This morning we are delighted to offer two of the newest releases of the utterly brilliant Penfolds range. Today we begin with their flagship wine Penfolds Grange, which is also considered one of the finest wines in the world. Naturally we have chosen to release, with this, the newest vintage of ‘Baby Grange’ Bin 389 from the superb 2015 vintage. Taken together the wines are two of the best in class anywhere in the world.
Penfolds Grange needs no introduction; it is the flagship New World wine. This year’s release is the 2013 Grange, exciting indeed, due to the outstanding quality of the vintage. The 2013 St Henri released last year, received its highest ever score, which lays down and excellent marker for the quality Grange 2013. The most recent vintages are yet untasted by any major critic but the 2013 Grange is magnificent and could receive another perfect score. We expect the Wine Advocate’s score to be published in the coming week, but to have sold out prior to this. The table below reflects the past leading vintages of Grange and today’s release price of £1,999 looks superb, a 21% discount to the trading price of the 2012. As such, a score of 98 or higher would represent a quick price correction over the next few weeks.
Penfolds is selected from the very best grapes taken from the best parcels and blocks in Penfold’s vast empire, each is blind tasted removing all vineyard bias, letting the wine itself do the talking. As such it is a multi-vineyard, multi-district wine. It is noteworthy at this point to say that the grapes from the leading plots that do not make it into Grange, are selected for Baby Grange, Bin 389. After this selection, one of the most exacting of any wine, anywhere, Grange gets the full treatment, with Penfolds and Peter Gago throwing all of their skills and vast resources into creating something special. It undergoes nearly two years in 100% new American oak hogshead. It is hardly surprising therefore, that it forms one of the pillars of the pantheon of the world’s finest wines. The 2013 vintage saw the hottest summer ever for South Eastern Australia. Resultantly, the 2013 is multidimensional and extremely complex, with wonderful richness and power; worthy and capable of decades of ageing, yet wonderfully fulfilling now. Its flavour profile combines vibrant and intense fruit, ultra-ripe tannin, with elegant acidity and a compelling balance that distinguishes it. The finish continues for minutes, the experience memorable, which is universally true when drinking Grange.
The Barossa Valley is famous for Shiraz; home to Penfolds Grange, the greatest New World Shiraz. The story of how it rose to such acclaim is noteworthy. In 1951 Max Schubert created an experimental wine by bottling Shiraz after fermenting in American oak, he called it Grange Hermitage. In 1956 he unveiled this polemic new wine but was immediately instructed to stop making it, fortunately, he continued in secret. In 1962, after realising its then clandestine quality Penfolds entered their Grange Hermitage into international competitions and since then it has won 50 Gold medals: today it is just known as Grange. Penfolds Grange is hugely popular in Asia which is its biggest market, benefiting from geographical proximity. In fact, Grange boasts 51 unbroken vintages and is officially listed as a Heritage Icon of South Australia. It displays extraordinary complexity, concentration and the potential to age for 40 years. It is considered among the very best wine in the world and it is the First Growth of Australia, where it reigns head and shoulders above its peers.
Penfold’s Bin 389 Cabernet Shiraz is better known or described as ‘Baby Grange’. It was also created by Max Schubert and is matured in the same barrels that held the previous vintage of Grange. It was first created in 1960 and helped to shape the reputation of Penfold’s prestige wines amongst drinkers. It is a magnificent blend that integrates the richness of Shiraz (around 45%), deriving suppleness and intensity, with the structure of Cabernet Sauvignon (approximately 55%). It represents a classic Penfold’s Grange style and identity, beautifully balancing fruit and oak.
The 2015 ‘Baby Grange’, like the Grange, is also yet to be scored by the Wine Advocate, however, in 2015 Barossa Shiraz enjoyed an excellent vintage and as always, the wine is magnificent displaying intense high notes of rosemary, dark chocolate, sweet spice, white pepper and cinnamon, powerful notes of cassis, along with black olives and fig. It even displays Pauillac-esque pencil-shavings on the nose, along with delicate cedar. For collectors that want to own Penfolds Grange but not pay £300 per bottle, ‘Baby Grange’ offers a wonderful tonic at £32 a bottle. Peter Gago, Penfolds eminent winemaker, is quoted as saying, “Through thick and thin, across all vintages, Bin 389 always delivers – benefiting from over half a century of practice!” Its other remarkable quality, considering the price point, is its ability to age, offering two decades of pleasure.
We are delighted to release it today for £190 per case of six bottles and it is known to rise quickly, the 2014 already costs £280, 12 months on from last year’s release. The natural trading price for Bin 389 after a few years in bottle is £300 per case of six, so today’s price offers superb value on release. This is one of the world’s most compelling wines and collectors should buy this in droves, stocking up every year, it comes with our highest recommendation and is one of the finest wines in the world at this price point.
We perennially sell out of Bin 389 in 48 hours, the secret about its quality is out of the bag.
Penfolds Grange 2013, 6×75 – £1,999 IB
Penfolds Bin 389 2015, 6×75 – £190 IB
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