Penfolds St. Henri Shiraz 1999
"This Shiraz is aged in enormous old oak vats and, as such, doesn't offer up the toasty, caramelly flavors that we often associate with Oz Shiraz. Instead, the fruit speaks for itself - the palate is showing mostly black plum and black cherry, with chewy tannins and a little earthiness on the finish. It's an excellent, solid wine, best drink now through 2008."
Dense red with purple hues near rim. Lively, rich and concentrated berry characters leap from the glass - raspberry and blueberry aromas abound. Complex spices - cinnamon/ginger augment a fruit-cake mixture impression that sits comfortably aside scents of savoury roast cold lamb and other charcuterie delights. Tight, complex and stylish. Dark plum with prune beneath, the fruits are courted by enticing anise/licorice and fennel subtleties. Fruit-derived, pronounced, tight angular tannins suggest this appealing palate, moderate in alcohol and extraction, is but an infant. Excellent balance/mouthfeel - a St Henri trademark.
Serving and Cellaring Suggestions: St Henri is generally a medium-term cellaring prospect, although particularly good vintages - like the 1996 - show longer-term potential. Decant before serving with roast beef or home-made beef Wellington.
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.