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2013 Penfolds St. Henri Shiraz
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- Cellar 10 - 15 years (2027-2032)
- ABV 14.5%
- Closure: Stelvin
First released in 1957 St Henri is rich and plush when young, gaining soft, earthy, mocha-like characters as it ages. It sees no new oak and is matured in 50 year old plus large oak vats for 12 months that allow the wine to develop, imparting minimal oak character. Although a small proportion of Cabernet is sometimes used to improve structure, the focal point for St Henri remains Shiraz.
A blend of 96% Shiraz and 4% Cabernet Sauvignon the 2013 St Henri features strong, structural tannins in combination with great intensity of flavour. Magnificent colour featuring an impenetrable inky black core with a very deep dark red black hue. Perfumed scents of ripe blackberry and liquorice blossom from the glass with dark plum and mocha then merging into vanillin oak, subtlety scorched earth and blackpepper. Rich and concentrated with an opulent mouthfeel held in check by an assertive structure, luscious fruit flavours of blackberries, dark plums and liquorice cascade across the palate with an undercurrent of earthy vanillin cedar and spicy pepper. Dryish finish with a solid yet refined wall of tannins holding everything in place. Outstanding power with a long aftertaste of blackberries, liquorice, dark plums, earthy vanillin cedar and spicy pepper.
Cellar 10-15 years.
This 2013 Shiraz St Henri follows in the blockbuster footsteps of the 2010 and 2012. The blend is 96% Shiraz with 4% Cabernet Sauvignon and the fruit sources are far and wide, including a real mix of terroirs: McLaren Vale, Adelaide Hills, Barossa Valley, Clare Valley, Padthaway and Port Lincoln. It spent 12 months in 50+-year-old casks. Deep garnet-purple colored, the youthfully reticent nose is complex, offering loam, aged meat, licorice, tar, scorched earth, fenugreek and cloves over a cherry cordial, blueberry pie and dried mulberries core. The medium to full-bodied palate reveals lovely, understated elegance and depth with a firm backbone of ripe, grainy tannins and many fruit and spice layers emerging on the finish. This is one for the long-long haul and, at a fraction of the price of Grange, should be where the smart money goes for stocking the cellar. Drink 2016-2045.
Lisa Perrotti-Brown – Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate