2009 Tasting Notes

Since its inception, Penfolds Koonunga Hill has always aimed to deliver quality, value and consistency. The original 1976 Koonunga Hill Shiraz Cabernet is a legendary wine that is still drinking well today, with numerous bottles still taken to the Penfolds Red Wine Re-corking Clinics by collectors who know of its quality and longevity.

In its short 'contemporary' history, the Seventy Six label has already enjoyed multiple show successes. The inaugural 2006 vintage won The Wine Press Club of NSW Trophy for the Exhibitor of the best Dry Red Wine in the Commercial Classes (Classes 6 and 7), at the 2008 Royal Sydney Wine Show.

The 2007 vintage won the same class at The 2009 Royal Sydney Wine Show to make it two in a row.

The 2008 Koonunga Hill Seventy Six Shiraz Cabernet nearly made it three-in-a-row, having to settle with a gold medal at the 2010 Royal Sydney Wine Show. The Penfolds Winemaking Team are confident the 2009 vintage reaches the same quality and expectations as its predecessors.


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Koonunga Hill is very much a reflection of the Penfolds winemaking style and philosophy. Since the first vintage in 1976 of Koonunga Hill Shiraz Cabernet, the brand’s reputation has been built on widespread acclaim.

Koonunga Hill Seventy Six Shiraz Cabernet was released from the 2006 vintage, thirty years after the original wine and pays homage to a remarkable, long-lived style. It is a refined version of its stablemate and shows “extra dimension and complexity.”

Ch’ng Poh Tiong described the Seventy Six as a “more intense and polished wine with a longer finish.”

Koonunga Hill Seventy Six Shiraz Cabernet has enjoyed strong plaudits on the show circuit, with the 2006 vintage winning the Wine Press Club of New South Wales trophy at the Sydney Royal Wine Show in 2008, for the Best Dry Red in Commercial Class. The 2007 vintage backed up this win with The Wine Communicators of Australia Perpetual Trophy to the exhibitor of the best Dry Red Wine in the Commercial Classes, at the same show in 2009.

Koonunga Hill Seventy Six Shiraz Cabernet is made for current drinking, or, like all Koonunga Hill red wines, will also benefit from a few years of extra bottle age.

  • Wagyu beef
  • Spring lamb with roasted vegetables
  • Coq au vin

2008 Koonunga Hill Seventy Six Shiraz Cabernet

Tony Stelzer, 1 April 2010, www.clearaboutwine.com.au

Vintage: 2008
Price: $17
Points: 93
Alcohol: 14.5%
Region: Predominantly Barossa, Coonawarra, Mt Lofty Ranges and Mt Benson
Tasted: March 2010
Closure: Screw Cap

It was a lot of fun buying Koonunga Hill in the mid-90s, leaving it in my cellar for what seemed like far too long, then pulling it out and wowing all and sundry with a wine that I picked up for next to nothing. There are still a few of those kicking around in there somewhere. And in a decade’s time there will be more because 2008 Seventy Six takes us back to those days where you could put a decent Penfolds wine in the cellar without forking out a fortune. “This is the start of the proper 2008s,” Peter Gago announced when he served it. This wine saw 33% new oak, which everyone thought was a typo because the first couple of vintages were more like 3.5%. That’s a big investment in a bargain wine, but it’s loaded with the berry fruits, black plum and liquorice flavours to handle its dark choc oak with consummate ease. Treat it like a Bin red and don’t be too eager.

  • Wine Name & Year
  • Show Name & Year
  • Award & Class
  • Penfolds Koonunga Hill Seventy Six Shiraz Cabernet 2007
    Macquarie Bank Sydney Royal Wine Show 2009
    TROPHY - Class 8
    Trophy Details
    The Wine Communicators of Australia Perpetual Trophy to the exhibitor of the best Dry Red Wine in the Commercial Classes (8 to 11)
  • Penfolds Koonunga Hill Seventy Six Shiraz Cabernet 2007
    Macquarie Group Sydney Royal Wine Show 2008
    GOLD - Class 8
  • Penfolds Koonunga Hill Seventy Six Shiraz Cabernet 2008
    Macquarie Group Sydney Royal Wine Show 2010
    GOLD - Class 9
  • Penfolds Koonunga Hill Seventy Six Shiraz Cabernet 2008
    Decanter World Wine Awards 2010
    COMMENDED
  • Penfolds Koonunga Hill Seventy Six Shiraz Cabernet 2006
    Macquarie Bank Sydney Royal Wine Show 2008
    TROPHY - Class 6
    Trophy Details
    The Wine Press Club of NSW Trophy to the Exhibitor of the best Dry Red Wine in the Commercial Classes (Classes 6 and 7)
  • Penfolds Koonunga Hill Seventy Six Shiraz Cabernet 2006
    Macquarie Bank Sydney Royal Wine Show 2008
    TOP GOLD - Class 6