The house style at Penfolds embraces the concepts of multi-regional blending, optimum fruit quality, the use of fine-grained American (and increasingly French) oak and most often, barrel fermentation and maturation. Without the constraints of a single vineyard, Penfolds winemakers continue to choose the best possible fruit, showcasing the outstanding characteristics of each vineyard.
As the Penfolds Chief Winemaker, Peter Gago is the custodian of a valuable winemaking heritage. A former science teacher whose love of wine led him to Roseworthy College where he graduated as Dux, Peter is only the fourth man to be entrusted with Australia’s greatest wine, Grange, which was first made by the late, great, winemaker Max Schubert.
Peter joined Penfolds in 1989, and its red wine team in 1993. A year later he became the company’s Red Wine Oenologist, working closely with John Duval on the maintenance of ‘House-Style’ while still looking to break new winemaking ground.
Peter took over as Chief Winemaker in 2002 and heads a vastly experienced and extremely talented winemaking team committed to continuing the valuable traditions established by his predecessors.
Vintage Conditions: The start of the growing season was delayed by below average winter rainfall and temperatures. Spring and summer were very dry in South Australia with barely any rain until late January.
Temperatures dipped significantly in February slowing the harvest for later ripening varietals such as Cabernet Sauvignon. The mild condition ensured the fruit could ripen evenly, developing desirable flavours and well rounded tannins.
Colour: Crimson with a glossy and bright lustre.
Nose: An instant ascent of fruits … lifted raspberry fruit jube/fruit pastille. Moroccan spices and vanilla pod shroud meaty/crackling elements … very Penfolds, very Koonunga Hill! A skerrick of cedar oak /pencil shavings; a reminder of the wine’s age at this point –undoubtedly soon to be absorbed & concealed.
Palate: Balanced and complete. Spicy and fruit-driven … however, this time it is blackberry not raspberry jubeson palate.
Non-obtrusive, yet just recognisable oak detected on finish.
Softened tannins and ‘just-right’ acidity invoke textural allure.