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

“Stylistically, quite possibly the Penfolds red of the (2011) vintage.”

“Superior to the 2009 St Henri? Let’s wait a decade or two to confirm. Early days…”

Penfolds vintage conditions - grape harvest


With above-average winter rainfalls and cool conditions that followed during the spring period, South Australian regions generally experienced a later budburst and disease pressures impacted to varied degrees across the state. Meticulous vineyard management was critical. Spring soil moisture levels resulted in healthy shoot growth and early canopy development. Healthy vegetative growth continued during the cooler spring months and delayed veraison and berry development in the New Year. A few warm days at the end of January guaranteed the completion of veraison. Multiple rain events, often isolated, invoked attention to sub-regional detail and selective harvesting of pristine fruit. Lower baumés at harvest coincided with flavour development. With a focus on warmer regions, McLaren Vale and Barossa Valley fruit sourcing prevailed. A small addition of Adelaide Hills fruit provided heightened aromatics.