The 2002 Penfolds St Henri is a masterpiece. Rated 97Pts Jeremy Oliver. It is one of the best releases of this classic Penfolds wine.
Penfolds St. Henri, like Penfolds Grange, has built a tradition over many decades as a wine renowned for its depth of fruit flavour and longevity. The St. Henri style, made from a blend of shiraz and cabernet sauvignon grapes, emphasises fruit character. The grapes are selected for elegance rather than intensity and, in contrast to other Penfolds reds, oak character is not an important element of the style.
Fruit used for Penfolds St Henri is sourced from a number of high quality vineyards throughout South Australia with significant contributions from the Barossa Valley, Clare Valley, McLaren Vale and Langhorne Creek. Penfolds St Henri is usually a blend of shiraz and cabernet sauvignon, the blend varies each vintage from around 90/10 (shiraz/cabernet) to as little as 98/2, and some vintages such as the 1990 have been made with 100% shiraz. Penfolds St Henri is matured for 18 months in old oak casks, 1460 litres or more, it doesn’t rely on new oak like many fine Australian wines including Grange and Bin 707.
This vintage is a blend of shiraz 96% and cabernet sauvignon 4% and was matured in large oak vats for 14 months.
2002 was a great vintage for South Australia and Penfolds, good winter rains and a cool spring and summer. Autumn was warm and dry, careful vineyard management provided relief and produced excellent quality but smaller than average yields. McLaren Vale had a cool season but warm weather later helped ripening producing a small but high quality crop.