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2002 Penfolds St. Henri Shiraz
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- ABV 14.5%
- Closure: Cork
Notes sourced from Penfolds
Penfolds St. Henri is a counterpoint to Penfolds Grange. St. Henri is a highly successful, alternative expression of Shiraz. It is unusual among high quality Australian red wines as it does not rely on new oak. It was created in the mid- 1950s (first commercial vintage 1957) and gained a new lease of life in the 1990s as its quality, longevity 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. It is matured in old, 1460-litre vats that allow the wine to develop, but imparting no oak character. The focal point for St. Henri is shiraz. The 2002 Penfolds St. Henri already shows great potential and is in the mould of the great 1990, 1991 and 1996 vintages.
Vintage ConditionsRegular winter rains provided for good vine growth in the Barossa Valley although a cool spring and summer reduced potential yields. A warm dry autumn and careful vineyard management relived the situation and produced smaller than average yields but of excellent quality. McLaren Vale experienced a cool season with late warm weather promoting ripening and a small yet high quality crop.
A vibrant crimson colour with a purple core. Savoury aromas laced with bay leaf/spice. Some blackcurrant/blackberry aromas show, most likely due to the 9% Cabernet, albeit from warmer climes in a cool year. There are some secondary characters, demi-glace/soy, no doubt from 14mths in large oak vats. A classy young St. Henri - elegance, balance, substance and persistence. Dark fruits with background liquorice and dark spices reflect Barossa and McLaren Vale origins. The palate is tight and defined, yet texturally round and soft, with ripe tannins and no oak interference. Now formative and youthful, the 2002 St. Henri is already complete and integrated, with the potential to be a complex, long lived wine.
Excellent colour, a medium bodied wine which lives up to expections of a great vintage; intense black fruits run through a long, perfectly balanced palate, finishing with fine tannins, oak largely unseen.
James Halliday - 2007 Australian Wine Companion