Wednesday, 17 February 2021

Meet the Californian versions of an Australian wine icon

Penfolds wines are a uniquely Australian Australian icon; like Vegemite, Bondi Beach and the Hills Hoist. 

Penfolds Grange is Australia's highest-profile wine, which means news today of the launch of a Penfolds range of wines from California might prove controversial. 

The release of the 2021 Penfolds California Collection on March 4 follows over 20 years of company interest and experiments in the US. 

"Over 20 years ago, Penfolds started exploring the bountiful soils of California, with an ambition to create a range of wines unrestricted by vine, border or continent," says chief winemaker Peter Gago. 

"Today, Penfolds winemakers pick up where previous generations left off, to unveil four new Californian wines that extol an otherworldliness and something special."

The California’ Collection will comprise four wines: 2018 Quantum Bin 98 Cabernet Sauvignon ($950), 2018  2018 Bin 149 Cabernet Sauvignon ($220), 2018 Bin 704 Cabernet Sauvignon ($110) and 2018 Bin 600 Cabernet Shiraz ($90). 

The two flagship wines that lead the collection, 2018 Quantum Bin 98 Cabernet Sauvignon and 2018 Bin 149 Cabernet Sauvignon, can be referred to as "wines of the world" as they comprise predominantly Napa Valley cabernet parcels but each wine also contains a significant addition of flagship-worthy shiraz (Quantum) and cabernet (Bin 149) from South Australia. 


“A quality-first approach underpins this inaugural release, led by 2018 Quantum," says Gago. "This blend assembles parcels of prized cabernet sauvignon from some of the Napa Valley’s best vineyards and pedigreed shiraz from South Australia. This is a first for Penfolds.”

Chief winemaker Gago, senior winemaker Stephanie Dutton and winemaker Andrew Baldwin re-established Penfolds footprint within the northern hemisphere, selecting fruit from Californian vineyards including Napa Valley AVAs Oakville, Diamond Mountain, District, Howell Mountain and Rutherford. Grapes were also sourced from Camatta Hills, Paso Robles, from original Australian vine cuttings planted in 1998 and 1999.

Penfolds California Collection will be available from Thursday, March 4, at www.penfolds.com


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