Penfolds’ Icon and Luxury wines enjoy a remarkable heritage and fascinating evolution, reflecting the extraordinary energy and vision of the Penfolds’ winemakers.
Made from less than 5% of all grapes sourced, these wines are the result of rigorous standards that are the envy of other winemakers and define the Penfolds’ approach to winemaking.
Penfolds’ Icon and Luxury wines are instantly recognisable among any collection, with a strong, distinctive individual style and a wonderful track record of cellaring performance. The work and craftsmanship that goes into the production of any new Icon or Luxury wine happens over a number of years and its eventual release is a career defining moment for each Chief Winemaker involved.
Penfolds is proud to acknowledge that these utterly unique Australian wines have set the standard of contemporary winemaking practice.
From humble beginnings in the 1950s, Grange has maintained its place as Australia’s most prestigious red wine over five decades. Today, it is a wine of international renown, with each vintage eagerly awaited by collectors both in Australia and overseas.
Penfolds Grange is a wine of extraordinary dimension and power. Richly textured, intensely concentrated and packed with fruit sweetness, these wines, regardless of vintage, require medium to long-term cellaring. They develop into immensely complex, beguiling wines that seduce the senses.
An Australian icon, Grange represents a tradition in winemaking that is totally uncompromising. Grange has bypassed the fads and trends of modern winemaking in the sense that it has maintained an integrity of style and remained true to its origins in the mind of Max Schubert. Penfolds Grange is the quality standard against which all other Australian red wines are judged. To share a mature Grange, 15 to 20 years old, in fine condition, is one of the great wine experiences.
Yattarna derives from an Indigenous word meaning ‘little by little’ or ‘gradually’. This utterly unmistakable Australian name, which evokes associations with organic momentum and vintage-by-vintage effort, captures the true essence and culture of Penfolds’ winemaking philosophy.
The first vintage, released in 1995, was the impressive result of an intensive research project across state borders, to find the distinguished vineyard sites capable of yielding that rare and exquisite fruit quality, necessary for a truly great Australian chardonnay.
Ever since, the evolution of Yattarna has become one of Penfolds’ most fascinating stories and nearly two decades of dedicated research, blending and refinement is now producing a revelational release each vintage.
Modern day Yattarna has become even finer, more elegant and focused, with ageing potential of up to a decade in strong vintages. Yattarna is redefining Australian chardonnay at a time when premium Australian chardonnay has never been better.
The 1964 Bin 707 Cabernet Sauvignon was Penfolds’ first commercial release of a single cabernet-based wine. Today, Bin 707 is justifiably regarded as one of Australia’s most important cabernets.
The winemaking philosophy and barrel maturation of Bin 707 is almost identical to Grange. The Bin 707 style combines intense varietal definition with new American oak to produce wines of great richness, harmony and concentration. Over the years the development of Bin 707 Cabernet Sauvignon has mirrored the advances in winemaking and viticulture and in this sense has served as a representation of progress and excellence within the industry.
Bin 707 proudly bears the Penfolds stamp – displaying a fascinatingly complex marriage of ripe, concentrated cabernet fruit and 100% new American oak, forged together through partial barrel fermentation. It displays dark berried fruit, mocha and chocolate overtones, with warm spice notes.
Bin 707 is a medium to long term cellaring style of wine. It will comfortably gain stature and complexity across more than two decades in the bottle.
Bin 169 was created to reflect Penfolds contemporary winemaking approach emphasising both regionality and maturation of Cabernet Sauvignon in fine grained French oak. The Penfolds Bin 169 is a style that is immediately Penfolds, whilst simultaneously illustrative of its ongoing search for diversity and style separation. An honest reflection of the region and a testament of Penfolds’ longstanding commitment to the vineyards of Coonawarra.
The development of Penfolds Red Winemaking Trial (RWT) reflects extraordinary progress in viticulture and winemaking. The two disciplines are increasingly intertwined, as growers and winemakers work together in search of optimum balance, ripeness and flavour.
RWT draws fruit from 20 to 100 year-old vineyards arcing across the west and north-west of the Barossa Valley, mostly independently grown. The best vineyards produce fruit of voluptuous intensity, ripe tannins, and juicy flavours. The RWT Shiraz has a very seductive style with a plum/blueberry fruit profile and fine ripe tannins underpinned by savoury French oak.
Since its first vintage in 1997, collectors have recognised the sheer class of RWT. Already the wine has a strong secondary market following, illustrating its collectability and cellaring potential.
The historic and heritage-protected Penfolds Magill Estate is one of the few single vineyards in the world located within city boundaries.
Penfolds Magill Estate Shiraz was developed after the vineyard was saved from being engulfed by urban development, with a single estate wine being compelling justification for the continued use of this vineyard (by then, just 5.2 hectares of the 120 hectares which once covered an entire hillside).
The aim was to create a wine which showed the character of the vineyard but was more elegant in style than most Penfolds reds.
The Magill Estate style has evolved over the years. The early vintages were quite lean and tight. From the early 1990s the wine shows greater fruit definition and palate vitality. Winemakers are particularly interested in flavour development and tannin ripeness, resulting in wines with supple structures and more fruit richness.
While Grange is now seen as the quintessential Australian wine, John Davoren’s work with St. Henri is of equal importance. Indeed both these wines set new standards for their day with St. Henri establishing an elegant, perfumed style based on fruit definition and maturation in old oak.
Originally the wines were called ‘Penfolds St. Henri Claret’, but since 1991, with the release of the 1989 vintage, St. Henri has been labelled varietally. Like Grange, the wines have always been Shiraz driven, with small varying percentages of Cabernet Sauvignon.
Nowadays St. Henri is a multi-district blend drawing Shiraz from the Barossa Valley, Eden Valley, McLaren Vale, Clare Valley, the foothills of the Adelaide Hills, and Langhorne Creek. Cabernet Sauvignon, which provides firmness and structure to the St. Henri style, is sourced from the Barossa Valley, Coonawarra and Bordertown.
Reserve Bin A Chardonnay
From its early releases Reserve Bin A was often assembled from the full-bodied, experimental components deemed unsuitable for the Yattarna style.
However, with Reserve Bin A, Senior White Winemaker Kym Schroeter has enjoyed more freedom to explore chardonnay’s stylistic boundaries, generally producing a more forward style of wine with a different expression to that of Yattarna.
Since its first vintage in 1994, Reserve Bin A has been sourced purely from Adelaide Hills fruit, from up to 80 vineyards and produced only when conditions are perfect. Reserve Bin A is notable for intense, elegant fruit flavours and distinctive complexity. Individual, fine-grained, French oak barrels have been selected for perfect integration, complexity, and fruit expression, producing an unmistakably rich wine.
The Reserve Bin A Chardonnay is the embodiment of a strong tradition of experimentation and development at Penfolds. Each vintage proudly reflects an evolution of winemaking philosophy and individual winemaking skills.