2010 sees premium Australian wine brand Penfolds celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first commercial release of St Henri, one of the pinnacle wines in the Penfolds Luxury & Icon range. Created as an alter-ego to Grange, Australia’s most famous wine, St Henri embraces the virtues of old oak maturation, a style now very much back in winemaking fashion and appreciated by wine connoisseurs around the world.
Peter Gago, Penfolds Chief Winemaker comments, “The much anticipated 50th anniversary wine of St Henri doesn’t fail to disappoint and continues to enhance its reputation as an alternative Shiraz expression to Grange. 2006 was an outstanding vintage in the Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale, where the grapes for Penfolds St Henri are grown. A hot start to the year quickly followed by milder conditions allowed for excellent flavour and colour development, producing an elegant and polished wine.”
St Henri Shiraz 2006
50 years on from its first commercial vintage, the 2006 St Henri is dominated by Shiraz (89%) with a small portion of Cabernet Sauvignon (11%) added for structure. This stunning wine is deep dark red in colour, with aromas of praline, dark chocolate and blackberry on the nose, whilst pomegranate, cranberry and desiccated Chinese Plums dominate the palate. The 2006 St Henri is also one to keep hold of and wine lovers can expect to enjoy this vintage at its best until at least 2032.
The Birth of a Legend
The 1950s was an age of exploration and development for Penfolds as the winemaking team experimented with many elements involved in the winemaking process and set out to make an alter-ego to Grange – a wine that was lighter bodied but with intense fruit and an elegant style.
The first St Henri wine was produced in 1953, but it was the 1957 vintage that was officially recognised as the first commercial release of St Henri and despite many advances in winemaking techniques over the years, the overall philosophy of the wine style has not altered. St Henri is still a perfumed, stylish, supremely elegant wine that needs no enhancement with new oak and it is one of those rare wines which will age effortlessly.
Penfolds St Henri is priced at £35 and is available from selected wine retailers including Majestic Wine, Tesco Wine by the Case, Waitrose, Gondola.co.uk, Berry Bros & Rudd, Selfridges, Harrods and other independent wine merchants.
NOTES TO EDITORS
Penfolds has been producing remarkable Australian wines since 1844. With over 165 years of history, the heritage of the brand sets it apart from other new world wines, making it one of the most prestigious winemakers in the world.
St Henri Background
Spearheaded by the then Chief Winemaker Max Schubert, creator of Grange, assistant winemaker John Davoren contributed greatly to the age of exploration in the 1950s with the development of St Henri.
Early, experimental vintages were developed using traditional techniques such as foot-crushing and partial stalk retention – a practice which adds perfume and structure to the wine – and matured in large, old oak vats. These practices have evolved over time and fruit selection, tannin management and maturation in large 1460-litre old oak casks have all contributed to an evolution of style.
Luxury & Icon Wines
Other wines in the Penfolds Luxury & Icon range include:
Penfolds Grange 2005 RRP £190
Penfolds Yattarna Chardonnay 2007 RRP £48
Penfolds St Henri Shiraz 2006 RRP £35
Penfolds Bin 707 Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 RRP £68
Penfolds RWT Shiraz 2007 RRP £58
Penfolds Magill Estate Shiraz 2007 RRP £43
Penfolds Reserve Bin 08A Chardonnay 2008 RRP £34
For more information on Penfolds and the 2010 release Luxury & Icon wines, please go to www.penfolds.com, or download the Rewards of Patience App for detailed tasting notes of all vintages and wines within the Penfolds portfolio.