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St Henri is a time-honoured and alternative expression of Shiraz, and an intriguing counterpoint to Grange. It is unusual among high quality Australian red wines as it does not rely on any new oak. It was created in the early 1950s (first commercial vintage 1957) and gained a new lease of life in the 1990s as its quality and distinctive style became better understood. Proudly, a wine style that hasn’t succumbed to the dictates of fashion or commerce. St Henri is rich and plush when young, gaining soft, earthy, mocha-like characters as it ages. It is matured in old, 1460 litre vats that allow the wine to develop, imparting minimal, if any oak character. Although a small proportion of Cabernet is sometimes used to improve structure, the focal point for St Henri remains Shiraz.
Australia Vintage Report:1999 also had a dry winter in Australia, with average temperatures for all months. However, there were a considerable amount of drizzly days at harvest time, causing some headaches with varieties susceptible to Botrytis cluster rot, ie. Grenache. It cleared up and the wines produced were all closed and slightly below average intensity. They look better and better.