From left, Red Winemaker Andrew Baldwin, Senior Red Winemaker Stephanie Dutton, and Penfolds Chief Winemaker Peter Gago
Penfolds – a name synonymous with Australian wine – is releasing a revolutionary range.
Two are purely Californian, and the other two a blend of California and South Australia.
If you think all this a bit gimmicky, Penfolds “California Collection” has actually been 20 years in the growing.
In the 1990s, Penfolds then parent company had a half share in California’s Geyser Peak winery.
In 1998, Penfolds took some Shiraz vine cuttings from South Australia’s Magill Estate and Kalimna vineyards and planted them in the Creston “600” Ranch in Paso Robles.
Overseeing the project was Penfolds Senior Red Winemaker Stephanie Dutton alongside Chief Winemaker Peter Gago and Red Winemaker Andrew Baldwin.
Penfolds “California Collection” is the culmination of their two-decade vine immigration.
Penfolds Quantum Bin 98 Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
Tagged as a “Wine of the World” because of the 87% Cabernet Sauvignon from Northern Hemisphere Napa Valley and 13% Shiraz from Southern Hemisphere South Australia, Quantum is a megaforce of fruit and oak. Rich, blue/black fruit including cassis, coconutty, smoky, and tannins as opulent as the S$700 RRP. Quantum is not a big but a MASSIVE wine.
Penfolds Bin 149 Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
Bin 149 is named for the 14.9% of South Australian Cabernet Sauvignon blended into the 85.1% of Napa fruit of the same variety. It is Penfolds other “Wine of the World”. The 100% new wood is also from two countries, 80% French and 20% American. Rich fruit – including blackcurrants and liquorice – and oaky rich tannins. The RRP is also S$149.
Penfolds Bin 704 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
All-American Bin 704 is a nod to Penfolds Bin 407 by reversing the digits. A pure Cabernet Sauvignon like 407, the lively ripe blue fruit of 704 is carried by rich, balanced tannins. Medium-plus bodied. RRP S$70
Penfolds Bin 600 California Cabernet Shiraz 2018
In spite of being another all-American, Bin 600 should be the red most fans of Penfolds will recognise as being from the Australian icon. The Cabernet Sauvignon hails from both Napa and Sonoma. The Shiraz comes from those original Magill Estate and Kalimna cuttings planted in Paso Robles in 1998. Ripe, suave red/blue/black fruit including raspberries, peppery capsicums, currants, and liquorice. Silky tannins with a round freshness. 40% new American oak and 60% 1-year and older French barrels. RRP S$50.