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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.
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 at time of writing, yet retaining a tension/tussle between the Cabernet and Shiraz. Further time in bottle required.
Flavours? 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.
Coonawarra: 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.