Spit Happens #40 – The Rewards of Patience

Earlier in this blog I referenced Penfolds wines . I think it’s time to dig a little deeper into it’s history and in particular a unique product they publish for collectors. Penfolds winery is inextricably linked to the wine making history of Australia. It was established in 1844 and mainly made fortified wines through much of its early history. In 1951 Penfolds winemaker Max Schubert started experimental production of the Iconic Grange Hermitage. It was made in secret for the first few years and members of the Penfolds board of directors characterized it as tasting of crushed ants. He continued to make it in secret after he was told to cease making Grange. Eventually the wines were re-tasted and the true genius of Max Schubert was revealed. To many Australians and collectors around the world Grange ( as it now called) is the ultimate expression of Australian wine. Some might argue that it doesn’t express a sense of place as much as other single vineyard terroir driven wines from Australia , but to my mind it is undeniably OZ through and through. They also make a huge range of wines like RWT ( red wine trials), Bin 707 Cabernet Sauvignon, Bin 28 Kalimna Shiraz ( often the source of the bulk of the fruit for Grange) Bin 389 Cabernet Shiraz and a range of excellent whites from Adelaide Hills. They still make a lovely range of fortified wines , Club Port , Grandfather and Great Grandfather Port increasing in age and price.

One of the things that sets Penfolds apart from many other wineries is it’s ability to be completely transparent when it comes to assessing wines in the portfolio going back many decades. Years ago they committed to a process of self examination and decided to publish the results in a document called The Rewards of Patience the 7th edition is available form Amazon here.

The Rewards of Patience is a remarkable book. Penfolds has a vast library of older wines stored in properly and in very good condition. They hire a number of very good tasters/writers/wine professionals to taste, write notes and generally review all the wines they have made since inception. The notes are brutally honest and  ( I think) accurately reflect the current condition of the wines. This a supremely comprehensive and doesn’t white wash the quality of the wines. If the wine is a dud they say so.  Often wineries will omit notes on wines that show poorly . Not these guys, it’s all there. If you want some insight into how the Penfolds wines are progressing or advice on which ones to add to your cellar this is the premiere word on Penfolds.

Thanks for your time.

If you have any feedback we would love to hear from you on our Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/winecellardepot/.

Also check out our Houzz Page for design ideas and planning. http://www.houzz.com/pro/winecellardepot/wine-cellar-depot

Remember Spit Happens, tell your friends, drink great wine and eat great food.

Cheers

David Lancelot

Spit Happens #39 – Amplitude 2

Since my last post was well received I thought I would give you some examples of wines I would recommend for outdoor drinking.

My all time favorite outside patio BBQ drinking wine would be Turley Wine Cellars Old Vines Zinfandel from California. Founded by Dr Larry Turley and the first few vintages were made by renowned winemaker Helen Turley. My old employer was the first to bring this wine into Canada. At one point we had the largest retail allocation in the world. Currently they have a large quantity of the  Turley 2015 Old Vines Zinfandel  at $59.89 a bottle. My rule of thumb for drinking window on most Zinfandel is 5-7 years. That said I’m quite happy to drink this wine the day I bring it home. Black fruit , bramble and vanilla. Tons of rich dense fruit are packed in to this wine. If you have any tomato based BBQ sauce and ribs this is it. Call me anytime to drink this and I’ll be there.

Bodega Garzon Single Vineyard Tannat from famed wine guru Alberto Antonini is available from New District Wines. This beauty is a beast ! From Uruguay Tannat is a dark inky red that will stain you teeth for a few days. Definitely for outside drinking as you don’t want to spill it on the carpet. Tannat is well known in France as the base wine for reds from Madiran. Dense and chewy and highly recommended with a nice piece of prime rib and chimichurri sauce. I find it impossible to argue with that suggestion.

The next classic option is Shiraz/Syrah Cote Rotie is probably too fancy for BBQ but who am I to judge go for it if you have any that’s a bit on the younger end of the range. Save the old Guigal ones for later in the year. Penfolds Bin 28 Kalimna Shiraz 2015 for for 50$ is a wine that could make any evening on the patio stellar. Kalimna is the vineyard source for a large majority of grapes that end up in Penfolds Grange, one of the highest regarded reds in Australia with an unmatched track record. While this isn’t baby Grange you might think of it as a copy of a copy. Nice red and black fruit profile with a bit more savory notes than the first two wines. Drink or cellar for the next 4-8 years.

So thaw out some critters, grind a bunch of peppercorns and throw them on the BBQ and break out the big guns. No wimpy wines.
Thanks for your time.

If you have any feedback we would love to hear from you on our Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/winecellardepot/ .

Also check out our Houzz Page for design ideas and planning. http://www.houzz.com/pro/winecellardepot/wine-cellar-depot 

Remember Spit Happens, tell your friends, drink great wine and eat great food.

Cheers
David Lancelot

 

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