The first collection of Penfold’s Californian wines will be released in March, with a generous nod to South Australia. Penfolds says the wines are “wines of the world” due to their blending of grapes across continents.
Penfolds chief winemaker Peter Gago said the release is led by the 2018 Quantum, priced on par with its Grange at $950. “This blend assembles parcels of prized cabernet sauvignon from some of the Napa Valley’s best vineyards and pedigreed shiraz from South Australia. This is a first for Penfolds,” he said.
The inaugural California collection is:
- 2018 Quantum Bin 98 Cabernet Sauvignon, $950
- 2018 Bin 149 Cabernet Sauvignon, $220
- 2018 Bin 704 Cabernet Sauvignon, $120
- 2018 Bin 600 Cabernet Shiraz, $90
In 1998-99, vines from Magill Estate and Kalimna Heritage Selection were planted at Penfolds’ newly purchased Camatta Hills Estate, Paso Robles in California. This inaugural release is made predominantly from Napa Valley cabernet parcels, but each wine contains significant addition of flagship-worthy shiraz (Quantum) and cabernet (Bin 149) from the South Australia grapes.
Gago said while the wines pay respect to Californian terroir, the red Penfolds stamp remains “overtly consistent”.
“AP John barrels, open fermenters and time-honoured Penfolds winemaking techniques have been applied. Being global isn't just about selling wine around the world, it is about working with both feet on the soil. We will have Californian sun above and soil beneath, but everything in between will be Penfolds,” he said.
After the vines were planted in the late 1990s, vintages occurred in 2006 and 2007 but were not commercialised.
In 2018, Gago, senior winemaker Stephanie Dutton and winemaker Andrew Baldwin re-established the Penfolds footprint within the northern hemisphere and embarked on the 2018 harvest.
The company said the Penfolds “House Style” allows it to explore premium viticultural regions all around the world. It said “all will be revealed in good time” about investigations it is making in Bordeaux and Champagne.