Penfolds `St Henri` Shiraz 1998 (6 x 750mL), SA.

Provenance: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Langton’s Classified: Excellent

Top Vintage

The Penfolds St. Henri style is a dramatic contrast to Penfolds Grange. St. Henri is pure, unadorned Shiraz, virtually alone among high-quality Australian reds in that it has never relied on new oak. It was created in the mid-1950s (first commercial vintage 1957) and has gained a new lease on life in the 1990s as its quality and distinctive style became better understood.

Overview

Provenance: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Langton’s Classified: Excellent

Top Vintage

The Penfolds St. Henri style is a dramatic contrast to Penfolds Grange. St. Henri is pure, unadorned Shiraz, virtually alone among high-quality Australian reds in that it has never relied on new oak. It was created in the mid-1950s (first commercial vintage 1957) and has gained a new lease on life in the 1990s as its quality and distinctive style became better understood.

Region:
SA - Other South Australian
State:
South Australia
Country:
Australia

Expert Reviews

Medium red-purple; the moderately intense bouquet has, as one would expect, good fruit and oak balance and integration; strong blackberry fruit provides the ripe core of the palate, which has a quite savoury finish and tannins to provide ample structure. A great example of St Henri. Rating 94 - Drink by 2015, James Halliday, Australian Wine Companion (DEC/2002).

Winery Tasting Notes

Colour

A black centre with deep purple and crimson rim.

Aroma

Very subtle and highly appealing, oscillating between ripe damson fruits, earthy, smoked meats and delicate, lifted perfumes. Many layers of complex aromas open out of the wine as it sits in the glass.

Palate

Concentrated and tight with dark, intense summer berry fruits forming a rich ball of flavour on the tongue and offering plenty of depth and palate length. There are fine, ripe tannins that extend into a well-structured velvety texture, with waves of perfume, warm spices and berries running through the finish. Many hallmarks of a very fine wine indeed, akin to the 1990 upon its release.

Wine Background

The Penfolds St. Henri style is a dramatic contrast to Penfolds Grange. St. Henri is pure, unadorned Shiraz, virtually alone among high-quality Australian reds in that it has never relied on new oak. It was created in the mid-1950s (first commercial vintage 1957) and has gained a new lease on life in the 1990s as its quality and distinctive style became better understood.

Penfolds St. Henri is rich and plush when young and gains soft, earthy, mocha-like characters as it ages. Before bottling it is matured in old, 2000 litre vats that allow the wine to develop, but impart no oak character. A small proportion of Cabernet is used to improve structure, but the focal point for Penfolds St. Henri is Shiraz, often comprising over 95% of the blend. Packaged in laser-etched bottles since the 1996 vintage.

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