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98 Points
98 Points
96 Points
95 points
Penfolds St Henri Shiraz 2016

Penfolds St Henri Shiraz 2016


$ 129.99 /bottle by the straight dozen
Single bottle price $129.99
Customer reviews
Why to buy:
Vintage: 2016
Source/Region: South Australia
Grape Variety: Shiraz
Cellaring: Drink now cellar up to 2055
Bottle Top: Foil over cork
Alcohol Content: 14.50
Standard Drinks: 8.60
Rating: 98
Tasting Notes:

A wine that immediately invokes interest – its nose endearingly captivating/enticing/intriguing. Fruits propelled from glass – black cherry, mulberry, blackcurrant, boysenberry … and more. A subliminal waft of star anise and savoury spices (not sweet) hover above. With air/decant a perfumed zabaglione / crème anglaise / eggnog ‘creaminess’ also ascends. At once, St Henri. Instant delivery, demands attention. Engulfs palate ... ever so deftly. No intimidation. A pure-fruited retronasal continuum from the first sniff to the post-ingestion back-palate. No gaps – call it saturation or density/compaction sans ‘bigness’ – apportioned correctly.Red and dark-fruited, a compote of fresh prune and quince.


St Henri is a time-honoured and alternative expression of Shiraz, and an intriguing counterpoint to Grange. It is unusual among 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 as it ages. It is matured in old, 1,460 litre vats that allow the wine to develop, imparting minimal, if any oak character.

Autumn and winter were dry and cool across South Australia. Below long-term average rainfall continued throughout spring and all through summer. The climactic conditions slightly delayed the start of the growing season in the Barossa Valley and other warmer regions. However, budburst, flowering, veraison and harvest were all earlier than is usually expected of Coonawarra.

Warm conditions prevailed in the early part of the summer allowing vines to develop healthy canopies and good bunch set. Some late rain in January and early February was a welcome relief. Temperatures in spring and summer were above the long-term average, resulting in an early harvest for shiraz. More than 80% of McLaren Vale had been harvested by mid-March.

Cool February conditions in the Adelaide Hills ensured ripening was steady and the slightly early start to vintage was a result of a mild and dry growing season. Grapes across all the main growing regions were able to ripen evenly and develop desirable flavours.

Accolades & Awards:

98 Points - Andrew Caillard MW

"Medium deep colour. Lovely fragrant claret style wine with exuberant fresh red cherry redcurrant, mulberry cassis aromas and roasted walnut complexity. Well concentrated and generous with inky cassis mulberry fruits, smooth velvety tannins, attractive viscosity and richness on the mid-palate and fine integrated acidity. Finishes powdery firm with superb mineral length. A hugely evocative wine; true to the original blueprint, spirit of style and the classic Penfolds multi-regional template. Delicious to drink now but should age beautifully."

98 Points - Nick Stock, James Suckling

"This is a much anticipated vintage for St. Henri, and it does not disappoint. The complexity of fruit here is stunning. So fresh and brimming with fruit aromas. The palate has a stunning array of deeply fleshy fruit flavors with a superb sense of length and powerful, ripe tannin, underpinning vibrant, fleshy fruit that is beautifully assembled in a refined, elegant and impressively pure mode. So long and pure. Silky and elegant. A real masterpiece, taking its place among the finest vintages like 2010, 1990 and 1971. Drink over the next three decades."

97 Point Rated - Jeb Dunnuck

The St. Henri cuvée is always brought up all in neutral oak casks, and the 2016 is a blend of 95% Shiraz and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon, with just 690 cases produced. This was a great vintage for South Australia, and this blockbuster sports a deep purple color as well as a dense, powerful, meaty bouquet of smoked black fruits, chocolate, bouquet garni, bay leaf, mint, and plenty of earthy minerality. Reminding me of an Hermitage from the likes of Delas Frères, it’s full-bodied and incredibly concentrated, with a stacked mid-palate and loads of ripe tannins. Backward and mostly potential at this point, it’s nevertheless a thrilling Shiraz readers should give 4-5 years of bottle age and it will knock your socks off over the coming two decades.

96 Points - Joe Czerwinski Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

"The 2016 St Henri Shiraz is one of the finest St Henris I've ever tasted, rivaling the likes of the 1986 or 1976. It's concentrated and rich, the essence of South Australia Shiraz (although it's been lightened by the addition of 5% Cabernet Sauvignon), unleavened by any new oak. Dark and tarry, it delivers notes of espresso and black olive, plummy fruit and roasted meat. Full-bodied and dense on the palate, it ends long, dark and savory."

95 Points - Huon Hooke

"Very deep, brooding red/purple colour, with a bouquet of ironstone, earth, smoke and bloody, sanguine overtones. It's youthful, bold and bright; fruit drives the wine, and it's almost lean it's so elegant; very long and refined on the follow-through, with very soft, fine-grained tannins throughout the palate. The tannins have an oaky taste but it's said not to see any small oak. This is all about finesse. Lovely wine."

95 Point Rated - Decanter

"If Grange is a Penfolds icon, St Henri is its loyal sidekick, always without the cloak of new oak - an echo of the so-called ‘Hidden Granges’ when Max Schubert was denied new oak by the Penfolds board. Deep, dark and brooding in colour, its pure, liquorice-spiced Shiraz fragrance shines through on the nose. As mentioned, this is unadorned by new oak, but its chocolatey richness and power - buttressed by 5% Cabernet Sauvignon - is in no way diminished without it. It displays concentrated opulent, spice-laden dark cherry and cassis primary fruit, texturally seamless and savoury with a fine spine of acidity and firm, chewy tannins. Excellent long-term ageing potential. Drink with lamb steaks. Drinking Window 2020 - 2040"

95 Point Rated - Wine Spectator

Shows plenty of oomph and verve to the core of blackberry and blueberry flavors, with pops of minerally loam, licorice, black pepper and oolong tea. The tannins are fine-grained and dense, but this remains fresh overall, delivering vibrant juiciness that lends focus and energy to the long, expressive finish. Drink now through 2035.

95 Point Rated - Wine Enthusiast 

The latest St. Henri has all the polished, chocolaty plushness Penfolds is so known for, but this bottling is particularly comfortable in its own skin, and seems set for a longer time in cellar than Penfolds Grange. It’s denser, with more earthy, olivey, charred oak notes than the brand’s most famous wine—and also wildly more affordable— with fleshy plum and brambly berry fruit woven into those more barrel-derived secondary notes. Despite its velvety opulence, it’s not bombastic. Tannins are muscular and spicy and also precise and refined, knitting together the plump fruit. Drink 2023–2040 and likely longer.

95 Point Rated - Wine & Spirits

There’s no new wood to get in the way of St. Henri’s blackberry freshness—the wine, developed by John Davoren in the 1950s, presented Penfolds’ top-level shiraz matured in large, neutral oak vats rather than the hogsheads Max Schubert was using for Grange. The 2016 is fragrant with dark fruit that seems to slow time—associate editor Corey Warren compared it to bullet time in The Matrix.Meanwhile, the gentle texture has a silken touch, even as the wine is super-concentrated. A remarkable vintage of St. Henri that will age for decades.

95 Points - Angus Hughson

95 Points - Campbell Mattinson

94 Point Rated -James Halliday Wine Companion

Includes 5% cabernet sauvignon, matured for 12 months in 50+yo large oak vats. The dark, deep colour alerts you to the vintage. This is a wine for future generations to enjoy. It is stacked with extract of black fruits and tannins, its elevage at work.

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