This week, Toronto’s Trump Tower and Bentley Vancouver were the locations at which a lucky few enjoyed, as one attendee put it, the “once in a lifetime” opportunity to sample Penfolds VIP portfolio wines, including Grange—Penfolds’, and arguably Australia’s, most famous wine.
Officially listed as a Heritage Icon of South Australia, Grange boasts an unbroken line of vintages from the experimental 1951, and demonstrates the synergy between shiraz and the growing region’s soil and climate. Penfolds Grange displays fully-ripe, intensely-flavoured, and textured shiraz grapes (a nominal percentage of cabernet sauvignon some years) in combination with new American oak, “to maintain a consistency of style,” says Peter Gago, chief winemaker. The result is a unique Australian style that is now recognized as one of the most consistent of the world’s great wines. The Grange style is the most powerful expression of Penfolds’ multi-vineyard, multi-district blending philosophy.
Gago visited both Toronto and Vancouver to give a first-hand tutorial of Penfolds’ celebrated portfolio at both VIP tastings. Pourings included Grange, unsurprisingly, as well as Bin 311 chardonnay, Bin 389 Baby Grange, Bin 707 cabernet sauvignon, and RWT, which Gago noted: “A certain young British royal likes this one, but you didn’t hear it from me.”
Gago is often asked what Grange he would buy. And his response, another question: “Which bottle of Grange would I share with no one?” Followed by, “My favourite today, and the one I see at many of our re-corking clinics is from a hedonistic enjoyment: 1953. It’s amazing. The second one is 1971. The third Grange is 2010.” As attendees noted the dates, Gago added: “The only person who gets to say what the best wine is, is you. The opinion that is important is yours.”
Photos by Milos Tosic.