Source: jamessuckling.com. Issue Date: July 22, 2020(JS-95)
This has a very impressive, intense nose with a cool and spicy edge, as well as aromas of red flowers and fresh raspberries, set amid some wild-herb tones. The palate has very expressive raspberry and cranberry flavors, delivered among fine, crunchy and lithe, juicy tannins. The palate has a deep, red-plum core that?s quite tautly contained and wrapped up neatly for some time to come. Try this from 2025. Screw cap.
Source: July 2020 Penfolds Releases, The Wine Advocate; Issue Date: 22nd Jul 2020 (RP-93)
The St Henri point of difference is that it’s aged in old, large wooden vats. Sourced from throughout South Australia, the 2017 St Henri Shiraz reveals no oak in its rather raw, unrefined notes of bloody beef, mixed berries, black olives and road tar. It’s full-bodied and still tannic at this stage, with a bit of coarseness on the finish that hopefully time will soften. While not the best vintage for St Henri, it’s a commendable effort that should age well.
Drink Date 2025 – 2040
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, arthy, 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.
VOLUME 750 mL
PEAK DRINKING 2022 – 2052
Savoury notes first detected, yet quickly courted by generous cherry liqueur/chocolate aromas. Scents of dried beef sit alongside a textbook garrigue deconstruction ? dried herb/oregano/thyme/lavender. Perplexingly, an exotic emission continues ? best guess ? copha, cranberry and activated walnut! Shiraz unplugged? oak or artefact not part of this wine?s demeanour. Smells like? St Henri.
FLAVOURS AND PALATE
A masterclass of texture: plush, glossy, seamless ? abetted by silky, polished tannins. One taster quipped: ?millennial tannins?! Black olive; coffee and mocha flavours abound, as do the generous shiraz fruits sourced from the northern viticultural
reaches of South Australia. Medium-bodied, with a great core and lovely framework ? yet what is sipped fills the mouth so effortlessly. A succulence is immediately noted ? a fruited pomegranate/cranberry/quince paste-induced acidity, balanced with fruit
sweetness. Not trying too hard. St Henri rarely does.