Penfolds St Henri Shiraz 2015 750ml
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.
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.
When to drink
2020 - 2045. Drinking well now, but will improve with time.
Instantly recognisable. First impression – Penfolds. Second – St Henri.
Wafts ascend akin to roasted meats – seared crust of venison, game meats.
Then a sprinkling of crushed kola nut, star anise, black liquorice, quince paste.
A further swirl or two unleashes more familial St Henri markers of dark chocolate ganache and a biscotti nuttiness.
Complete, no gaps – spills across the palate avec a coating of fine (emery paper) polished tannins – inducing a ‘St Henri silkiness’.
An assertive wedge of fruit – dark berried – boysenberry, loganberry, and blackberry – á la ‘Fruits of the Forest’.
Yet, there’s much more – certainly not only appealing fruit, friendly tannins and balance. Add: luminosity, buoyancy, vibrancy, harmony … quite the package!
Needs some time in bottle to unfurl, complex … ever so youthful, yet dangerously accessible. Patience.