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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.
Deep crimson red.
At once Penfolds, at once and reassuringly an authentic, warmingly ‘old-style’ St Henri. A radiant ‘redness’ – an orb of red-currants, red liquorice and rhubarb. Earthy, gamey – cured meats, glazed ham, cold pan juices…scents charmingly emitted.
Aromatics conveyed/shared to palate – juniper, cinnamon, nutmeg, dry herbs. White milk chocolate, mocha and praline St Henri markers tussled to the fore. Integrated, fine and delicate tannins certainly not intimidated by any brash oak.
Poised and balanced.