2015 Penfolds St. Henri Shiraz
93 Points | The Wine Advocate
"Black olive and plum notes form the base of the 2015 Shiraz St Henri.This vintage includes 7% Cabernet Sauvignon, which gives a bit of lift and a leafy, floral note on the nose. It's medium to full-bodied, with a firm, structured feel and ample tannins to ensure 20-plus years of longevity."
-Joe Czerwinski, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Deep magenta, foreboding core.
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 licorice, 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.
Rainfall in autumn and early winter were close to the long-term average in most of South Australia’s main growing regions. However, the rain stopped abruptly in early August with only a few light spring showers recorded. September through to March saw record low rainfall, stretching water supplies.
Warm and dry conditions during flowering and fruit-set resulted in rapid grapevine growth and early flowering. During early summer temperatures dropped below average with no major heat waves recorded. The harvest progressed rapidly, with most blocks of Shiraz picked earlier than usual. Although the conditions resulted in lower than anticipated yields, the quality of fruit across the board was exceptional.
: Multi-regional blend, South Australia. McLaren Vale, Robe
The Peninsulas, Barossa Valley, Wrattonbully, Adelaide Hills and Mt Benson.
: 12 months in 50 + y.o. large oak vats.
: Alc/Vol: 14.5%, Acidity: 7 g/L, pH: 3.66
: 93% Shiraz and 7% Cabernet Sauvignon.
“We’d like to say: St Henri, 1895 – 2015: A style 120 years young! But,
we don’t know for sure. Some records indicate the first St Henri may
have been created as early as 1890!”.
“St Henri: style conviction. Definition. Still a ‘Claret’ style, but not
legally. Distractingly a 7% Cabernet inclusion reminds us of earlier
times, and its earlier moniker."
- Peter Gago, Penfolds Chief Winemaker