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Penfolds St. Henri Shiraz 1998

Syrah/Shiraz from Australia
  • W&S93
  • WS90
0% ABV
  • D96
  • RP93
  • RP94
  • JS94
  • WE92
  • WS91
  • RP97
  • JS96
  • WS93
  • JH90
  • RP96
  • W&S92
  • RP90
  • WS94
  • RP93
  • WE93
  • JH93
  • W&S92
  • W&S94
  • WS90
  • JH95
  • RP93
  • W&S91
  • JH96
  • RP95
  • WS93
  • WS95
  • JH94
  • WS90
  • WS91
  • WS92
  • WE91
  • W&S91
  • WS88
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Winemaker Notes

The Penfolds St Henri style is a dramatic contrast to Penfolds Grange. St Henri is pure, unadorned Shiraz, virtually alone among high-quality Australian reds in that it has never relied on new oak. It was created in the mid-1950s (first commercial vintage 1957) and has gained a new lease on life in the 1990s as its quality and distinctive style became better understood.

Penfolds St Henri is rich and plush when young and gains soft, earthy, mocha-like characters as it ages. Before bottling it is matured in old, 2000 litre vats that allow the wine to develop, but impart no oak character. A small proportion of Cabernet is used to improve structure, but the focal point for Penfolds St Henri is Shiraz, often comprising over 95% of the blend. Packaged in laser-etched bottles since the 1996 vintage.

This is a concentrated, dark wine, with intense summer berry fruits forming a rich ball of flavour on the tongue and offering plenty of depth and palate length. There are fine, ripe tannins that extend into a well-structured velvety texture, with waves of perfume, warm spices and berries running through the finish. Many hallmarks of a very fine wine indeed, akin to the 1990 upon its release.

"Dense, inky purple hue. Nose of rhubarb, plum and blueberry. Slightly sweet palate notes with a walnut accent. Tart black cherry flavors and continued big, oaky tannins with good backing acidity." 90 Points
The Wine News

Critical Acclaim

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W&S 93
Wine & Spirits
WS 90
Wine Spectator
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Penfolds

Penfolds Wines

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Penfolds Wines, Australia
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Penfolds has been producing remarkable wines since 1844 and 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 stand-out wines both white and red have been released under the Penfolds masthead.

Peter Gago, Penfolds Chief Winemaker and only the 4th custodian of Grange, relishes the opportunity to bring Penfolds to the world stage and is an enthusiastic ambassador and natural educator. Penfolds came to the attention of the US market when 1990 Grange was Wine Spectator’s ‘Wine of the Year’. Since then, Penfolds Grange has become one of the most collectable wines of the world and was honored to grace the front cover, once again, of Wine Spectator, with declarations of Grange as Australia’s Icon.

Australia

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A large, climatically diverse country producing just about every wine style imaginable, Australia is not just a source of blockbuster Shiraz or inexpensive wine with cute labels, though both can certainly be found here. Australia has a grand winemaking history and some of the oldest vines on the planet, along with a huge range of landscapes and climates; it is impossible to make generalizations about Australian wine. Most regions are concentrated in the south of the country with those inland experiencing warm, dry weather, and those in more coastal areas receiving humid and tropical, or maritime weather patterns. Australia has for several decades been at the forefront of winemaking technology and has widely adopted the use of screwcaps, even for some premium and ultra-premium bottles.

Shiraz is indeed Australia’s most celebrated and widely planted variety, typically producing bold, supple reds with sweet, jammy fruit and performing best in the Barossa and Hunter Valleys. Cabernet Sauvignon is often blended with Shiraz, and also shines on its own particularly in Coonawarra and Margaret River. Grenache and Mourvèdre (often locally referred to as Mataro) are also popular, both on their own and alongside Shiraz in Rhône blends. Chardonnay is common throughout the country and made in a wide range of styles. Sauvignon Blanc has recently surged in popularity to compete with New Zealand’s distinctive version, and Semillon is often utilized as its blending partner, or in the Hunter Valley, on its own to make complex, age-worthy whites. Riesling thrives in the cool-climate Clare and Eden Valleys. Sticky-sweet fortified wine Rutherglen Muscat is a beloved regional specialty of Victoria. Thanks to the country’s relatively agreeable climate throughout and the openness of its people, experimentation is common and ongoing, and there are a vast array of intriguing varieties to be found.

Syrah/Shiraz

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Marked by unmistakable deep purple hue and savory aromatics, Syrah accounts for a good deal of some of the most intense, powerful and age-worthy reds in the world. Native to the Northern Rhône, Syrah still achieves some of its maximum potential here, especially from Hermitage and Côte-Rôtie.

Syrah also plays an important component in the canonical Southern Rhône blends based on Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre, adding color, depth, complexity and structure to the mix. Today these blends have become well-appreciated from key appellations of the New World, namely Australia, California and increasingly, with praise, from Washington.

In the Glass

Syrah typically shows aromas and flavors of purple fruits, fragrant violets, baking spice, white pepper and even bacon, smoke or black olive. In Australia, where it goes under the name Shiraz, it produces deep, dark, intense and often, jammy reds. While Northern Rhône examples are typically less fruity and more earthy, California appears increasingly capable of either style.

Perfect Pairings

Flavorful Moroccan-spiced lamb, grilled meats, spareribs and hard, aged cheeses are perfect with Syrah. Blue cheeses are perfect with a dense and fruit-driven Australian Shiraz.

Sommelier Secret

Due to the success of Australian “Shiraz,” winemakers throughout the world have adopted this synonym for Syrah when they have produced a plush and fruit forward wine made in the Australian style. As an aside, Australians are also fond of tempering their fruit-forward Shiraz by blending with Cabernet Sauvignon, which adds depth and structure.

CWYSTHENRI_1998 Item# 52697