Penfolds `ST Henri` shiraz 2008 (1x 1.5L Magnum), SA . cork closure.

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. It was created in the early 1950s (first commercial vintage 1957) and 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, 1460 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.

Overview

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. It was created in the early 1950s (first commercial vintage 1957) and 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, 1460 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.

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

Expert Reviews

Deep magenta, purple hue; a saturated black fruit wine lies in waiting with a veritable cornucopia of spice and liqueur soaked plums; the ample fine-grained tannins and fresh acidity provide light to the fruit shade; long, sweet fruited and generous. Shiraz. Rating 94 - Drink by 2025, James Halliday, Australian Wine Companion (JAN/2012).

Chocolate, sage, pepper, mint and lamb, mixed berries – mainly dark – and is that a suggestion of vanilla? It’s full bodied, but not heavy, just plump and round with grainy tannin offering a little grit and grip, though ‘cocoa-like’ may be the best description. Salty beef jerky flavours are of some concern and the wine tastes quite Langhorny on the whole, as a comment, rather than a criticism. Yes, I like it a lot, though I’d most likely not buy it – it feels atypical for the marque. Rating 93 - Drink by 2028+, Gary Walsh, winefront.com.au (APR/2012).

Deep, bright colour. Rich perfume of red berries, mocha, white pepper, ferns and olive tapenade. In the mouth a warm, richly flavoured red of concentration showing sticky red and black berry fruits with a long burr of oak reminiscent of sandalwood shavings. Some curranty complexity and lifted spice; a lick of briny acidity. Smooth and supple, fine, luscious and lengthy. Very elegant wine, not an ‘old school’ St Henri. Surprising verve for vintage. Rating 93 - Drink by 2027, Mike Bennie, winefront.com.au (APR/2012).

‘2008 would've been great but for the heatwave.’ On the Magill Estate they picked early, along with old vines that ripen early. Wonderfully savoury and grown up on the nose. Rich after the dry start. Strapping but gentle in texture. So serious and correct. Still youthful. Lots of liquorice. One of the few wines in this range that they ferment to dryness in the fermentation vat. Rating 18/20 - Jancis Robinson MW/OBE (18/JUL2008)

Winery Tasting Notes

Colour

Bright crimson rim, dense purple colour.

Aroma

Anticipated praline/milk chocolate St Henri aromatic markers, replete with fruits —mulberry and boysenberry. Compliments of the vintage freshly squeezed beetroot/ginger juice and dried spices—bay leaf and sage. Large old vat-matured Shiraz—varietally and convincingly announced by way of a cold lamb/rosemary/marrow disposition.

Palate

Plush, fleshy and mouth filling—showcasing a cleverly woven texture and deceptive (fruit) weight. Nectarine and blood plum fruits courted by the largesse of big, ripe and round tannins. Maturation precursors already awoken, although yet to ascend/unfurl—fresh wallet leather, pan scrapings, ... Long and persistent. Polished.

Food Matching

Best paired with roast rack and slow cooked breast of lamb, gubinge, celery and sea parsley.

Cellaring Potential

Peak drinking is from 2012 up to 2038.