“As always with St Henri, restrained, no need to be showy.”
This is a charming shiraz, always an outlier among its peers. Here you will find no new oak influence, none required, the very essence of shiraz gently matured in large, seasoned vats. Close examination calls for a wine glass of generous proportions. Swirl, allow the aromatics to emerge slowly, gently. The dark fruits are first to show their credentials, blackberries and mulberries generously adorned with fresh whipped cream. The crunchier red fruits appear next, pomegranate and cranberry. Exotic, enticing. There is a suggestion of mild paprika. A hint of liquorice, toasted fennel seed, dried mint. Meaty aromas, Greek lamb rubbed with olive oil, oregano and sea salt twirling on the rotisserie. From the charcutier, savoury bresaola and prosciutto. Burnished vintage leather.
Structural descriptors don’t usually lead the charge for St Henri, but they are certainly faithful to the 2019 vintage.A fine graphite core with the warmth and creaminess of Mexican sauce and the weight of wild game: venison loin, braised hare. Eventually sweet custard flavours emerge, smooth and textural. Portuguese tart! A suggestion of fine salinity aligns with mouth-watering acidity, cleansing. As always with St Henri, restrained, no need to be showy.
The dark cacoa tannins are so fine they could be spun from silk.
Will age and evolve beautifully for decades.
98 – Tony Love, the Wine Pilot
“This can only ever be a stylistic expression of the shiraz variety, as sourcing from six SA districts eliminates regionality… The wine’s point of difference within the Penfolds range is that it has no new oak maturation and spends only 12 months in large format seasoned vats. The result is a sophisticated, dark, almost mysterious shiraz, a wine with secrets within that one suspects will reveal great joys over the next 20 to 30 years, as its forebears have proved for more than half a century. For now, in and around the black fruits there are flint, mushroom, licorice and roast meat nots. Plenty to unpack. A serious SA shiraz that remains and really enticing proposition.”