Penfolds St. Henri Shiraz 2007
Syrah/Shiraz from Australia
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.
Australian Wine Companion - "The colour is bright and deep, the bouquet with black fruits, some meaty aromas and potent spice and licorice components. In the mouth, the flavours are overwhelmingly of black fruits, with echoes of the spice and licorice of the bouquet, and a hint of tobacco. The ripe, but fine, tannins attest to the skills of the winemaking team. "
The Wine Advocate - "Very deep garnet-purple colored, the 2007 St Henri Shiraz is a little closed at this stage, revealing subtle earthy notes over crushed blackberries, pencil lead, toast, game, smoky bacon and tree bark. Medium bodied, elegantly fruited and still very tight-knit, the palate offers beautiful purity structured with firm chewy tannins and very crisp acid that should see it through a long life. Consider drinking it 2013 to 2022+."
International Wine Cellar - "Opaque ruby. Rich cherry and dark berry compote aromas are complicated by dried rose and smoky Indian spices. Dark fruit flavors display impressive concentration and an almost oily texture but are in no way heavy. Becomes chewier on the finish, which emphatically echoes the dark fruit flavors and leaves behind notes of candied licorice and bitter chocolate. This bottling has an admirable track record for aging. "
Wine & Spirits - "This vintage of St. Henri shows its old-vine intensity without any jamminess. It's youthful and concentrated, surprisingly smoky for a wine made without any new oak. St. Henri often needs several years in the bottle to show at its best; this '07 is acessible on release, a clean, sleek shiraz for roast lamb."
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Penfolds Wines Winery
Founded by a young, English doctor in 1844, Penfolds has been producing remarkable wines that have changed the landscape of Australian winemaking. Over the past century, Penfolds has indisputably led the development of Australian fine wine in the modern era. The introduction of Penfolds Grange in 1951 forever changed the landscape of Australian fine wine. Since then, a series of standout wines, both white and red, have been released under the Penfolds masthead. Under the direction of master winemaker, Peter Gago, Penfolds is now found in every major wine market in the country. Extraordinary wines such as Block 42 and Bin 60A have also been released during his tenure. Penfolds wines are now widely celebrated for their diversity and quality across many price-points. The strength of Penfolds is that the wine comes first. Penfolds' range of table wines is utterly Australian, evoking a generosity of spirit and the beauty of the Australian landscape.
About Other AustraliaView a map of Other Australia wineries
With a landmass the size of the US, Australia has just as many appellations. Many wines are simply labeled from their state of origin. Some of these are the most popular:
New South Wales- home to Sydney and other tourist destinations, New South Wales has a smaller focused wine growing region, but many wines are a blend of these smaller appellations and so are deemed New South Wales appellation.
Western Australia– a small corner of Australia winemaking occurs on the opposite coast of the others. The largest state, Western Australia includes the smaller appellation of Margaret River.
Southeastern Australia– This appellation encompasses the states of South Australia, New South Wales and Victoria. Grapes are often trucked in from at least 2 of these states for crushing and bottling, giving the wine a more general appellation of origin. This is the broadest appellation in the country.
About AustraliaLike the United States, which is about the same size, Australia's winemaking regions are huddled into one or two pockets of the country. The state of South Australia, which produces about 60% of the country's wine, also has the most wineries and sub-regions, including McLaren Vale, Clare Valley, Coonawarra and Barossa Valley. New South Wales is home to the Hunter Valley, while the smaller, southern state of Victoria is best known for theYarra Valley. Head way west to the very large state of Western Australia and you'll find the tiny region of Margaret River at the southern tip.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.