Penfolds release new 2013 Grange vintage

Penfolds release new 2013 Grange vintage

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It does not seem right that the latest Penfolds Grange from the 2013 vintage should be one of the best.

The even number years have produced the great Granges with striking regularity from 1990 — 1994, 1996, 1998, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2012, for example.

Yet while ’13 might be unlucky for some, it has certainly not been unlucky for Penfolds chief winemaker Peter Gago, who rates the new Grange, which is released globally today, as one of the best in his stewardship.

“The 2012 was very well received by the wine media and trade but, in tastings to date, most are putting the 2013 just a whisker ahead,” he said.

The 2013 Grange is the 63rd consecutive vintage of Australia’s most famous wine, which through a combination of consistency, clever marketing and tireless globetrotting by Mr Gago to take it to the world, has now become a global wine, with strong markets in Europe, the US and China.

These days all the Penfolds Bin wines are released at the same time each year and fortunate wine scribes get a chance to taste them before release under strict embargo.

The strategy to evolve Grange into a global wine has proved sound, because with a price of about $850 a bottle — yes, a bottle — it isn’t exactly going to have iPhone-like mania with queues forming at the doors of local liquor stores. Many retailers would not even stock it because their allocation was so low and the demand equally low among the man-in-the-street punters that it is simply not worth their while.

The reality is that when the big wine retailers sharpen their pencils and most likely sell Grange at little more than cost price because of their big allocations and deals, there is little point in smaller guys even playing the game.

Better probably to focus on some of the other Penfolds releases which accompany Grange and offer more affordability, even though those prices are also high.

So, if you really want to try the 2013 Grange, I recommend it as one of the best. Perhaps a joint buy with friends and you can taste an Aussie vinous legend.

Alternatively, check out the secondary market through auction houses where some very good Granges from previous vintages are selling for more reasonable prices.

In Saturday’s West Weekend magazine, Jordan features some of the other outstanding wines in the annual release

UK Agora
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