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Friday 10 May 2019

Penfolds unveils its first Champagne

Leading Australian winemaker Penfolds has unveiled a new collaboration with family-owned Champagne House Thiénot in Paris. 

Three Champagnes, from the 2012 vintage, have been created: a Chardonnay Pinot Noir Cuvée, and two single vineyard wines – a Blanc de Blancs and a Blanc de Noirs. 

The releases help celebrate Penfolds 175th anniversary.

Thiénot managing director Stanislas Thiénot said: “This is a first for us, I am proud to say this has also been a truly collaborative experience from the very beginning .... we have created blends reflective of both Thiénot and Penfolds wine styles and philosophies. 

"We are very happy with the results, the Champagnes are modern reflections showcasing fruit, freshness, and finesse.

"This is the result of an unexpected encounter between two major wine regions, one belonging to the old world and the other to the new world, but with one single common goal: to produce great Champagnes. In addition, working with Peter Gago is extremely interesting and rewarding both for his immense experience and for his innovative vision.”

Penfolds chief winemaker Peter Gago has long shared a love of Champagne and the art of blending. 

“This is step one of an inviting and compelling journey," he said. "Some time back, we announced our intent to make a Champagne. We are now revealing a partnership with our friends at Thiénot – one which would not have been imaginable a decade or two ago. 

"To now actually work alongside a Champagne House and ultimately craft Champagnes proudly, which co-bears the globally recognised red stamp of Penfolds, is both wonderful and a first collaboration of its kind for an Australian winery.”

The wines represent the joint efforts of Thiénot chef de cave Nicolas Uriel who together with Gago crafted the blends.

The first of the Champagne releases, the 2012 Champagne Thiénot x Penfolds Chardonnay Pinot Noir Cuvée will be available from June for $280. 

The 2012 Champagne Thiénot x Penfolds Blanc de Blancs (Avize Grand Cru) and 2012 Champagne Thiénot x Penfolds Blanc de Noirs (Aÿ Grand Cru) will be released in 2020.

My invite to the Paris shindig apparently got lost in the mail and I have not yet tried the wines.     

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