Sophie McLean discoverved the The Penfolds Collection, Australian wine at its finest
Our laid-back antipodean cousins know a thing or two about wine, and it was at the launch of ‘The Penfolds Collection’ that I was greeted with this knowledge and craftsmanship once again. In the atmospheric surrounds of London’s RSA House, we were able to sample the latest Penfolds collection, just released to market.
Of these I have some clear favourites. But the pièce de resistance is of course, Penfolds Grange. The 2010 is the 60th consecutive release of this iconic wine – one that has been much anticipated. You could say every vintage of this particular wine is – it is arguably Australia’s most celebrated, and is officially listed as a South Australian Heritage Icon.
To give some further visual context from the night, this wine had its own roped off area, its own bodyguard, and a special installation built just to house it, on its own, for the entire evening. This is as VIP a wine as you ever will get.
After the tasting we were invited to dinner at STK – the steak restaurant with bolshy branding and an interior vibe reminiscent of being in a blingtastic nightclub – dark, heavy, sexy and fun that sits on the ground floor of London’s ME hotel.
The hotel has just teamed up with Penfolds to offer a select number of their wines venue-wide, including the much lauded Grange 2009 (priced at £1286.00 a bottle). Here we were joined by some of the Penfolds team, and their Brand Manager, Peter English.
As with Peter Gago himself, the rest of the team betray similar familial qualities – an ethos that is clearly mirrored company-wide. I like the Penfolds team. They’re real people with a tangible camaraderie between them that is unabashedly brilliant.
Ultimately, for me, wine is as much about the story as what’s in the bottle itself and tonight was another night that reminded me of the people that have helped, and continue to build such an iconic global brand. Pour yourself a glass. Here’s to the next 170 years.
Click here for Sophie’s top 12 bottles from The Penfold’s Collection