Penfolds St Henri Shiraz 2017


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South Australia, Australia
96 points




Penfolds is probably the most extraordinary of the world’s wine brands with an enviable reputation for quality at every price level. The original Penfold was an English doctor who, in 1844, planted grapes at Magill, now a suburb of Adelaide. However, it was not until the late 1940s that Penfolds began to forge a reputation for red wine.

The Penfolds house style emerged from a fortified wine-producing culture and evolved as a winemaking philosophy that has had a profound effect on the entire Australian wine industry.

Today, the Penfolds house style embraces the concept of multi-regional blending, optimum fruit quality, the use of fine-grained American or French oak, barrel fermentation, and maturation. Overall, the Penfolds style is about highly-defined fruit aromas, fruit sweetness, ripe tannins, richness, power, and concentration. The number of iconic wines that have emerged from the Penfolds stable over the years is remarkable.

St Henri is a time-honoured and alternative expression of Shiraz and an intriguing counterpoint to Grange. It is unusual amongst high-quality Australian red wines as it does not rely on any new oak. Proudly, a wine style that hasn’t succumbed to the dictates of fashion or commerce. St Henri is rich and plush when young, gaining soft, earthy, mocha-like characters with age. It is matured in an assortment of old large vats that allow the wine to develop, imparting minimal if any oak character. Although a small proportion of cabernet may sneak into the blend, the focal point for St Henri remains Shiraz.


96 points
Wine Enthusiast

The latest bottling of St. Henri, from a cool vintage, is a classic. Inky-hued, it's a deep well of flavour: plush blackberries, roasted vegetables, coffee beans, dark chocolate and a sanguine nuance. The palate is rich and mouth-filling but linear, with polished, spicy oak and fine, powerful tannins. It's a big wine that needs a major hit of protein if drinking now, but it will age beautifully for many decades to come. Drink through 2045. Christina Pickard


Serving Temp.
16-18 °C
Cellar until
Now - 2040
Food pairing
Beef and Venison

Tasting Profile

Savoury notes first detected, yet quickly courted by generous cherry liqueur/chocolate aromas. Scents of dried beef sit alongside a textbook garrigue deconstruction – dried herb/oregano/thyme/lavender. Perplexingly, an exotic emission continues – best guess – copha, cranberry and activated walnut! Shiraz unplugged… oak or artefact not part of this wine’s demeanour. Smells like? St Henri.
A masterclass of texture: plush, glossy, seamless – abetted by silky, polished tannins. One taster quipped: “millennial tannins”! Black olive; coffee and mocha flavours abound, as do the generous shiraz fruits sourced from the northern viticultural reaches of South Australia. Medium-bodied, with a great core and lovely framework – yet what is sipped fills the mouth so effortlessly. A succulence is immediately noted – a fruited pomegranate/cranberry/quince paste-induced acidity, balanced with fruit sweetness. Not trying too hard. St Henri rarely does.

Penfolds St Henri Shiraz 2017

Penfolds St Henri Shiraz 2017

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The Reserve Cellars. ABN 89621364994 Liquor License 196883. The Reserve Cellar supports the responsible service of alcohol. It is against the law to sell or supply alcohol to, or obtain alcohol on behalf of, a person under the age of 18 years. WARNING: Under the Liquor Act 1992, it is an offence to supply liquor to a person under the age of 18 years (Penalty exceeds $6,000). for a person under the age of 18 years to purchase or receive liquor (Penalty exceeds $500).

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