Penfolds was founded in 1844 by Christopher Rawson - since then Penfolds winery has become an icon in the wine industry.
We had the chance to taste 11 wines (9 reds /2 whites).
The first wine was "Bin A chardonnay 2010". That was a typical Australian chardonnay, buttery, roasty with hint of mushroom on the nose. The acidity was particularly present due to the young vintage; overall it was a good and typical chardonnay from Adelaide Hills. Then we enjoyed "Yattarna Chardonnay 2009". The wine was rich with buttery flavour and oily texture with a slightly touch of sweetness and a hint of citrus; a really complex wine compare to the Bin A. The white wine selection was a great experience to try, the complexity the richness and generosity of Chardonnay from Australian was showing already even if they were young.
We were then delighted to taste all the iconic wines from the "Penfolds winery" starting with "St Henry 2008 shiraz".
These are really generous and juicy wines, with aromas of red fruit really pronounced and the rusticity of the wood. Spices were present as well, such as cloves and cinnamon. In the background we could appreciate the leather and tobacco aromas. The tannins were present and quiet strong but I could already predict that the wine has a great future and it will start to be ready to drink in about 2 years I would say .
The following one was really interesting. It was "St Henry 1996 Shiraz".
That was great to see the evolution of the wine. It was big and silky at the same time. Lots of aromas going on such as sweet leather, herbal and fruity. Spices were present but much more pronounced than the 2008. The wine aged beautifuly. Elegant and still tannic (for a 1996) it can probably age another the 5 years but can definitely be enjoyed now.
" RWT Shiraz 2009" was much more complex than the "St Henry". Coffee, toffee aromas were there with touch of mint. This combination of roasty aromas and freshness from the minty flavor was really well balance. The wine was soft and silky already a this stage, vanilla touch on the finish was the result of the fermentation in the American oak barrel. Such a great wine already for its young age.
The following one was the same experience as the "St Henry" ,we had the chance to taste the wine with his evolution. "The RWT Shiraz 1998" was the second vintage of this wine (the first vintage was 1997 and it was release in 2000). Such a big juicy and fruit wine, lots of summer fruits , blueberries and red fruits aromas. The tannins were still present but soft and enjoyable.
Bin 169 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon is the inaugural re-release of this label The creation of Bin 169 reflects a contemporary Penfolds winemaking approach, maturation of Cabernet Sauvignon in French oak. The 2008 is youthful, fresh, minty, aromas of red fruits very elemental at this stage. We could feel the slightly touch of sweetness and the touch of spice. The tannins were really present and were reflecting the capacity of this wine to age. Very complex, lots of aromas were involved in the wine but definitely a wine to have in your cellar. It is only the second vintage of this wine after the one of 1973. The new birth of another iconic Penfolds wine.
The Bin 707 was the next one , very characteristic from Barossa Valley. Indian and exotics spices were complimenting the black fruit especially cassis flavours with a hint of wood and liquorice aromas. A powerful and robust Austalian cabernet sauvignon. I will recommend to double decant the wine and let it breath for about an hour before exploring all the complexity and the full potential of the wine. Bin 707 has a secure place among the ranks of Australia’s finest Cabernets.
Magill estate shiraz 2009 is THE single vineyard of Penfolds situated in Adelaide Hills. It is a tiny production. Really small vineyard who release its first vintage in 1983. The fruit are crushed, fermented and matured on site at the original Penfolds Magill winery.
The flavours from this wine are unbelievable at this stage with chocolate, ripe fruit, jam. The wine is softer than the RWT Shiraz 2009. Then we moved on to the evolution of the same wine with the vintage 1991. Such a beauty, velvety and soft, noble oxidation due to the age but very well balanced with the leather and tobacco aromas. Just a stunning wine from the iconic Penfolds range.
To finish this wonderful masterclass, we tasted Grange 2007 and 1990. The 2007 was elegant, slightly black fruit aromas turning to red fruit sweetness on the palate followed by spices. The wine give you this intense sensation that only great wines can provide . Another dimension again. We are talking about Grange who is the most iconic Austalian wine but our palate had to have another big sensation our host give us the chance to have from a magnum the Grange 1990. 1990 was a great vintage in south Australia, 20 years old but still tannic with leather tertiary aromas. The oak was present as well followed by spiced and red fruits aromas. Just a Great Penfolds Grange.