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Primeur Penfolds

Published:  23 July, 2008

Penfolds is offering two special-release 2004 vintage wines en primeur': a Penfolds Block 42 Cabernet Sauvignon and Bin 60A, a homage to the legendary Bin 60A.

A blend of Coonawarra Cabernet and Kalimna Shiraz, the original 1962 Penfolds Bin 60A was the only non-French wine in the top 10 of Decanter magazine's 100 Wines to Try Before You Die' and currently realises more than 500 a bottle at auction.

The other wine is Penfolds Block 42 Cabernet Sauvignon, a single-vineyard wine from Cabernet vines that are more than 100 years old. Although the wines will not be released until 2007, trade customers can place orders on

Speaking last week at a tasting held at Le Gavroche in London to mark the launch of the two wines, Peter Gago, Penfolds chief winemaker, explained that Bin wines are only made in years in which there is no danger of compromising the quality of wines such as Grange. Bin wines cannot take the heart and soul out of the other wines,' he emphasised. He added that while some might think it is disrespectful to name a new wine after a legend', he felt that it was justified.

Former Penfolds winemaker John Bird has called the new wine bloody close to the mark', and has said that the original Bin 60A looked very similar at this stage'.

Jeffrey Wilkinson, president of Southcorp Wines, Europe, urged the trade to place their orders for the two wines as soon as possible, saying if there was enough to go round, it wouldn't be Penfolds'. He added, We thank God for giving Peter Gago the talent to make such wines.'

Penfolds also has released the new 2000 vintage of its legendary Grange wine.

Due to the difficult vintage conditions, only a third of the average volume of Grange was made in 2000. Although Penfolds never releases the exact production levels for the wine, it is rumoured that this means there should be about 3,000 cases available to the trade. Gago added that this was only the fifth year that it is 100% Shiraz and, also unusually, it was entirely sourced from the Barossa Valley region.