While Grange is now seen as the quintessential Australian wine, John Davoren's work with St. Henri is of equal importance. Indeed both these wines set new standards for their day with St. Henri establishing an elegant, perfumed style based on fruit definition and maturation in ancient large oak vats.
Originally the wines were called 'Penfolds St. Henri Claret', but since 1991, with the release of the 1989 vintage, St. Henri has been labelled varietally. Like Grange, the wines have always been Shiraz driven, with small varying percentages of Cabernet Sauvignon.
Nowadays St. Henri is a multi-district blend drawing Shiraz from the Barossa Valley, Eden Valley, McLaren Vale, Clare Valley, the foothills of the Adelaide Hills, and Langhorne Creek. Cabernet Sauvignon, which provides firmness and structure to the St. Henri style, is sourced from the Barossa Valley, Coonawarra and Bordertown.
Established in 1844, Penfolds is one of Australia's first wine estates. English physician, Christopher Rawson Penfold, bought the 200 hectare estate and began cultivating the cuttings from French vines to produce a medicinal tonic wine. The man who would become chief winemaker, Max Schubert, at the estate began working as a messenger in 1931 at the age of fifteen. A study tour in France would ignite his ambition to create a wine as great as those made in Bordeaux, and inspire the unique labeling of Penfolds wine by maturation area. Schubert would famously produce 'Grange' in secret after disapproval from the Penfolds management, hiding barrels and bottles in tunnels.
Grange would eventually become the pinacle of red wines produced at the estate. Penfolds has since received prestige which few other wine estates worldwide can match. Its wines are of immense quality and are Australia's most iconic, received with praise wherever they are tasted.
Deep garnet-purple in color, the 2009 St Henri Shiraz is slated for release on May 1, 2013. It is a little closed at the moment though reveals earthy aromas of warm berries, some mulberries and Chinese dried plums over notes of meat, black olive, coffee and tree bark. Richly concentrated and complex with layered, savory flavors, it is structured by firm, grainy tannins and is finishing long. It needs time to develop further. Drink it from 2015 to 2025+.
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As a rough guide most standard (75CL) single bottles weigh 2KG and a case (12 x 75CL bottles) weighs 24KG.
In Bond storage is facilitated at Octavian in Wiltshire, the U.K's premier wine storage facility. The conditions at this old munitions base, 100 metres below ground are unrivalled, offering temperature control, In Bond facility and full replacement value insurance. The wines are stored under each client's individual "Protection Plus" account number, fully labelled and can only be released or moved with his or her written instructions. No right of lien can be exercised over wines held on each client's behalf. Client's stock can be inspected, by arrangement, at any time excluding November & December.
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Items can be ordered In Bond for transfer to clients own bonded storage accounts. We are able to action this process for a single consignment charge of £10 ex VAT, this covers any quantity.