Penfolds St Henri Shiraz 2012

Penfolds St Henri Shiraz 2012

Penfolds St Henri Shiraz 2012

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Winemaking and Drinking

St Henri is a time-honoured and alternative expression of shiraz, and an intriguing counterpoint to Grange. It is unusual amongst 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 with age. It is matured in an assortment of old large vats that allow the wine to develop, imparting minimal, if any oak character. Although a small proportion of cabernet may sneak into the blend, the focal point for St Henri remains shiraz.

COLOUR Deep inky blood-red NOSE The veil long clasped by St Henri is aromatically lifted. A 2018 St Henri cork is extracted revealing: Clinically: The elution of flinty pencil and cordite. Appetisingly: Warmed black olive - mustardy spiced wild rocket, haloumi. Savoury: Scents of a Greek flat-leaf parsley salad, eggplant, capers. Exotically: Freshly sliced fig and cut-rhubarb laced with cinnamon, cola spice, Chinotto, dusted nuts.

PALATE Fruits (white plum, fresh fig and quandong) and charcuterie savouries abound. Fresh vibrant acidity abetted by the cut-rhubarb noted aromatically above, and liquorice root. Toasted pumpkin seed flavours, tannin-dry yet not puckering. Mouth-watering, finely etched tannins ‘mist up’ the palate spectrum – a tactile fog! Oak – where art thou?

PEAK DRINKING Now – 2055


Wine TypeRed wine
ProducerPenfolds
StateSouth Australia
RegionBarossa Valley
VarietyShiraz
Year2012
Volume750 mL
Alcohol14.5%