Penfolds was founded by a young English doctor who migrated to one of his country’s most distant colonies over a century and a half ago. Dr Christopher Rawson Penfold was born in 1811, the youngest of 11 children. He studied medicine at St Bartholomew’s Hospital, London, graduating in 1838. In 1844 Dr Penfold and his wife Mary purchased the Mackgill estate, “comprising 500 acres of the choicest land.” By all accounts it was Mary Penfold who was responsible for the management and early winemaking responsibilities of the fledgling wine estate. Initially the wines – made from Grenache – were prescribed as tonic wines for anaemic patients and the famous Penfolds slogan ‘1844 to evermore’ harks back to its origins as a prescribed tonic. Penfolds and Co. – the newly formed partnership of Mary Penfold and her son-in-law Thomas Hyland and her cellar manager Joseph Gillard – now claimed to be producing over one-third of South Australia’s wine. Mary Penfold passed away in 1896 after a remarkable contribution to Australia’s wine industry. The wine market was changing rapidly by the late 1940s, as soldiers returned from the war and new immigrants settled in Australia. For over 170 years, three distinct styles have underpinned the Penfolds winemaking philosophy: single vineyard or single block, single region or sub-region, and multi-region or multi-varietal blending. Penfolds single vineyard and single block wines are celebrated for their unique terroir and sense of place.
Deep, black-cherry red in colour. In a word, Shiraz. Style? Unhesitantly, warm(er)-climate. Generous, distinctive. An initial lift of coffee grind, mocha/malt and spice sequentially volatilise, consorting to form an initial aromatic wave. Then, ascending elements of dark chocolate, black licorice, European dark-berry fruit salad … with an emphasis on the dark/black! No new oak? Not part of the Bin 28 mindset. Yet so much more lies beneath … Full-bodied and multi-dimensional. An assortment of flavours, including blackcurrant, dates, beef and stout pie, dried fig … Expansive – length, depth and weight … reverberating with amplitude and attitude! Mid-palate fruit sweetness, aligned with solid/firm tannins, culminating in a long, lingering finish.