after dinner sneeze

a lot of g says, t says

St. Henri disgusts me

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t says:  I was super-pumped after I saw one of these Chairman’s Selection wines: 2005 St. Henri Shiraz half-bottle.  That’s a screaming deal!  I stopped by the store on 19th and Chestnut, picked up a bottle, and immediately started planning how it was I was going to drink it.

After I got home, I then noticed something that took me by surprise:

2005 St. Henri ... well ... not really ...

As you can barely see in the above picture, this was a 2004 St. Henri … NOT a 2005.  That’s an entirely different year.  And, through some quick googling, I found that it was quite an inferior one.  Darnit!  Nevertheless, I pressed on and opened it up a week later for a tasting with g’s dad.

2004 Penfolds “St. Henri Shiraz″ (half-bottle; Australia; $14.99 at PLCB).  Upon opening the bottle (the cork was in great shape!), I was greeted with a familiar smell, but I couldn’t quite place it.  It was something vivid and in-your-face, but my mind was blocking.  So I poured it into a decanter.  As I swirled, I remembered: raisins.  It smelled of raisins.  Kind of like a port … uuhhh-ooohhhh.  I tasted it, and it tasted like – surprise – raisins!  Double-darnit!  That’s a cooked wine if I ever tasted one.  Basically, the bottle was kept at a very warm temperature for far too long a time.  The result of this is a very obvious raisin taste that takes over everything.  It’d be one thing if it then proceeds to taste good … trust me, this did not, as you can see from the title of this post.  It was bad news, man.  Bad news.  I was nonplussed as some might say.  So I poured the wine from the decanter back into the bottle, recorked it, and walked over to 19th and Chestnut with my receipt in hand.  I returned that mo’-fo’.  Got my money back, fo’ shizzle.

Other bottles of St. Henri in the state may not be cooked, but I wasn’t risking another bottle from that store.  Actually, I’d probably just not bother with the 2004 at all – there’s a lot of great Australian Shiraz to be had at under $30/bottle (remember, this one was $15 for a half-bottle).  If I happen to find a real 2005 St. Henri, I’d jump on it in a heartbeat.  And – even if it was improperly stored like the above one, I have no qualms about returning it.  They asked me no questions whatsoever.  That’s perhaps the best thing about PA state stores: no one there knows a single thing about wine so they have to just take your word for it.  You could probably just “not like the way it tastes” and get away with returning it.

Written by afterdinnersneeze

5 February 2012 at 10:08pm

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