A wine with a very long lineage (some say first release 1957, some 1955 or 1953, there's even been remarks of 1896), the St Henri presently marks Penfolds' attempt at an ultra-premium, multi-regional South Australian shiraz made without the use of new oak.
Very ripe and meaty, with a stewy fragrance of prunes, currants and dried fruit, the typically fruit forward St Henri's nose is supported by undertones of violet, menthol and cinnamon, displaying good depth of layered aromatics. Its initially essence-like, dark fruited palate extends into meatier, stewed flavours of exaggerated ripeness in a leathery, old fashioned style. Fortunately, the 2005 St Henri balances itself out with great length of fruit and an assertive coating of naturally firm, lifted and fine grained tannins (with some thanks to a 10% cabernet component), delivering more than adequate structure.
O Undoubtedly a result of its season, the 2005 St Henri is a fraction ripe for my tastes, however, it'll continue to please its many fans and age gracefully for at least another decade or so. Drink 2015-2021.