Sunday, 26 July 2015

Now it is official: The story of Penfolds' new Max Schubert wine

At last it is official! Penfolds is releasing a new premium wine range; created to commemorate Max Schubert, legendary former chief winemaker and creator of Grange.

Max Schubert AM was Penfolds' chief winemaker from 1948-1975 and a pivotal figure in Penfolds history. This year marks the 100th anniversary of his birth.

The new 2012 Max Schubert Cabernet Shiraz continues the Penfolds philosophy of multi-regional blending - and it is available under screw cap, unlike Grange. "It personifies a wine style that Max championed well over half a century ago," says the press release. 

The debut release is a blend of 61% Cabernet Sauvignon and 39% Shiraz from the Barossa Valley and Coonawarra and will retail for $450. Penfolds envisage it will be long lived, with a tasting window until 2045.  

"Max, of course, is one of the most revered in our history, a remarkable man who had an immeasurable impact not only on Penfolds, but the entire Australian wine industry," says the official release. 

From the 2013 vintage there will be a shiraz and a shiraz cabernet blend under a slightly different "Max" label. The release says: "Over time, other wines will be added to this range at different tier levels."

So the official announcement came a couple of weeks after I spilled the beans and it is still a mystery why Penfolds media-savvy owners, Treasury Wine Estates, kept the new wine as a secret before letting word slip out on their own website. 

What we now know is that fewer than 500 cases of the first release were made and that the wine needs a double decant before service. 

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