Tag: Penfolds

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, Penfolds’ chief winemaker for the past 12 years, has just won Australian Gourmet Traveller’s Wine prestigious Winemaker of the Year award. He also picked up the Len Evans Award for Leadership – marking the first time both awards have been given to the same person in one year!

While the media spotlight inevitably falls on the release of the Grange, wine critic Huon Hooke observes that in 2014 Penfolds also released two of the greatest wines it has ever produced: The 2010 Bin 170 Kalimna Block 3C Limited Edition Shiraz and the 50-Year-Old Rare Tawny.  (Peter Gago named GWT Winemaker of the Year 2014 by Huon Hooke, Hooked on Wine, 18 October 2014)

The recommended retail prices for these two wines, $1,800 and $3,550 a bottle respectively, is audacious, but no-one disputes their calibre. They represent winemaking at its pinnacle and are truly a sign that Penfolds, under Gago’s inspiring leadership, has definitely come of age!

Merrill Witt New Yorkby Merrill Witt, Editor

 

Photo Credit: Drinkster

The 2010 Penfolds Grange and the 2008 Penfolds Grange are available on the Cellarit Wine Market

Read the rest

Aug 08 2014

What’s Making Wine News: Wine Market Set to Boom?

Posted on August 08, 2014 | By merrill@cellarit.com

Is the Wine Market Set to Boom?

In the latest edition of Gourmet Traveller Wine, wine critic Jeremy Oliver discusses US-based equities firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts’ (KKR) bid for Treasury Wine Estates (TWE). As you are no doubt aware, KKR has now joined forces with Rhone Capital and upped its offer to $5.20 a share, valuing the company well north of $3 billion.

Oliver suggests TWE shareholders think twice before accepting any offer given that the wine industry typically works on a 15 year business cycle and should peak again soon. While demand for wine in mainland China has slowed down dramatically, in the view of some commentators and industry insiders it doesn’t really matter because renewed growth in US wine demand will soon outstrip available supply.

On another note, while no-one disputes that Penfolds is the crown jewel in the TWE portfolio, Oliver notes that TWE ‘s other significant brand, Wolf Blass, actually outperforms Penfolds in key markets such as Europe and Canada! (Money Talks by Jeremy Oliver, Gourmet Traveller Wine, August/September 2014)

Chinese Wine Market Stumbles

Renowned wine critic Jancis Robinson believes that at least some of the weakness in the previously booming Chinese wine market is a sign that the wine market in China is maturing. While Chinese wine drinkers were once willing to pay almost anything for first-growth Bordeaux and other prestige wines, now Chinese wine drinkers have become “much cannier buyers and are experimenting with a much wider range of labels.”

President Xi Jinping’s crackdown on bribery and the gifting of luxury goods to government officials has also played a big role in dampening demand for top-end drops, but the good news, for Chinese wine buyers at least, is that wine industry players now have to make prices more competitive, work harder and be more … Read the rest

Apr 04 2012

Cork versus Screwcap: Penfolds re-ignites the debate!

Posted on April 04, 2012 | By merrill@cellarit.com

On the Cellarit Facebook page, I noted that Huon Hooke reported in the Sydney Morning Herald that Penfolds will now give people a choice of cork or screwcap. According to Penfolds’ chief winemaker, Peter Gago, “cork is a barometer of care.” It’s a better indicator of bad handling, heat damage or poor storage conditions, because the cork will leak or, if affected by heat, slightly push up into the seal. (Sydney Morning Herald, 10 April 2012)

David Hawkins of One Aussie Wines responded to my Facebook post with the following comment: “Peter Gago may be correct, but I’ve had plenty of wines with corks that were up or down and the wine was fine…unfortunately TCA doesn’t offer any clues and that’s a more relevant fault for most people. I’ve also had heat affected bottles where there was no leakage or cork movement.”

Penfolds’ move is certainly sparking a fair bit of controversy. Hooke followed up on his article in the Herald with a post on his website. He noted that for Penfolds one of the key factors behind the move back to cork is increasing exports to markets like China where expertise on how to store, transport and properly care for wine is still developing.

But whether reverting back to cork is the best answer to gauge whether a wine has been heat damaged is debatable. Ian Riggs, chief winemaker at Brokenwood, was just as skeptical as David about whether cork was a better barometer of care than screwcap. He told Hooke:

Why don’t they just admit that they have buckled to the demands of their export markets and gone back to cork? To state that it is a way of showing up badly stored wine reeks of April Fool’s Day. So now, wine from all over Read the rest

Dec 12 2011

Wine Advocate announces the top twenty good value producers in Australia for 2011

Posted on December 12, 2011 | By merrill@cellarit.com

The Wine Advocate’s Lisa Perrotti-Brown has just released a list of the top 20 good value producers in Australia for 2011. As the Wine Advocate’s main subscription base is the US, the list includes only wineries, both large and small, that export to major markets around the world. (No point, I guess, in choosing wineries that a US or European consumer would have no chance of finding on a bottle shelf in their home country).

According to Perrotti-Brown, “Producing singular wines of great character and expression for under US$25 / AU$25 is no easy task, but these guys and gals have all managed to create wines that are nothing short of incredible in this capacity.”

Here are her choices (The links take you to the winery websites if available):

Australian Domain Wines, McLaren Vale

Ad Hoc/Ad Lib, Western Australia

Balgowni Estate, Bendigo, Victoria

Chateau Tanunda, Barossa Valley, SA

Hentley Farm, Barossa Valley, SA

Hoddles Creek Estate, Yarra Valley, Vic

Innocent Bystander, Yarra Valley, Vic

Jansz, Tasmania

Madfish, produced by Howard Park, Margaret River and Great Southern, WA

Margan Family Wines, Hunter Valley, NSW

Massena, Barossa Valley, SA

Mollydooker, McLaren Vale, SA

Paringa Estate, Mornington Peninsula, Vic

Penfolds, Multi-Regional, SA

Pirie, Tamar Valley, Tasmania

Rolf Binder, Barossa Valley, SA

Shingleback, McLaren Vale, SA

Small Gully, Barossa Valley, SA

Tyrrell’s Wines, Hunter Valley, NSW

Yabby Lake, Mornington Peninsula, Vic

(Australian Wine Values of 2011: Better than Ever by Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, eRobertParker.com 23 December 2011)

Photo: Red Knot McLaren Vale Grenache, Shiraz, Mourvedre 2010 ($11.50) Made by Shingleback. Perrott-Brown awarded this wine the International Judge’s trophy at the 2011 McLaren Vale Wine Show. “It’s an absolute winner that I continue to drink at home … Read the rest