Penfolds Grange Shiraz Collectors Tasting - The Ultimate Collectible from Australia

Saturday, July 13, 2019 - 07:30 PM

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"You have only so many bottles in your life, never drink a bad one."

Len Evans


We don’t waste time here at the Wine Watch as every day above ground should be special and celebrated with great wines.  You never know when your last bottle will go down but we are trying to take down as many great wines as we can before our time runs out!

One of the reasons that I get out of bed in the morning is to drink wines like Penfolds Grange. Grange is a symbol of the best that Australia has to offer, the pinnacle of quality and the epitome of what a Shiraz from southeast Australia is and standard bearer should be. That is why we host an annual event to showcase the newest release of this iconic wine.  

Over the years we have had both John Duvall and Peter Gago, the last two winemakers for Grange along with other Penfolds’ personalities.  This year we have Ewan Proctor on hand to tell the story of the iconic Grange.  This is the second year that Ewan has hosted the event and he came back last year to host the Symphony of the America’s event so many of our “Wine Drinking People have already had a chance to break bread with this Aussie so it will be like a home coming for Ewan at this years’ event.

Our "Collector Series" tasting event is where we ask you, our wine drinking people, to come up with some wine from your wine collection to add to the party. If you don’t have any Grange in your cellar don’t worry we have an incredible collection of Grange to choose from and I have included everything that we have in the store from Penfolds on this e-mail offering including all the new releases which I just tasted this afternoon!

Image result for penfolds grange

Penfolds Grange Collectors Cellar Tasting with Ewan Proctor
Saturday, July 13th

Let me explain further- this is a two part event:

The first part of the evening begins at 7:30pm, this is where we will be tasting through a vertical selection of 10+ vintages of Penfolds Grange. The price of admission is one bottle of Penfolds Grange from your cellar, but here is the catch- we only need 1 bottles of each wine, so the longer you wait to respond the harder it will be to get a seat as you will have to go further back in time because the youngest vintages will be filled up by the first collectors who respond. 

If you do not have a bottle of Grange in the cellar that is a different vintage than those below we may be able to help.  We just happen to have one of the largest collections of Penfolds Grange in Florida so I have included a list of all the Grange that we have in the store below. 

If you would like to attend the vertical tasting just respond to this email with the vintage of Penfolds Grange that you would like to trade for your seat.

**There are only 14 spaces available for this event.

Here are the vintages that we have already:

Penfolds Grange South Australia 2014
Penfolds Grange South Australia 2004

Penfolds Grange South Australia 2003

Penfolds Grange South Australia 2001

Penfolds Grange South Australia 2000
Penfolds Grange South Australia 1999

Penfolds Grange South Australia 1997 Magnum

We will continue to add on to this list as the reservations come in for the event.

Part 2 is dinner:

This is where we taste the additional wines which are new releases from Penfolds below the menu and you get to finish your bottle of Grange.  You must be a part of the collectors tasting or Part 1 of the event to qualify for the dinner. 

Dinner Menu

Blue cheese Gouchons with blackberry drizzle
Foie gras Tourchon with currant jam and brioche toast
Baby Octapus Carpaccio with grilled Shallot and elderflower Aioli
Australian Lamb Chops with Jalapeno Mint Jam and Blistered baby Yukon Potato
Dark Chocolate Creme Brulee
The Dinner is $75 + tax and we will be pairing a course and you can drink the rest of your bottle of Grange and these wines below with dinner!

Wines that will be served at the tasting in addition to the vertical of Penfolds Grange:
Image result for Penfolds Bin 51 Riesling 2015

Penfolds Bin 51 Riesling 2015    
Price: $37.50       Sale $33.00

(96 Points) "Highly floral; has a definite touch of lavender on the bouquet along with notes of herb and the more usual citrus. Fascinating - the low pH gives the palate the minerally structure to carry the apple skin and lemon/citrus zest and pith. A vibrantly fresh wine bred to stay. And to think there was a time not so long ago when Penfolds had L-plates on its white winemaking." Australian Wine Companion
2017 Penfolds Chardonnay Max's Cuvee South Australia image
2017 Penfolds Chardonnay Max's Cuvee South Australia
Price: $19.50    Your Price: $17.16

Penfolds Max’s Chardonnay is a tribute to former Chief Winemaker Max Schubert 1948-1975, a legend in Penfolds history. Max’s constant pursuit of excellence paved the way for those who followed in his footsteps and also allowed the status and heritage of Penfolds to grow. Max’s Chardonnay displays the Penfolds ‘stamp’ inspired by Max Schubert.
Image result for Max's Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
Penfold’s Max’s Shiraz 2016
Price: $19.50       Sale $17.16


