Source: jamessuckling.com. Issue Date: Thursday, February 3, 2022 (JS-99)
A great St. Henri and, although multi-regional, this is very much a wine that speaks of the Barossa Valley, with aromas of ripe blackberries and red plums that are so fresh, together with tobacco, young-leather, earth, chocolate, coal-smoke and tarry accents. Effortless depth on the palate with summer berries, framed in fine, alabaster-like tannins that are underscored with discreet power. So long and captivating. A blend of Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale, Port Lincoln, Robe, Padthaway, Clare Valley and Adelaide Hills. Drink over the next decade or more. Screw cap.
Source: July 2021 Week 3, The Wine Advocate; Issue Date: 22nd Jul 2021 (RP-97)
The 2018 St Henri Shiraz is a terrific effort, perhaps rivaling the top-flight wines under this label in 1976 and 1986. Remarkably fine and silky in texture yet simultaneously dense and concentrated, it showcases the amazing fruit harvested in 2018. Boysenberry, mulberry and mocha shadings all swirl together effortlessly in a whorl of full-bodied elegance, finishing long and effortless. Mainly Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale, it includes smaller amounts of fruit from Port Lincoln, Robe, Padthaway, Clare Valley and the Adelaide Hills, all aged 12 months in large old wooden vats.
Drink Date 2021 – 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.