Penfolds St Henri Shiraz 2016
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.
Medium deep colour. Lovely fragrant claret style wine with exuberant fresh red cherry redcurrant, mulberry cassis aromas and roasted walnut complexity. Well concentrated and generous with inky cassis mulberry fruits, smooth velvety tannins, attractive viscosity and richness on the mid-palate and fine integrated acidity. Finishes powdery firm with superb mineral length. A hugely evocative wine; true to the original blueprint, spirit of style. Drink to: 2040; Alcohol: 14.5%; Rating: 98 Points; Andrew Caillard MW
This is a much anticipated vintage for St. Henri, and it does not disappoint. The complexity of fruit here is stunning. So fresh and brimming with fruit aromas. The palate has a stunning array of deeply fleshy fruit flavors with a superb sense of length and powerful, ripe tannin, underpinning vibrant, fleshy fruit that is beautifully assembled in a refined, elegant and impressively pure mode. So long and pure. Silky and elegant. A real masterpiece, taking its place among the finest vintages like 2010, 1990 and 1971. Drink over the next three decades. Rating: 98 Points; Nick Stock; James Suckling
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