Penfolds St Henri Shiraz 2018
- 99 POINT RATED ANDREW CAILLARD MW
- 99 POINT RATED NICK STOCK JAMESSUCKLING.COM
- 99 POINT RATED KEN GARGETT WINEPILOT.COM
- 98 POINT RATED BOB CAMPBELL MW
- 97 POINT RATED HUON HOOKE THE REAL REVIEW
- 97 POINT RATED TYSON STELZER WINE COMPANION
Deep inky blood-red The veil long clasped by St Henri is aromatically lifted. A 2018 St Henri cork is extracted revealing: Clinically: The elution of flinty pencil and cordite. Appetisingly: Warmed black olive - mustardy spiced wild rocket, haloumi. Savoury: Scents of a Greek flat-leaf parsley salad, eggplant, capers. Exotically: Freshly sliced fig and cut-rhubarb laced with cinnamon, cola spice, Chinotto, dusted nuts. Fruits (white plum, fresh fig and quandong) and charcuterie savouries abound. Fresh vibrant acidity abetted by the cut-rhubarb noted aromatically above, and liquorice root. Toasted pumpkin seed flavours, tannin-dry yet not puckering.Mouth-watering, finely etched tannins ‘mist up’ the palate spectrum – a tactile fog!
99 Point Rated - Andrew Caillard MW
"Deep crimson. A beautiful St Henri vintage. Gorgeously seductive blackberry, mulberry, dark cherry, sweet plum aromas with dark chocolate, graphite, roasted walnut notes. Inky and sinuous palate with plentiful ripe blackberry, mulberry fruits, fine looseknit chalky tannins, superb mid-palate viscosity and underlying chinotto, roasted walnut notes. A standout vintage with superb middle-weight stature, fruit complexity and mineral length. Lovely to drink now but wait a few years to allow further development."
99 Point Rated - Nick Stock jamessuckling.com
"A great St. Henri and, although multi-regional, this is very much a wine that speaks of the Barossa Valley, with aromas of ripe blackberries and red plums that are so fresh, together with tobacco, young-leather, earth, chocolate, coal-smoke and tarry accents. Effortless depth on the palate with summer berries, framed in fine, alabaster-like tannins that are underscored with discreet power. So long and captivating. A blend of Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale, Port Lincoln, Robe, Padthaway, Clare Valley and Adelaide Hills. Drink over the next decade or more."
99 Point Rated - Ken Gargett winepilot.com
"St Henri is, for me, one of the least consistent wines in the annual Collection. By that I mean, sometimes it absolutely soars above those around it. Other times, it just doesn’t seem to be able to get off the ground to the extent that such a much-loved and famous wine should. This vintage is sourced from the Barossa, McLaren Vale, Padthaway, Port Lincoln, Robe, the Clare Valley and the Adelaide Hills. 12 months in those fifty plus year-old vats.
For me, this is the wine of the entire release. An extraordinarily good St Henri and I could not encourage winelovers to fill their cellars with this wine more strongly which will comfortably sit with 2010 and 2012. I have no doubt that in years to come, it will be considered as one of the greatest St Henri’s ever made. It really is that good.
Colour is black and purple. The aromas kick off with cloves and black olives. Dark chocolate, mulberries, cassis, leather, hints of tobacco leaves, truffles, beefstock and blackberries. Power and concentration. What is not to love? Right on form. Complex, balanced, very long and generous. Abundant silky tannins. This is perfectly structured. Balance is the key. The balance allows the wine to exhibit Audrey Hepburn elegance and Arnie Schwarzenegger power. This has decades ahead. A great St Henri."
98 Point Rated - Bob Campbell MW The Real Review
"This is a wonderful example of St Henri and a powerful endorsement for ageing rich, powerful syrah in large, neutral casks to swing the spotlight firmly onto the wine's wonderful array of fruit, chocolate-mocha and savoury flavours without the distraction of oak. It envelopes the senses and promises to develop wonderfully with bottle age."
