Penfolds tasting with Grange 2014/2015 battle
Fourcroy – Harbour Club Amsterdam-Oost
Because I live in the South of the Netherlands I am not often found at wine events in the North (3 hours travel time) of the country but I didn't have to think long about this invitation for this Penfolds tasting. Fourcroy Netherlands the importer of Penfolds in the Netherlands invited me to join a tasting and lunch at The Harbor Club in Amsterdam East. The day did not go as planned. On the way to Amsterdam I lost my phone and that is a big disaster for a wine blogger. A real disaster. So most of the pictures on this article aren’t mine.
Nevertheless. Anyone who says A must also say B.
Before lunch, thirteen wines were tasted and six more were served during lunch, including the famous Penfolds Grange 2014 and 2015. The other wines at a glance: Penfolds Bin 311 Chardonnay 2017, Penfolds Yattarna Chardonay 2012, Penfolds St Henri Shiraz 2015 and Penfolds Great Grandfather 30 Y / O combined of course with delicious dishes.
The Penfolds St. Henri Shiraz 2015 was of course still very young but a hint of wine. I would definitely like to try this one again in 10/20 years.
The top cuvée from Penfolds - Grange is a blend of 98% Shiraz and 2% Cabernet Sauvignon. Aged for 20 months in 100% new American oak hogshead barrels. We tasted the 2014 and 2015 vintage side by side. Many preferred the 2014 vintage with more tannins and oak, but the 2015 vintage was also very nice. For the potential I would opt for the 2014.
It is widely considered one of Australia's "first growth" and its most collectable wine. The first vintage of Penfolds Grange was made on an experimental basis in 1951 by Penfolds winemaker Max Schubert and were largely given away at the time.Having toured Europe in 1950, Schubert implemented wine-making techniques observed in Bordeaux upon his return, aiming to create a red wine able to rival the finest Bordeaux wines both in terms of quality and ageing potential.
The first vintage to be commercially released was the 1952. Penfolds Grange was styled as a powerful still wine in an age when fortified wines were in fashion. Negative reviews by wine critics and poor commercial prospects for the wine led Penfolds management in 1957 to forbid Schubert from producing Penfolds Grange, but Schubert persisted in secret through 1959. As the initial vintages aged, however, their true value came to be appreciated, and in 1960 the management instructed Schubert to restart production, oblivious to the fact that Schubert had never stopped production and had not missed a vintage.
The great 1955 vintage was submitted to competitions beginning in 1962, and over the years has won more than 50 gold medals. The vintage of 1971 won first prize in Shiraz at the Wine Olympics in Paris. The 1990 vintage was named 'Wine of the Year' by the Wine Spectator magazine in 1995, which later rated the 1998 vintage 99 points out of a possible 100.
After tasting the Grange there was a nice end. The Penfolds Great Grandfather 30 Y / O. A port style wine raised in solera (from mourvèdre, shiraz, cabernet sauvignon and grenache, 19.5% alc.), Combined with a mousse of dark chocolate and miso caramel sauce. Heavenly!
The current Great Grandfather Solera contains a vintage span of 42 years with individual components covering 1960 to 2002 included. This large span of vintages ensures consistency and that the required level of age and youth for complexity and freshness is maintained.
For the first 20 years components are matured in the Grandfather Solera. Further maturation occurs in old oak hogsheads before being blended and introduced into the three stage ‘Great Grandfather Solera’. Only the very best and oldest casks are used for the additional maturation of this wine.
The perfect bottle for Christmas dinner accompanied with a dessert!
See more on www.fourcroy.nl