Always a blended wine, both in terms of region and the sometimes inclusion of less than 15% cabernet sauvignon (this vintage 4%), and made in the polar opposite style to Grange, matured in very old, large oak vats. I doubt it will ever be graced with a bin number. Perhaps it's simply the vintage, but the back-palate and finish are at odds with the rest of the wine, and most prior vintages, in particularly the superb '12.
Many consider Penfolds St Henri to be the red wine drinkers red wine in the impressive Penfolds Luxury Release. The traditional handing of this iconic wine first vinified in 1957 includes the maturation in 50+ year old seasoned oak vats for over 12 months imparting an elegance and femininity not usually associated with Penfolds. The St Henri is a wine of slight difference to normal in that it is slightly closed upon release, hiding away some of that sumptuous flavour and velvetiness it is famous for. What is present however are slightly earthen notes of dried spice, olives and espresso that sit beautifully over a smooth and effortless palate of ripe fruit reminiscent of a delicate fruit cake. While needing a little time in the cellar, don't wait too long as this St Henri will look its best in 12-15 years or so.
Awards and Accolades
95 Points - Campbell Mattinson, The Wine Front "The stewed plums, the fresh boysenberry, the hint of leather, the general downplay of oak. It sits there, comfortable in its own skin, pretty much immune to the traffic of time. Move past the aromas with this release though and we see a fair bit if grunt; some meaty characters, a deep set of plums, almost a ferrous character, certainly peppercorns, florals. There’s a ramp of tannin here slightly outside the St Henri norm; it gives the wine a wee bit of strut. Just a wee bit. But we are certainly in excellent territory here."
From the Producer
St Henri is a time-honoured and alternative expression of shiraz, and an intriguing counterpoint to Grange. It is unusual among high quality Australian red wines as it does not rely on any new oak. Released for the first time by Penfolds in the early 1950s (first commercial vintage 1957), it gained a new lease of life in the 1990s as its quality and distinctive style became better understood. Proudly, a wine style that hasn’t succumbed to the dictates of fashion or commerce. St Henri is rich and plush when young, gaining soft, earthy, mocha-like characters as it ages. It is matured in old, 1,460 litre vats that allow the wine to develop, imparting minimal, if any oak character. Although a small proportion of cabernet is sometimes used to improve structure, the focal point for St Henri remains shiraz. GRAPE VARIETY 96% Shiraz, 4% Cabernet Sauvignon
Above-average winter and early spring rainfall offered the vines in South Australia healthy soil moisture profiles for the growing season. Late spring and summer were dry and warm with significant heat records being set. Warm weather prevailed during summer and throughout veraison, allowing grapes to develop evenly and with good intensity. The warm conditions came to an abrupt halt in mid-February with significant rainfall that allowed for a long and slow ripening of the fruit in very good conditions. This ensured balanced flavour development, fruit exhibiting a brightness endowed with crisp acid retention and impressive fruit quality
Barossa Valley, Adelaide Hills, Southern Fleurieu, Wrattonbully, McLaren Vale
Alc/Vol: 14.5%, Acidity: 6.3 g/L, pH: 3.66
12 months in 50+ y.o. large oak vats.
Don't Pay: $145.00
WBW Rating: 94/100
Region: South Australia
Winemaker: Peter Gago
Drink now until: 2046
Alc/Vol: 14.5 %
*Free delivery Australia-wide for 12+ 750ml bottles of wine.
Wine Box Warehouse ABN 18123750642. Liquor Licence No. 36120654 / 36104331
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