97 Point Rated - Huon Hooke The Real Review
"Deep, bright purple/red colour, young for its age, and leaves a residue in the swirled glass. The bouquet is very rich and multi-layered, sweetly fruit-ripe and balancing spicy, earthy-terrestrial and dark-fruit characters superbly. The palate is very full-bodied, but softly plush and lushly fruited, the sooty and graphitey tannins leaving a long-lingering savoury impression. A lasting impression of great elegance. The tannins are fine, abundant and persistent, in harmony with the totality. A very complex and high-potential St Henri. (Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale, Port Lincoln, Robe, Padthaway, Clare Valley, Adelaide Hills. Aged 12 months in 50+ year-old oak vats)"
97 Point Rated - Tyson Stelzer Wine Companion
"Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale, Port Lincoln, Robe, Padthaway, Clare Valley and Adelaide Hills fruit. Matured 12 months in 50+yo vats. The effortless, unassuming self-assuredness of St Henri holds a unique and beloved place in the assemblage of Penfolds heroes, and 2018 marks a particularly special release. Accomplished, spicy, glossy black fruits of grand integrity unfold to magnificent effect in the glass, contrasting a fine-boned frame of rigid yet graceful, powder-fine tannins that carry a finish of long-lingering line and alluring appeal. I look forward to spectating from the sidelines as its fruit slowly unfurls over the decades to come. An adorable St Henri that exemplifies all that this label stands for."
97 Point Rated - Joe Czerwinkski - Robert Parker Wine Advocate
"The 2018 St Henri Shiraz is a terrific effort, perhaps rivaling the top-flight wines under this label in 1976 and 1986. Remarkably fine and silky in texture yet simultaneously dense and concentrated, it showcases the amazing fruit harvested in 2018. Boysenberry, mulberry and mocha shadings all swirl together effortlessly in a whorl of full-bodied elegance, finishing long and effortless. Mainly Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale, it includes smaller amounts of fruit from Port Lincoln, Robe, Padthaway, Clare Valley and the Adelaide Hills, all aged 12 months in large old wooden vats."
17.5+ Point Rated - Jancis Robinson MW - jancisrobinson.com
"Full bottle 1,520 g. Fruit from Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale, Port Lincoln, Robe, Padthaway, Clare Valley and Adelaide Hills. Matured for 12 months in 50-year-old vats. Just penetrable purple with lots of blue tinges. Rich, ripe, complex nose that beckons you in to the glass. Amazingly there is some real freshness to this wine, even thought there are other elements to it that remind me of a liqueur. It's certainly a hit, with both immediate appeal and obvious potential for long ageing. Long and rather glorious without being too hot or weighed down by alcohol. No shortage of tannins but the fruit stands up to them."
96 Point Rated - Jeni Port - winepilot.com
"St. Henri is always welcoming, a warm and familiar flavour that resonates almost without fail. There’s a soft generosity to the 2018, no doubt due to a warm-hot summer across the seven South Australian regions that contribute fruit to the blend.
Black cherries and berries, spiced stewed plums, licorice, turned earth. Has an old Australian dry red feel to it that’s mighty attractive, a reminder when reds were aged in old oak, in this case we’re talking 12 months in 50-year-old oak vats. It’s a slow-paced wine, of violet, aniseed, prune, leather and earth. Savouriness builds, tannins come to the fore as the wine moves across the tongue towards a long finish. So, so easy to enjoy right now. Cellar if you can."
95 Points Rated - Campbell Mattinson The Wine Front
"It’s a fruit-filled St Henri. It’s immediately impressive, which isn’t exactly the St Henri way, but no one’s complaining. Cocoa, coffee grounds, rich sweet plums, soy and sweet, aged meat. Licorice straps too, black, fresh and laid on. This is the kind of St Henri that you can drink young, it doesn’t need it’s normal ten-year rule, and yet it’s future will be brilliant. This is a St Henri to buy."
95 Point Rated - Josh Raynolds - Vinous
"Dark, bright-rimmed violet color. A wild, highly complex bouquet evokes spice-tinged black/blue fruits, pipe tobacco, savory herbs, potpourri and olive paste. Weighty and yet energetic in style, offering mineral-driven bitter cherry, cassis, chewing tobacco and exotic spice flavors that turn sweeter through the back half. Round, slowly building tannins give framework to a very long, smoky finish that echoes the cherry and tobacco notes."
93 Point Rated - David Sly Decanter
"A shift in emphasis for St Henri, with its gaze fixed on depth and seriousness rather than its familiar comforting embrace. With no new oak, it’s always a fruit-driven statement, but this time the rich, red earthy tones are clouded over by a deep well of purple and blue fruit flavours. As a result, it appears to have a broader frame than before, finishing a bit short for a wine of this stature, but still with lots of pleasing savoury grip on the finish."
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. Released for the first time by Penfolds in the early 1950s (first commercial vintage 1957), it gained a new lease of life in the 1990s as its quality and distinctive style became better understood. 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.
Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale, Port Lincoln, Robe, Padthaway, Clare Valley, Adelaide Hills
|Cellaring:||Drink now or cellar until 2055|
|Bottle Top:||Foil over cork|