|Color & Type
Penfolds St Henri is a time-honored 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.
Released for the first time by Penfolds in the early 1950s (first commercial vintage 1957), it gained a new lease on life in the 1990s as its quality and distinctive style became better understood.
St Henri is rich and plush when young, gaining soft, earthy, mocha-like characters as it ages. It is matured in old, 1,460 liter vats that allow the wine to develop, imparting minimal, if any oak character. Although a small proportion of Cabernet is sometimes used to improve structure, the focal point for St Henri remains Shiraz.
Penfolds is an iconic Australian wine producer established in 1844 when Dr. Christopher Rawson Penfold and his family arrived from England and paid the princely sum of £1,200 for 500 acres of the best land in Magill. He planted French vine cuttings with the intention of producing his own “medicinal tonic” wine.
When he passed away, his wife Mary assumed responsibility for the 60 acres of vines in The Grange Vineyard, which was then producing several varieties. She managed the estate for 25 years, passing it on to her daughter Georgina and son-in-law Thomas Hyland when she retired. The Penfold family continued to operate the business very successfully and retained a controlling interest after the company became public.
Penfolds now has an extensive portfolio that includes the ‘House Style’ collection, numbered-bin releases, special bins, and fortifieds among others. It has played a pivotal role in the evolution of winemaking in Australia and across the world.
Penfolds has earned numerous accolades for its flagship and most iconic wine, Grange, the creation of former Chief Winemaker Max Schubert who aimed to match the finest, aged Bordeaux wines. Initially rejected by Penfolds management, the experiment was kept secret and barrels of wines were hidden behind a fake wall in the tunnels at Magill Estate. With bottle age development, a second tasting was greeted with enthusiasm and production was restarted.
Penfolds vineyards are located primarily in South Australia on prime land throughout the state’s most esteemed viticultural regions. Throughout its history, Penfolds has owned and leased vineyards in addition to sourcing grapes from independent growers. Its grapes are sourced from more than 220 vineyards and grape growers across Australia. This strategy reflects the tradition of multi-vineyard and multi-regional sourcing, first introduced in the 1860s by Mary Penfold, and allows for a consistency of style and quality across vintages, something Penfolds is renowned for.