Penfolds St Henri Shiraz 2003

89+ points

South Australia. 14.5%

St. Henri is very much a warm climate, Barossa oriented, wine yet it strives for elegance.  It’s well known as a restrained wine, taking some years to build flavour.  It’s quite different from other wines in the Penfolds stable such as Grange.

St Henri is supposed to be matured only in old oak, with the aim for oak influence rather than flavour, but there is noticeable oak on this vintage.  It’s also 14.5%, making it harder to achieve elegance.

It’s a good wine, but more typical Penfolds, big, deep, and more forward than usual.  Perhaps reflecting a change in winemaking style, or perhaps a reaction to the unusually hot 2003 vintage.

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