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, 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.
The finest vintage under this label since it was first released during the 1950s. With a history interlinked with the story of Grange, 2010 St Henri stands as the triumph of this year's Penfolds luxury release. The wine is amazingly expressive with deep colour, superb fruit complexity, voluminous richness and supple textures. Dark chocolate, dark cherry, blackberry, mocha, roasted chestnut aromas are followed by a richly concentrated palate full of dark chocolate, paneforte flavours, generous sweet fruit notes and ripe loose-knit chocolaty tannins. It finishes graphite firm, long, and minerally. A gorgeous wine with all the hallmarks of long term ageing potential. Rating: 100 Points; Andrew Caillard; Master of Wine
A multi-regional, 100% knockout SA shiraz that excites at every step, the aromas saturating the nose high and low with ripe, vibrant black fruits then carrying forward with wilder, redder fruits hitting top notes as well, the texture engaging and timelessly contemporary. Stunning wine that will delight for decades. Rating: 99 Points; Tony Love, Taste
A rare vintage of only shiraz in this wine, the sourcing is Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale, Coonawarra, Adelaide Hills, Wrattonbully and Clare Valley. A very handy vintage of this classically styled Penfolds red, bright hearty fruit dominates amid earth, tar and dark nutty elements, boot polish too, really deep. The palate has seamless flow and build, immense concentration is at play, dark liquorice, blackberry and plum, this is swathed in deeply ripe, smooth but strong tannin. Dark plum flavours build, the finish holds and holds – terrific length and depth here, this will go down as one of the greatest ever St. Henri releases. Rating: 98 Points; James Suckling
The hero of this year’s release is a majestic 2010 St. Henri Shiraz. A stalwart of a more traditional style and matured in large format (1460 litre) oak, it is a wine that showcases the inherent quality of the 2010 harvest. It’s a sure-footed wine that will age gracefully and, with so many of the other wines creeping northwards in price, it is also one of the great value wines at US$90. Rating: 98 Points; Nick Stock
Very deep purple-black in color and showing an attractive nose of warm blackcurrants, blueberries and licorice with a complex undercurrent of mocha, cedar, menthol and grilled meat, the full-bodied 2010 St Henri Shiraz is relatively rich in the mouth, offering tons of fruit structured by firm, fine tannins and refreshing acid. It finishes with great persistence. Drink it 2015 to 2030+ Rating: 97+ Points; Lisa Perotti-Brown; Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate
If you buy no other Penfolds this release, don’t miss St Henri. It’s as if the 2010 season was perfectly orchestrated for this large format, old oak style. A celebration of this great vintage, this is one of the finest under this label of the modern era, perhaps ever. The epitome of the St Henri style, effortless and elegant, with epic purity and definition...It has space and grace, nothing short of breathtaking. Wow. Drink: 2020-2040, Rating: 97 Points; Tyson Stelzer; Wine Taste
St Henri is the one Penfolds super premium we all should be following. This 2010 release is the best since the 2004. In short, it’s gorgeous. I’m tempted to use the words Beg, Borrow or Steal. Nose, palate, tannin, finish; all are in full, healthy voice. Licorice, leather, plum, clove. Fine-grained tannin. Juicy orange-peel notes. Well stored, under screwcap, it will live for just about ever. Rating: 96+ Points; Campbell Mattinson
I felt palpably nervous before tasting this wine. To my mind, it was the most important wine of the whole event. I have been waiting for this taste for four years. Harvest conditions meant that this had to be a great vintage for St. Henri. But how great? That was the only question. I never will wines to win 20s in my notes. They just happen without me questioning it. Perfect wines don’t have to try too hard. For me, this is the finest young St. Henri I have ever tasted. It is phenomenal in every way. I cannot imagine how it could be bettered. I like it more than the fêted 1990 and 1971. Perfect 20/20 ++ March 2014. Matthew Jukes (UK)
Image for illustrative purposes only.
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