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.

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Written by afterdinnersneeze

5 February 2012 at 10:08pm

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