Penfolds has released its much-anticipated 2020 Collection, led by the 66th consecutive release of Grange and a new Penfolds g4 range. The wines in the collection feature a variation of multi-region and multi-vineyard blends, as well as single-region wines and a single-vineyard wine.
With only 2,500 bottles of Penfolds g4 (A$3,500 each) available around the world, the "once-in-a-lifetime" singular blend of four different Penfolds Grange vintages (2002, 2004, 2008 and 2016) is arguably one of the most inimitable Penfolds wines to be released.
"These four Grange vintages are among our favourites of the last two decades," Chief Winemaker Peter Gago says in a statement.
"All so different – in every sense, not just climatically. The synergistic blending of these vintages worked perfectly from a quality, structural and style perspective."
Penfolds g4, which became available on Thursday 6 August, is an evolution of the 2017 concept when Penfolds g3 was released – a 2008, 2012 and 2014 blend.
"Each vintage component was carefully selected to bring something different to the final g4 blend, adding layers of intrigue and complexity," Peter says. He describes the 2002 Grange as a "cooler vintage" that’s "highly defined and sleek".
While the 2004 Grange is relatively opulent, the 2008 Grange, awarded 100 points by both Wine Spectator and Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, is big and bold.
The final component from the 2016 Grange serves not only to refresh the blend but also to provide its own distinct character imprint.
Penfolds g4 is the second release in this series. The final release, Penfolds g5, will be available in 2021.
The 2016 Grange (A$950) was a crowd favourite at the recent Penfolds Rewards of Patience Edition VIII tasting.
"Not playing to flagship favourites, but the 2016 Grange may politely nudge the classic 2004 and 2010," Peter notes.
The 2020 Collection also includes the 2018 Bin 389 Cabernet Shiraz (A$100), in commemoration of the 60th anniversary since it was first made in 1960 by Penfolds’ first Chief Winemaker Max Schubert.
"Bin 389 Cabernet Shiraz manifests all that is Penfolds… a wine that so many of us have grown with," Peter reflects. "This style extolls the wisdom of blending, as it does the synergies afforded by varietal and sourcing freedom."
The cabernet stable broadens with the sixth release of Bin 169 Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon (A$360). "This 100% cabernet dutifully puts up its hand to help champion the region," Peter says. "Vying for Bin 707 quality fruit, its Coonawarra badge and French oak lodgings hold sway."
Altogether different is the 2017 St Henri Shiraz (A$135) – a red wine that does not rely on any new oak. St Henri is described as "rich and plush when young, gaining soft, earthy, mocha-like characters with age".
Further, the white wines released in this collection include the 2019 Bin 311 Chardonnay (A$50).
"From the garage to the studio, Bin 311 can now more than just whistle an enduring tune," Peter relays. "This wine now confidently struts across a wider cool-climate stage. An awakened and enlightened blend."
The 2018 Yattarna Chardonnay (A$175), 2019 Reserve Bin A Adelaide Hills Chardonnay (A$125) and 2020 Bin 51 Eden Valley Riesling (A$40) have also received equal praise.
The Penfolds Collection 2020 and Penfolds g4 are available at Penfolds Cellar Doors (Magill Estate Winery and Barossa Valley Cellar Door) and select fine wine stores.