Is Penfolds’ g3 probably the most excellent Grange ever?


High flying wine lovers: meet the proper bottle of Grange. If you thought the most recent launch 2013 classic was a showstopper, the Penfolds g3 emerges as one of the crucial luxurious reds in the marketplace.

Standing for ‘Grange 3’, the formidable g3 mix combines vintages from 2008, 2012 and 2014 (which is not obtainable till subsequent yr) in a single powerhouse bottle priced at $3000 a pop.

The excellent Grange

There are simply 1200 bottles obtainable world wide by way of Penfolds’ Magill Estate or on-line, with the Chinese market jostling to tuck a bottle away within the cellar – maybe why the unique launch was held at an intimate dinner in a ritzy Hong Kong gallery and never on the wine’s religious residence of Adelaide.

Chief winemaker Peter Gago says the g3 celebrates the artwork of mixing, which the vineyard has been doing since 1844. “This is a multi-regional blend across vintages, so we’ve added yet another variable into that mix,” says Gago. “It was a very pragmatic journey of to make something new and different without it being a gimmick, or a brand extension.”

The downtown Liang Li Museum performed host to 48 influential wine writers, high-flying collectors and bloggers who arrived to style the ’08, the ’12 and the brand new expression of g3 matched with a multi-course feast cooked by Magill Estate chef Scott Huggins.

It’ll be contentious: it ought to be, it is Grange.

Peter Gago

While every classic is undeniably ‘Grange’, no 2 years are alike, affected by terroir and climate situations of a given yr.

“Quality oscillates quite a bit,” admits Gago, nominating 1962 Bin 60A as his standout classic. “This [g3 project] gave us the opportunity to put something together that isn’t dependent on mother nature or the vagaries of weather, because we know what ’08 was like, we know what ’12 was like and at that point we’d just made the ’14, and each of those [wines] brings something different to the table.”

Decorated drops

The ’08 and the ’12 are a few of the most embellished within the Grange canon: 2008 is large and daring, 2012 elegant and complicated. The ’14 is an unknown amount for the general public, however not for Gago. “We bottled the ’14 in November of 2015, so we’re not dabbling with unknowns. We’re adding ’14 to the g3 because in effect it freshens up the blend. You’ll be amazed at how fresh and vibrant this wine is … it’s as fresh as a daisy.”

It’s a daring and doubtlessly divisive transfer from Penfolds, which already has a number of premium choices and arguably no must up the ante. “We have historically viewed as being a bit traditional, and we still are proudly traditional, but we’ve still had one foot into the future too in the way of innovation.”

Gago has taken inspiration from the best French champagne – “If I didn’t have a champagne addiction I would have retired three years ago,” he quips – to create the brand new drop.

“The great champagnes as far as I’m concerned are the lovely blends, so the g3 is in effect a blend of a blend, producing something from the sum of the parts that synergistically transforms all of the above.”

Happening Hongkers

Hong Kong has lengthy been a Penfolds stronghold, however Gago insists the upmarket black tie tasting was extra about establishing the wine as a worldwide model fairly than a magnet for rich Chinese consumers.

“It’s like when we released the Penfolds amphora in the Baccarat Club in Moscow. People thought we were eyeing Russian oligarchs. Or when we did a launch at the China Pavilion in Shanghai: we were selling our soul to Chinese billionaires. No. Penfolds is now almost truly global. It’s not about selling wine in ‘x’ countries, it’s being there, working there, having relationships there.”

Penfolds has groups and places of work in Shanghai, the Napa Valley, London and naturally in Hong Kong. “It’s where east meets west, where new meets old, it a confluence of many markets. Hong Kong makes so much sense: people love to eat here, they love to drink here, they celebrate rarity and luxury.”

Contentious bottles

The common wine drinker shall be fortunate to get a bottle, with most of the 1200 already set to be snapped up fast. Wealthy wine lovers, upmarket wine golf equipment, and teams of wine collectors will bunch in teams of eight for a glass every.

“You can drink it tomorrow, because it’s so nice, now, but you can probably drink it in half a century, because that’s what Grange is, and it’s the essence of Grange,” says Gago. “This will be written about far and wide as a concept and a philosophy and also about the wine itself. It’ll be contentious: it should be, it’s Grange.”

Whether this controversial type is ready turn into a daily occasion for Penfolds, Gago is coy. 

“We turn 175 in 2019, which is literally four sleeps away. So there are other things happening too.”

And what concerning the style of the g3? It’s shiny and buoyant, wealthy in color, tinged with sweetness, luscious hints of berries and herbs and filled with the full-throttle luxurious shared by all the most effective Grange.

Is it the proper Grange? If you may get your palms on a bottle.  

The author travelled to Hong Kong as a visitor of Penfolds. 

Michael Harry from

Leave a Reply