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Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Penfolds Tutored Tasting, with Grange, Sept 30/13
11. The Date and Time: Monday, September 30, 2013
The Event: Penfolds Tutored tasting of Icon and Luxury Wines led by Peter Gago, chief winemaker.
The Venue: Shangri-La Hotel
The Target Audience: sommeliers and select wine media
The Availability/Catalogue: just about everything is at the LCBO in one way or another, although vintage years may vary. I could not track down data on the Ontario availability of the Bin 51 Riesling, but there is a Thomas Hyland Riesling 2008 at Vintages for $16.90.
The Quote/Background: Peter Gago spoke on the wines, along with a visual presentation. He spoke to us about the winemaking philosophy of multi-regional blends, and the newer single-vineyard bottlings. Then there was a private viewing of the Limited Edition 2004 Block 42 Cabernet Sauvignon Penfolds Ampoule in its case. The 2004 is a single vineyard wine, only released in great vintages, and produced from the oldest continuously-producing Cabernet Sauvignon vines in the world. The actual 2004 was in a secure location in Australia, but we saw the case with a replica ampoule filled with Thomas Hyland. The Ampoule retails for $168K in Ontario. Only 12 Ampoules were made for the world: one is in the MagillMuseum at Penfolds in South Australia; the others have been allocated around the world. This is, of course, a work of art, and the price includes a visit from an Oz winemaker who will crack open the bottle for the purchaser when requested. Otherwise, the buyer must arrange for his own insurance and security.
**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Penfolds Yattarna Chardonnay 2010 [Tasmania], $125 for 2009 at Vintages
-Penfolds Bin 28 Kalimna Shiraz 2010 South Australia, $34.95 Vintages
-Penfolds Magill Estate Shiraz 2010, $109 for 2008 at Vintages
-PenfoldsRWTBarossaValley Shiraz 2010, $150 for 2009 at Vintages
-Penfolds Bin 169 Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 2008, $299.95 my fave
-Penfolds Grange 2008, $499 at Vintages for 2006 and 2007
***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Penfolds Bin 51 Riesling 2012 EdenValley
-Penfolds Bin 389 Cabernet Shiraz 2010, $44.95 for 2009 at Vintages
-Penfolds Bin 707 Cabernet Sauvignon 2010
The Downside: Only a few questions were asked during the presentation.
The Upside: A chance to speak with winemaker Peter Gago.