St Henri Shiraz cork bottle with gift box

The Penfolds Collection

St Henri Shiraz 2015 Gift Box

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.

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.

When To Drink

2020 - 2045. Drinking well now, but will improve with time.

Taste Description

Colour
Deep magenta, foreboding core.

Nose
Instantly recognisable. First impression – Penfolds. Second – St Henri.
Wafts ascend akin to roasted meats – seared crust of venison, game meats.
Then a sprinkling of crushed kola nut, star anise, black liquorice, quince paste.
A further swirl or two unleashes more familial St Henri markers of dark chocolate ganache and a biscotti nuttiness.

Palate
Complete, no gaps – spills across the palate avec a coating of fine (emery paper) polished tannins – inducing a ‘St Henri silkiness’.
An assertive wedge of fruit – dark berried – boysenberry, loganberry, and blackberry – á la ‘Fruits of the Forest’.
Yet, there’s much more – certainly not only appealing fruit, friendly tannins and balance. Add: luminosity, buoyancy, vibrancy, harmony … quite the package!
Needs some time in bottle to unfurl, complex … ever so youthful, yet dangerously accessible. Patience.

Scores

96+ Points - Andrew Caillard MW

96 Points - Tony Love

19+  - Matthew Jukes

96 Points - Tony Love

96 Points - Huon Hooke

96 Points - Tyson Stelzer

94 Points - Anthony Rose, Decanter

93+ Points - Campbell Mattinson

93 Points - Joe Czerwinski, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate




Winemaker Quotes

“We’d like to say: St Henri, 1895 – 2015: A style 120 years young! But, we don’t know for sure. Some records indicate the first St Henri may have been created as early as 1890!”

“St Henri: style conviction. Definition. Still a ‘Claret’ style, but not legally. Distractingly a 7% Cabernet inclusion reminds us of earlier times, and its earlier moniker.”

- Peter Gago, Penfolds Chief Winemaker
Technical Information

Origin: Multi-regional blend, South Australia. From McLaren Vale, Robe, The Peninsulas, Barossa Valley, Wrattonbully, Adelaide Hills and Mt Benson.

Maturation: 12 months in 50 + y.o. large oak vats.

Wine Analysis: Alc/Vol: 14.5%, Acidity: 7 g/L, pH: 3.66

Variety: 93% Shiraz and 7% Cabernet Sauvignon.

Vintage Conditions

Rainfall in autumn and early winter were close to the long-term average in most of South Australia’s main growing regions. However, the rain stopped abruptly in early August with only a few light spring showers recorded. September through to March saw record low rainfall, stretching water supplies.

Warm and dry conditions during flowering and fruit-set resulted in rapid grapevine growth and early flowering. During early summer temperatures dropped below average with no major heat waves recorded. The harvest progressed rapidly, with most blocks of shiraz picked earlier than usual. Although the conditions resulted in lower than anticipated yields, the quality of fruit across the board was exceptional.

History

First vintaged in 1953. 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.

“A rock solid core. Drive, vivacity and freshness.”

Peter Gago

Penfolds Chief Winemaker

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