Peter Gago, Andrew Caillard and I gathered to taste the new Penfolds releases for a live video cross to the United States, New Zealand and (if my memory serves me right) Sweden. The photos show us at work, and, from the other side of the fence, our tele-keepers likewise at work.
No question that the brilliantly fine 2008 Reserve Bin 08A Chardonnay reflects the continued refinement of Penfolds’ chardonnays, and of Australian chardonnays in general. It is a light year removed from the first vintage of Yattarna, as, for that matter, is the 2007 Yattarna. The 08A was one of the highlights for me. 96 points; drink to 2023; 13% alc/vol; screwcap; $90
Of course, everyone is interested in the Grange; for reasons of protocol I was not able to do an up-to-date tasting for the 2011 Wine Companion, relying instead on the September 2007 Rewards of Patience tasting. In fact, not too much has changed. The ‘05 is a more classic and compact wine than the ‘04. The fruit line of the ‘05 is glossy and smooth, the tannins and acidity acting as a break, and giving tightness. It has a long future ahead. 96 points; drink to 2045; 14.5% alc/vol; cork; $650