Image result for 2014 Penfolds Bin 28 Shiraz Barossa
2016 Penfolds Bin 28 Shiraz Barossa       
Price: $30.00       Sale $26.40

Bin 28 offers a showcase of warm-climate Australian Shiraz – ripe, robust and generously flavoured. First made in 1959, Bin 28 is named after the famous Barossa Valley Kalimna Vineyard purchased by Penfolds in 1945 and from which the wine was originally sourced. Today, Bin 28 is a multi-region, multi-vineyard blend, with the Barossa Valley always well represented.

Wine Watch Review: This wine was once a single vineyard wine from the famous Kalimna estate but today it is a blend of everything that they own which is around 8000 acres and they can buy about that much every year if the quality is right from their growers.  Black cherry and dark plum fruit with notes of mocha, mint and tobacco spice.  Juicy red and black berry and plum fruit on the tongue with silky smooth tannins, some bitter notes at the end but lots of fruit here to match and an array of spice with a firm hand of acidity holding things together nicely, very youthful but should age nicely for a decade or more.  Finish 40+    Excellent
Image result for 2013 Penfolds St Henri Shiraz
2015 Penfolds St Henri Shiraz   
Price: $97.50       Sale $85.80

(96 Points) Described by Peter Gago as the antithesis of a ‘show wine’, Penfolds' much loved and admired St Henri Shiraz continues to plough its own furrow in glorious style. In many ways it is a superb counterpoint to the more senior Grange, having been aged in large, old oak vats. The nose here is cocoa powder and summer pudding with a touch of mocha. This segues onto a palate of red and black fruits, dark chocolate, graphite and liquorice. St Henris are usually built for the long haul thanks to their acidity, fruit and densely populated tannins, and this is no exception. Superbly structured, juicily vibrant, sweet and balanced, this is tempting to broach now. However, I’d leave it for a couple of decades and wait for the magic to unfurl. Drinking Window 2017 - 2040 Decanter
Wine Watch Review: 1957 was the first vintage this wine was resurrected, the 2015 is a blend of 93% Shiraz and 7% Cabernet Sauvignon from Mclaren Vale, Yarra Valley and other cooler climate vineyards.  St Henri is a very elegant style of Shiraz with black plum, cherry and blueberry fruit on the nose complimented by pretty violet floral and tobacco spice notes.  Rich and decadent on the tongue with silky velvety tannins this wine has wonderful freshness and a long-layered finish.  Finish 45 +    Excellent +


Image result for Penfolds Grandfather Port
Penfolds Grandfather Port         
Price: $75.00       Sale$ 66.00

The Grandfather name dates back to 1915, when an oak cask containing the finest blend of Tawny was set aside for the exclusive use of the Penfold family. This wine was known as The Grandfather due to the age of the oldest Tawny in the blend.

With a core selection of Mourvedre, Shiraz, Cabernet and Grenache (but not limited to these varieties), Grandfather Rare Tawny sources fruit from vineyards specifically selected for fortified wine production.

Only the free run wine is used for Penfolds Grandfather Rare Tawny and Penfolds uses a low strength fortifying spirit which is selected specifically for the Penfolds style. This spirit accentuates primary fruit character and adds additional complexity and seamless integration.

Each year, fortified wine is made with Grandfather in mind and these selected batches are barrel aged for approximately eight years. Batches of wine that reach the required maturation and Grandfather quality are then blended and added to the 'Grandfather Solera'. In this six-stage solera, Grandfather is aged for a further twelve years to give a total average age above 20 years - before being drawn off for bottling.

During this extended maturation process the Grandfather Rare Tawny becomes more concentrated and complex with increased palate weight, structure, complexity and sweetness

This tasting menu is limited to 16 tasters but if you still want to come in and talk to Ewan and enjoy any of these Penfolds wines By the Glass along with one or two of the items on the menu you can stop by and just have a glass of the St. Henri with the Foie Gras or a glass of 2003 Grange (our winner from last years’ tasting will be offered by the glass this week for $150 for 7 ounces) with a selection of cheese and charcuterie which are always available whenever the Wine Bar is open.

