|Wine||Penfolds “St Henri”|
|Variety||Shiraz (3% Cabernet Sauvignon)|
|Region||Multi South Australian Regions|
|Maturation||13 Months in 50 year old plus large oak vats|
|Wine Maker||Peter Gago|
Good evening all. Tonight I look at a solid wine from one of Australia’s best known producers Penfolds. The St Henri is not like most big Australian Shiraz. This wine spends no time in New Oak at all, instead it matures in old oak vats. Instead the characters in this wine are all from the grape alone, and extremely minimal oak characters make their way through on this wine.
Colour: Deep crimson red, deep almost inky core.
Aroma: Red-currants, black-currant, it is an illustrious display of fruit blended with the characters of spice. Mild notes of raisin and fruitcake spices start to lift from the glass. Nuances of glazed meat, liquorice and fennel seeds and game meat round out this orchestra.
Palate: Full bodied wine. Blackberry is prominent throughout the wine, but there is savoury underlay to this wine, as its character is lifted from many secondary and not primary characteristics. Expect to find more along the lines flavours of cinnamon and dried herbs. There is quite firm fruit tannin still in this wine and everything is still kept tight knit. However, in no way does this tannin impact the beauty of this wine. In a way, it nearly enhances the dry and savoury character of this wine. Although, I certainly look forward to addressing this wine 10 years down the track, as the tannin eases off and the chocolate, and herb characters come into a world unto their own.
Personal Thoughts: Generally, I have never been a fan of the St Henri. A wine that does not float-my-boat. The 2012 Vintage however, has swayed me to think otherwise. It is a complete and bold wine that is truly unique for a South Australian Shiraz. I am generally impressed what I have been presented with; and I see a lot of potential for the 2012 vintage moving forward. This wine has a lot of staying power and will do nothing but improve over time. Do yourself a favour, and get around it.
Drink: Now – 2044
The SA Wine Guy