Category Archives: Penfolds Grange

Sep 09 2015

1971 Penfolds Grange named best wine of the 1970s

Posted on September 09, 2015 | By merrill@cellarit.com

Have you noticed how many of the things we used to hate about the 1970s are making a comeback? Flared jeans, checked shirts and bright orange kitchens (yes, we had one of those!) no longer seem uncool!

And if you thought people only drank cheap cask wine back in the 1970s, a recent international competition has reminded everyone that some very fine wines of exceptional longevity were also made back then!

European luxury magazine publisher FINE and website tastingbook.com assembled wine judges from nine different countries to blind taste the top drops of the 1970s. As one would expect, French wines dominated, taking out eight of the top 10 positions. But the Penfolds Grange 1971 (98.5 points) snagged the top spot and three other Grange vintages from the 1970s made it into the top 40: the 1976 Grange came 14th (96.5 points), the 1972 Grange 25th (95.5 points) and the 1970 Grange came 36th (94.5 points)

Some of the greatest vintages for Bordeaux and Champagne were in the ’70s, so the fact that the 1971 Grange just beat the 1975 Chateau d’ Y’quem from Sauternes (98 points) is perhaps even more remarkable. The Guigal Côtes Rotie La Mouline 1976 came in third with a score of 97.5 points.

The late Max Schubert, the architect of Grange, confidently predicted that the 1971 vintage would prove to be his greatest. “If you had to point to a wine which fulfilled the ambitions of Grange it would have to be the 1971,” Schubert remarked in 1993, just months before he passed away.

This most recent competition is not the first time that top accolades have been awarded to the 1971 vintage. The AFR’s Mark Hawthorne reminded readers that “in 1979 Penfolds caused a sensation in France when the upstart Australian winery topped the Gault-Millau Wine Olympiad in Paris. It beat some of the best Rhone wines ever made.” (Penfolds Grange tops global challenge to find greatest wine of the 1970s by Mark Hawthorne,.. [Read More]

Aug 08 2015

Long Live Penfolds Bin 389: Notes from a Vertical Tasting

Posted on August 08, 2015 | By merrill@cellarit.com

Penfolds Bin 389 is sometimes referred to as ‘Baby Grange’ or ‘Poor Man’s Grange’. Like the iconic Penfolds Grange, Bin 389 shares the same legendary creator, Max Schubert, who first produced the wine in 1960, nine years after unveiling his experimental 1951 Grange.

In fact, a significant portion of the wine that goes into the Bin 389 is aged in the same American oak hogsheads used for the previous vintage of Grange. Twenty to 30 percent of the wine sees new oak treatment… [Read More]

Feb 02 2015

The delights of drinking aged Penfolds Grange

Posted on February 02, 2015 | By merrill@cellarit.com

Over the past couple of months I’ve had the good fortune to try two bottles of aged Penfolds Grange, the 2003 and the 1982. Both were opened (as they should be!) to celebrate two very special occasions – first a memorable birthday and then a farewell retirement party for our warehouseman Joe.

The 2003 had an absolutely beguiling bouquet. Cedar, Asian spices, and an assortment of dark berries – the fruit was so fresh!

If I find the aroma of a wine really enticing,.. [Read More]

Oct 10 2014

What’s Making Wine News: Penfolds’ Peter Gago is named GTW Winemaker of the Year

Posted on October 10, 2014 | By merrill@cellarit.com

2014 is shaping up as a big year for Penfolds. Not only does 2014 mark the winery’s 170th anniversary, but for the first time the company released two vintages of Penfolds Grange – the 2009 and the 2010 – in the same year.

The 2010 Penfolds Grange is winning wide acclaim as one of the best vintages ever, and it comes hot on the heels of the 2008, which was given a rare 100 points by Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate.

No wonder Peter Gago,.. [Read More]

Jun 06 2014

Dates announced for Penfolds Recorking Clinics 2014

Posted on June 06, 2014 | By merrill@cellarit.com

Penfolds recently released the dates for its 2014 Recorking Clinics around Australia. The company is also holding clinics in Beijing, New Zealand and North America.

Here are the Australian dates:

Brisbane, 5 – 6 August, Hilton Hotel

Sydney, 19 – 21 August, Shangri-La Hotel

Melbourne, 2 – 4 September, Crown Metropol Melbourne

Perth, 17 – 18 September, Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club

Adelaide, 30 September – 1 October, National Wine Centre.

To visit the Clinic you need to register your interest through the Penfold’s website Contact Form or call their Customer Service line on 1300 651 650 during June… [Read More]

May 05 2014

Penfolds Grange 2009: Reviews are Impressive!

Posted on May 05, 2014 | By merrill@cellarit.com

Today the Penfolds Grange 2009 was officially released to the public. Most of the reviews have already been written and after last year’s fanfare over the 2008, response to 2009 has been pretty muted. You may recall that the 2008 Grange garnered a 100 point review from the Wine Advocate’s Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, precipitating a controversial, hefty price hike! (Penfolds Grange 2008 and the 100 point review, Cellarit Wine Blog, 2 June 2013)

Not that reviews for the 2009 aren’t generally impressive… [Read More]

May 05 2012

Reviews for Penfolds Grange 2007

Posted on May 05, 2012 | By merrill@cellarit.com

Reviews for the Penfolds Grange 2007 are starting to trickle in. As you may recall, the 2006 Grange was a stellar vintage. Andrew Caillard MW of Langton’s gave the wine a perfect score of 100 points, rating the 2006 Grange as the best vintage since 2004.

2006 was always going to be a hard act to follow, especially since the 2007 vintage was plagued by drought, high summer temperatures and severe frosts early in the growing season. Of course, only the best quality fruit is used for the Grange,.. [Read More]

Jun 06 2011

Aussie Wine Icons: Reviews for Penfolds Grange 2006

Posted on June 06, 2011 | By merrill@cellarit.com

The annual release in May of the latest vintage of Penfolds Grange is always greeted with a great deal of anticipation. Most retailers’ allocations are sold out even before the reviews are written!

Now the reviews are beginning to trickle in and by all accounts the 2006 vintage is one of the best to date. Andrew Caillard MW of Langton’s gave the wine a perfect score of 100 points, rating the 2006 Grange as the best vintage since 2004. (2011 Penfolds Grange “luxury &.. [Read More]