Category Archives: Penfolds Red Wine Clinics

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.

Penfolds Grange 1970, Clinic Label 2012Clinics are useful for people who want a “health check” on their older bottles. To be eligible for appraisal, the wine must be 15 years or older, ie. 1999 vintage or earlier.

Here’s a brief recap on what happens at a Penfolds recorking clinic:

  • Your bottle is assessed by a Penfolds winemaker to see whether it’a a good candidate for recorking. You may be asked questions about when the bottle was acquired and how it’s been cellared.
  • If necessary, the bottle is opened, tasted and assessed.
  • If the bottle is deemed to be in good condition (ie. the wine tastes fine), it will be topped up with a recent vintage of the same wine and recorked. A Penfolds Recorking Clinic label, certified and dated by the winemaker who assessed your bottle, is adhered to the back of the bottle.
  • If the bottle fails the taste test, it will receive a white dot.

Recorking is not without its Critics

In a recent article, wine critic Huon Hooke noted that the concept of recorking is not without its critics. He cites anecdotal evidence that ‘cliniced’ bottles of Grange are fresher and more youthful than un-cliniced bottles, and mentions that he has heard … Read the rest

Jul 07 2012

Penfolds Announces Red Wine Clinic Dates for 2012

Posted on July 07, 2012 | By merrill@cellarit.com

A post I wrote back in September 2010, What Happens at a Penfolds Red Wine Clinic, is still very popular with readers and the number two search result if you type “Penfolds Red Wine Clinic” into Google search. As Penfolds recently announced the dates for its re-corking clinics in Australia and the United States, I thought I would provide an update with this year’s clinic dates and some new information I discovered about what happens at these very popular clinics. Here’s a brief recap:

Re-corking clinics are for customers with bottles aged 15 or older.

The bottles don’t have to be Grange. They can be any Penfolds red wine bottle.

Penfolds winemakers perform the ‘health check’ on the bottles.Before the bottles are opened, collectors are asked a series of questions about how they acquired the wine and how well it has been looked after.

The bottle is assessed to see whether it is a good candidate for re-corking. The ullage or the level of the wine in the neck of the bottle is usually a good indicator as to whether the cork should be changed. If the level is too low, the original cork is typically removed

The bottle is opened and the wine is tasted and assessed.

If the wine is deemed to be a good example of the style and vintage, it will be topped up with a recent vintage of the same wine, re-corked, provided with a new Penfolds capsule, and then certified by the winemaker.

If it fails the taste test, the wine receives a white dot.

Penfolds states that the art of re-corking is a delicate process. Every precaution is taken to insure that the wine is only briefly exposed to oxygen during tasting and re-corking. Decanter, for example, reported that Penfolds uses Winesave’sRead the rest

Sep 09 2010

What Happens at a Penfolds Red Wine Clinic?

Posted on September 09, 2010 | By merrill@cellarit.com

If you scan the Cellarit Wine Market Penfolds Grange page, you will see that quite a few of the bottles carry a note that says “Penfolds Red Wine Clinic.” The Sydney Morning Herald recently featured an article about what exactly happens at the Penfolds Red Wine Clinics, Sarah McInerney, Wine clinics give reds a health check, smh.com.au 3 September 2010. Here’s a few interesting facts:

  • Re-corking clinics are for customers with bottles aged 15 or older.
  • The bottles don’t have to be Grange. They can be any Penfolds red wine bottle.
  • Penfolds winemakers perform the ‘health check’ on the bottles.
  • Before the bottles are opened, collectors are asked a series of questions about how they acquired the wine and how well it has been looked after.
  • The bottle is assessed to see whether it is a good candidate for re-corking. The ullage or the level of the wine in the neck of the bottle is usually a good indicator as to whether the cork should be changed. If the level is too low, the original cork is typically removed.
  • The bottle is opened and the wine is tasted and assessed. It’s then topped up with the current vintage of the same wine and re-corked.
  • If it passes the taste test, the winemaker signs a certificate and sticks it on the back of the bottle.
  • If it fails, it receives a white dot.

Obviously, collectors are relieved if their wine misses out on a white dot. Penfolds Wine Clinic bottles typically sell at a premium on the secondary market as buyers feel assured that older bottles in particular will not be ‘corked’.

So why would a bottle fail the taste test?  Tasting Wine estimates that 1 percent to 15 percent of wines produced worldwide are tainted, and 1 in 20 … Read the rest