Exploring Penfold's new G3 with Rod Properjohn

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Has Penfold’s winemaker Peter Gago been drinking too much of his own wine lately? His new red named G3 was released on Oct 18 and the 1200 x 750ml bottles sell for A$3,000 a bottle. That’s up there with the world’s great wines, such as Romanée - Conti, which is a single vintage and single vineyard wine and established for centuries.

G3 defies logic, as it's a blend of three Grange wines, the 2008, 2012 and 2014, all quality vintages. Champagne mixes vintages but for a specific reason, many are not strong enough and need help from other years to make an acceptable style. Wood-aged fortified wines are also blended and again for another reason, they lose about 4% of wine annually through evaporation and the wooden barrels need to be topped up with subsequent vintages to prevent them from drying out.

G3 is also far from a single vineyard wine; the grapes used were from many vineyards and regions, as they are in Grange wines. Then there's the question of oak in these days of decreasing oak use in wines. Grange itself is matured in new American oak for two years and after the three components of G3 are blended, it is further matured for another year in Grange barrels.

I have not tasted G3 and I doubt that I will. Will it sell? You betcha! Will it be enjoyed? Not often, as it will probably end up as a commodity and traded globally.

Liquor Barons stores may help you with G3, if you really need a bottle.

Cheers,
Rod Properjohn