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The tradition of innovation and experimentation is central to the Penfolds winemaking philosophy and is perpetuated in the form of Penfolds Cellar Reserve wines. These sometimes one off releases emerge periodically when experimental wines, which have been nurtured carefully in the winery cellars, are deemed appropriate for public release. The wines do not necessarily fit into any particular genre and provide Penfolds winemakers with the freedom to strive for new styles and definitions of excellence in their expression. There have only been two prior Cellar Reserve Cabernet Shiraz, the tiny, yet unforgettable, 1993 and the equally impressive 2005.
Youthful via expression, mature via disposition (pedigree/stamp). Atop : Florals (lilac) and spice (Moroccan/Middle East). Beneath : Stewed silverbeet/spinach/ beetroot and silverside. Upon sitting: malt and mocha. Across : Oak, omnipresent, yet somewhat disguised – expressed via roasted nuts (pecan) and the subtlest of char.
An initial perception of being medium-bodied, modified upon third sip to that of a more full-bodied Penfolds red. Quite integrated, yet retaining a tension/tussle between the Cabernet and Shiraz. lFavours? Venison carpaccio; some blackcurrant, peppercorn, pistachio/pecan; black tea. Framed via tingling (natural) acidity velvety and graphite tannins. Oak only acts as a conveyance – little artefact. Balanced, long and full.
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Home to the oldest vines in the country, and no less than 18 wine growing regions, South Australia accounts for almost 50% of Australia’s wine production. The Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale, Langhorne Creek and Coonawarra are well known for their world class reds, with Adelaide Hills, Clare Valley and Eden Valley praised for their exceptional Chardonnay and Riesling.
Above-average winter temperatures continued throughout spring. Rainfall was below average throughout winter and dry conditions persisted through spring resulting in early vine growth. Summer rainfall was higher than average due to significant rainfall event in January, pre-veraison. Relatively moderate temperatures leading into vintage ensured ripening was steady with fruit harvested in optimal condition. Barossa Valley : Above average winter rain and relatively warm temperatures in August accelerated vines out of dormancy leading to early flowering. Spring was generally warmer and dry. January temperatures were lower than usual with the recorded maximum temperatures being the coolest in 22 years. Rain in January provided a much needed moisture boost to the vines in the final stages of ripening. Without any extremes or stress, the vines continued to ripen evenly leading into an early harvest. In February, hotter weather prevailed ensuring a fast and early grape intake.
Key to the success of Penfolds has been a lineage of visionary winemakers. There have only ever been four Chief Winemakers at the helm of Penfolds – Max Schubert, Don Ditter, John Duval and Peter Gago, each a custodian of a rich winemaking tradition that goes back for more than 170 years.
Our current Penfolds winemaking team has more than 100 years between them as Penfolds winemakers. They are constantly refining and improving their work, whilst honouring the winemaking techniques of their predecessors.