St Henri Shiraz

Cellar or enjoy

Drinking well now, but will improve with time. ?

Vintage History:

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. It was created in the early 1950s (first commercial vintage 1957) and 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, 1460 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.
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Origin Multi-district blend, South Australia. Significant contributions of Shiraz from Barossa Valley, Eden Valley, Clare Valley, McLaren Vale, Langhorne Creek, Robe and Bordertown; cabernet sauvignon from Coonawarra and Barossa Valley. Increasing components of Adelaide Hills fruit in recent vintages.
Maturation 18 months in large (1460 litres) old, oak vats.
Fermentation Stainless steel tanks with wax-lined/wooden header boards at Nuriootpa. Some components are vinified at Magill Estate.
Variety Shiraz.
First Vintage 1953–1956 (experimental), 1957 (first commercial release).
93 points 2014 James Halliday Australian Wine Companion (Australia) St Henri Shiraz 2009
94 points 2013 James Halliday Australian Wine Companion (Australia) St Henri Shiraz 2008

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Behind St Henri Shiraz

Peter Gago
Penfolds Chief Winemaker

“The 2010 release delivers all that is requested of St Henri. And some.”

“Classic St Henri. Classic year. i.e. drink now, or in half a century.”

“Comparison? 1996 immediately comes to mind; What did the legendary 1971 St Henri release look like as a four year-old?!”

Penfolds vintage conditions - grape harvest


A consistent theme across South Australia was the healthy and above-average winter rainfall. This not only fuelled strong canopy framework but resulted in welcomed soil water reserves, safeguarding vines across the months that followed. Unswerving from the trend of the 2000s was an earlier budburst, flowering and harvest across Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale and the south east. Whilst not without challenges from September hail and strong spring winds, Shiraz experienced relatively even set. A

November hot spell and replenishing rain pushed the vines ahead in maturity. December temperatures were cooler than November, offering vines ideal growing conditions through to veraison in early January. Mild and dry ripening conditions were complimented by cool nights, with healthy vines yielding fruit that exhibited optimum flavour, and colour development, varietal typicity and vibrancy.