4/21/09

Penfolds Grange – Australia’s Best Wine




Max Schubert – remember the name…

When it comes to collectible wines, one tends to think of first growth Bordeaux or California cult cabernet. Australia…not so much. But don’t count out the land from down under, as there are several examples of age-worthy wines being made. Probably the most sought after bottling comes from South Australia near Adelaide.

In 1844, Dr Christopher Rawson Penfolds founded his winery, essentially making fortified style wines (ports) for his patients. The good doctor was apparently a believer in their medicinal value. The Penfolds family continued to make wines until 1976, at which time the winery was sold. After changing hands several times, the Penfolds winery is currently owned by the Fosters Group.

Enter Max Schubert

In 1951 Penfolds iconic winemaker Max Schubert decided to craft a wine to rival those of Bordeaux, using techniques he learned from a previous visit to France. And thus, Penfolds Grange was born. Comprised primarily of Shiraz, each year generally sees a varying percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon blended in. These wines are built for cellaring and require at least 10 years to begin strutting their stuff. You will be well rewarded for your patience with a luxuriant, complex red wine.

As for collectability – ABC news reported that a bottle of the 1951 Grange sold in 2004 for the tidy sum of $50,000..! Not bad for a red wine from down under…

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