A bit of history about Penfolds:
Penfolds, a household word in Australia and one of the world's largest wine companies, traces its origins back to Magill on the outskirts of Adelaide at the foot of the Mount Lofty Ranges.   It was at Magill that Dr. Christopher Rawson Penfold, the founder of this great firm, first planted his vineyard.  Dr. Penfold, the son of a Sussex vicar, the Reverend John Penfold, was schooled in England, and married his wife there in 1835.  However, within a few short years, he decided to try his hand at life in the colonies and purchased a grant of land at Magill in South Australia for what was considered a large sum of money.  With his wife and baby daughter, Georgina, he made the hazardous voyage towards the end of 1844.  The family settled on their land at Magill and built a white-washed stone cottage which they named "The Grange".  As well as practicing medicine and looking after his farm, Dr. Penfold planted vine cuttings which he had brought out with their ends dipped in sealing wax to keep the sap in the vines until they were planted.  He did not approve of the quality of imported wine of the time so he made his own for use of his patients with anemia.  Whether the wine was in fact any help to anemia is debatable, but this now discredited cure was the beginning of a huge enterprise.  By the time of his death in 1870, Dr. Penfold had expanded his viticultural holdings and devoted more and more time to winemaking.  In his twenty-six years in the young colony, Dr. Penfold had laid the basis of a veritable viticultural dynasty.
Although the wine business at Magill seemed to falter slightly after Dr. Penfold's death, by 1881 it was again flourishing; and Penfolds was becoming the most important wine producer in South Australia.  Historical records reveal that the stock of wine at the Magill winery in 1881 was about 485,000 liters.  At that time the total quantity in South Australian was about 1.4 million liters.  Wine production continued to increase, and by 1885 trade was flourishing between Magill and all the states as well as New Zealand.  One of Dr. Penfold's four grandchildren, Frank Penfold Hyland (born 1873), was responsible for guiding the company through almost fifty years of successful expansion.  Frank entered the business in 1892 and spent three years in Europe studying winemaking.  After Frank's death in 1948, at the age of 74, the company was administered by a Board of Directors for some fourteen years before it became a public company in 1962.  Expansion continued throughout the sixties and seventies with the most significant expansion occurring in 1982 when Penfolds acquired the Kaiser Stuhl winery.  Throughout the eighties Penfolds continued its aggressive expansion, swallowed up the huge Seppelt winery, and was said to control nearly 40% of all Australian wine production.  Also in 1988, Penfold's flung its far-reaching tentacles abroad and purchased half of Sonoma County's Geyser Peak winery.  Magill is still the headquarters of the Penfolds organization, but their winery at Nuriootpa is the major production facility.  The "Grange", the family's small old white-washed stone cottage, is still maintained at Magill in its original condition and is used as a museum.  Today Penfold's is a huge and successful enterprise.  Indeed, a great deal of wine has flowed since Dr. Christopher Rawson Penfold began to cure his anemic patients at Magill.

If you don’t have a bottle of Grange and you need one to attend the event here is what we have in stock.

Image result for 1984 Penfolds Grange Shiraz South Australia MAGNUM

1984 Penfolds Grange Shiraz South Australia MAGNUM
Price: $1100.00    Sale Price: $899.00         Quantity in Stock: 1
1992 Penfolds Grange Shiraz South Australia MAGNUM
Price: $999.00    Sale Price: $799.00           Quantity in Stock: 1
1995 Penfolds Grange Shiraz South Australia
Price: $595.00    Sale Price: $495.00           Quantity in Stock: 7
1996 Penfolds Grange Shiraz South Australia
Price: $575.00    Sale Price: $475.00           Quantity in Stock: 2
1997 Penfolds Grange Shiraz South Australia MAGNUM
Price: $999.00    Sale Price: $799.00           Quantity in Stock: 3
1998 Penfolds Grange Shiraz South Australia
Price: $650.00    Sale Price: $525.00           Quantity in Stock: 1
1999 Penfolds Grange Shiraz South Australia
Price: $450.00    Your Price: $396.00          Quantity in Stock: 8
2000 Penfolds Grange
Price: $450.00    Sale Price: $359.00           Quantity in Stock: 10
2002 Penfolds Grange Shiraz South Australia
Price: $550.00    Sale Price: $450.00           Quantity in Stock: 9
2003 Penfolds Grange Shiraz South Australia
Price: $495.00    Sale Price: $399.00           Quantity in Stock: 7
The 2003 vintage Grange was the crowd favorite at last year’s collectors tasting!

2012 Penfolds Grange Shiraz South Australia
Price: $850.50    Sale Price: $748.44           Quantity in Stock: 1

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