The St. Henri shiraz is coloured Garnet red with a dark purple core. On the nose, the fruit profile is a delight, with oak playing no role in the aromatics. It is truly Shiraz, unadulterated! The descriptors need to be coaxed from the glass with a gentle swirl. Fruits of the forest are first to emerge, berry conserve, strawberry flan and rhubarb tart. There is a hit of confectionary, reminiscent of red glace cherries. Savoury notes include German Blutwurst spiced sausage, pan scrapings from roast lamb and salt cured beef with black peppercorns. Ferric notes of iron filings and whetstone swarf round out an impressive showing.
True to form, the palate is quite savoury. Japanese nori paper and olive brine offer a very morish umami nuance. Fresh blueberry and mulberry leaf anchor the core of the mid-palate. Exotic spices adding intrigue, Alleppey turmeric, toasted cumin, pimento. The tannins are very tactile, comparable to Dutch cocoa. A classic St Henri that will reward extended time in the cellar.
96 – Dave Brookes
“St Henri has always been one of my favourite Penfolds wines. A multiregional shiraz aged for 12 months in large, old oak vats, I was always enamoured with its less percussive attributes and proven lineage of cellar worthiness. Crimson with pure notes of plum compote… roasting meats, earth, spice … it’s such a comforting wine, with its unobstructed view of fruit and vintage. Lovely stuff.”