PENFOLDS ST HENRI VINTAGE SHIRAZ 2007
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95 pts James Halliday, 93 points Stephen Tanzer
Penfolds St Henri is a highly successful 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.
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.
Color: Bright, youthful, red. Nose: Pure, real, unadulterated, honest Shiraz... and 100% at that in this 2007 vintage release! Primarily, freshly-pureed mixed-berries - raspberry, mulberry, loganberry, sitting alongside aromas alike those from candied/toffeed apple. Fresh, vibrant, lively. Palate: A complete wine - fruits, tannins, acid, maturation artifacts... all combine to structurally & texturally deliver. Tannins are even throughout, yet serve to tighten palate in middle, with a singular, central focus. Robe markers - crushed shale (and saltbush/ bluebush?) evident... perhaps understandable at over one quarter of blend volume. Poised, yet still lush, generous.