1998 Penfolds St Henri. Penfolds St Henri, is one of Australia’s greatest red wines; it is steeped in history and heritage, a bottle of 1896 Auldana St Henri Claret, surfaced in the late 1980’s from the cellar of a private collector in Tasmania and a bottle of the 1911 Auldana St Henri Claret was presented at the Penfolds Red Wine Clinic, in 1996 which was being held in Hobart. In 1943, Penfolds bought the Auldana Vineyard, which is where Leon Edmund Mazure created those early above mentioned vintages of St Henri Claret. In 1947 Penfolds Winemaker John Davoren was appointed manager of Penfolds Auldana Cellars.
In the early 1950’s Penfolds Winemaker, John Davoren revived the label St Henri Claret, he was keen to make a wine based on the history of Auldana Cellars and his own families wine making traditions. The first vintage of Penfolds St Henri was made in 1953, although this vintage and the following three vintages were all experimental wines. The first commercial Penfolds St Henri was the 1957 Penfolds St Henri vintage.
Penfolds St Henri and Penfolds Grange began life together in the 1950’s in an intense and experimental environment. The two winemakers, Max Schubert working on Grange, and John Davoren working on St Henri, shared an intense and competitive relationship. They were good friends and had robust discussion about the wines, during this time Davoren actually reported to Schubert. Penfolds St Henri and Penfolds Grange come from the same stable, they are similar in style and at between 10 and 15 years of age they look remarkably similar to each other. Initially Penfolds St Henri was commercially more successful than Penfolds Grange because it was more elegant and approachable than the blockbuster Grange style. When they were both released St Henri and Penfolds Grange were priced at the same level