Penfolds `St Henri` Shiraz 2012 (6 x 750mL), SA.

Liquor Act 2007: It is against the law to sell or supply alcohol to, or to obtain alcohol on behalf of, a person under the age of 18 years. Liquor licence LIQP770010049

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$449.94 per pack
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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.

Most areas of South Australia were impacted by lower than average rainfall across the winter period. This resulted in early bud break in some areas and ideal stress throughout spring flowering. Healthy and welcome spring rain ensued, merging with a mild summer with just a few short periods of heat. Mild daytime temperatures and cool evenings were observed across the Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale, allowing for impressive flavour development without inflated baumés. Typically cooler regions (e.g.Adelaide Hills and maritime Robe) developed evenly and with concentration over a long ripening season. Balanced canopies and crops provided even development throughout veraison across all South Australian regions. Bursts of warmth and dry conditions continued throughout harvest allowing fruit to be picked in optimal condition and rainfall marked the end of vintage. Smaller berry and bunch sizes were noticeable in most regions. This, coupled with favourable weather conditions, induced great results for traditional quality markers – colour, tannin profile, fruit concentration and flavour depth.

SA - Other South Australian
South Australia

Expert Reviews

Has a whisk of 3% cabernet to accompany the shiraz, the grapes from the Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale, Adelaide Hills, Robe and the Clare Valley. In the manner of all St Henris, matured for 13 months in 50yo oak vats (1460l). This is an exercise on a chequer board of savoury/smoky black fruits with firm, but polished, tannins. A great St Henri that will come into its own in a bare minimum of 10 years, and live long thereafter.

Rating 96 - Drink by 2047 - James Halliday, Wine Companion - Sep 2015

Winery Tasting Notes


Deep crimson red.


At once Penfolds, at once and reassuringly an authentic, warmingly ‘old-style’ St Henri. A radiant ‘redness’ – an orb of red-currants, red liquorice and rhubarb. Earthy, gamey – cured meats, glazed ham, cold pan juices…scents charmingly emitted.


Solid. Aromatics conveyed/shared to palate – juniper, cinnamon, nutmeg, dry herbs. White milk chocolate, mocha and praline St Henri markers tussled to the fore. Integrated, fine and delicate tannins certainly not intimidated by any brash oak. Poised and balanced.


13 months in 50+ y.o. large oak vats.

Peak Drinking

Now – 2045

SA - Other South Australian
Grape Style
Shiraz / Syrah
Closure Type
Cork closure

Winery Profile

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Australia's winemaking history of less than two hundred years is brief by European measures though, like Europe, punctuated by periods of extreme success and difficult times. From the earliest winemaking days Penfolds has figured prominently and few would argue the importance of Penfolds' influence on Australia's winemaking psyche.

Without the influence of Penfolds the modern Australian wine industry would look very different indeed. Sitting comfortably outside of fad and fashion, Penfolds has taken Australian wine to the world on a grand stage and forged a reputation for quality that is without peer.

Penfolds' reputation for making wines of provenance and cellaring potential might suggest a mantle of tradition and formality is the preferred attire of a company with so much history to defend. But to label Penfolds as simply an established and conventional winemaker, would be to confuse tradition with consideration and to overlook the innovative spirit that has driven Penfolds since its foundation, and continues to find expression in modern times.

If there is anything traditional about Penfolds, it is the practice of constantly reviewing the wines it already does well, and continuously evolving and refining styles as vineyards mature and access to ever older and more varied vineyard sites improves.

View Penfolds website


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