2010 Penfolds "St. Henri" Shiraz South Australia

SKU #1170157 98 points James Suckling

 A rare vintage of only shiraz in this wine, the sourcing is Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale, Coonawarra, Adelaide Hills, Wrattonbully and Clare Valley. A very handy vintage of this classically styled Penfolds red, bright hearty fruit dominates amid earth, tar and dark nutty elements, boot polish too, really deep. The palate has seamless flow and build, immense concentration is at play, dark liquorice, blackberry and plum, this is swathed in deeply ripe, smooth but strong tannin. Dark plum flavours build, the finish holds and holds - terrific length and depth here, this will go down as one of the greatest ever St. Henri releases.  (3/ 2014)

97 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Very deep purple-black in color and showing an attractive nose of warm blackcurrants, blueberries and licorice with a complex undercurrent of mocha, cedar, menthol and grilled meat, the full-bodied 2010 St Henri Shiraz is relatively rich in the mouth, offering tons of fruit structured by firm, fine tannins and refreshing acid. It finishes with great persistence. Drink it 2015 to 2030+.  (2/ 2014)

95 points Wine Spectator

 Focused, expressive and complex, this energetic version offers a fleshy mouthful of blueberry, fresh currant and plum flavors, shaded with spice and loamy earth notes, lingering effortlessly on the long finish. This has the goods to age gracefully for decades. Best from 2016 through 2030.  (8/ 2014)

93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Opaque ruby. Pungent, spice-tinged dark berry liqueur and cherry-vanilla scents unwind slowly while retaining very good focus. Offers palate-staining black and blue fruit flavors complicated by suggestions of mocha and lavender pastilles, with a hint of cracked pepper emerging on the back half. Closes on a smoky note, with mounting tannins and a whiplash of juicy, gently sweet dark berry preserves.  (7/ 2014)

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Price: $99.99

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Varietal:

Shiraz/Syrah

- One of France's noblest black grape varieties, Syrah is known for its intense and distinctive perfume reminiscent of briar fruit, tar, spice and black pepper and its firm structure. One of few black grape varietals frequently vinified on its own, the best examples of Syrah come from the Northern Rhône, particularly Hermitage, but also Côte-Rôtie, Cornas, Crozes-Hermitage and St-Joseph. These wines are very astringent in their youth, though some Crozes-Hermitage and St-Joseph can be enjoyed young, relatively speaking. Given the requisite patience, though, these wines can reveal amazing complexity and secondary fruit characteristics like plum and blackcurrant as well as subtle hints of smoke and flowers. In the Southern Rhône, Syrah is used to add structure and complexity to wines dominated by Grenache and complemented by Mourvèdre, like the more immediately drinkable Côte du Rhônes, as well as the long-lived wines of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. In recent years, plantings of Syrah have spread throughout the Languedoc-Roussillon where it is produced on its own or blended with other varietals. Outside of France, the most important Syrah growing country is easily Australia, where it is called Shiraz. Quality levels here depend greatly on yields and geography, and the wines range from bold, fruity and easy-drinking to intense and ageable, like the famed Penfolds Grange. Often bottled on its own, in Australia Syrah is also can be blended with Grenache and Mourvèdre, as in the Southern Rhône, and is increasingly combined with Cabernet Sauvignon. Syrah has also been steadily increasing in popularity in California, thanks to a group of advocates called the Rhône Rangers. Its most successful iterations come from the Central and Sonoma Coasts, where winemakers are pushing boundaries and creating some incredible wines. In recent years Syrah has also found a number of proponents in Washington State, which is definitely a region to watch for this variety.
Country:

Australia

- While it is true that the greatest strides in Australian winemaking have come in the last 30 years or so, commercial viticulture began as early as the 1820s and has developed uninterrupted ever since. The majority of the great Region are in the southeastern area of the continent, with the Barossa Valley, Claire Valley, McLaren Vale, and Coonawarra in South Australia, the Yarra Yarra Velley and Pyrenees in Victoria and the Upper and Lower Hunter Valleys in New South Wales. Many of the wines from Southeastern Australia are based on Shiraz or Cabernet Sauvignon and various blends including Grenache and Mourvedre. In Western Australia, along the Margaret River, great strides are being made with Pinot Noir as well as Bordeaux-styled reds. There are also many world-class releases of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling from the land Down Under. While many equate Aussie wines with "value", there are more than a few extremely rare and pricey options, which never fail to earn the highest ratings from wine publications and critics throughout the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from Australia.
Sub-Region:

South Australia