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Australia's most famous wine celebrates its 50th

25th June 2010 Print

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,, Berry Bros & Rudd, Selfridges, Harrods and other independent wine merchants.