1. Penfolds Block 42 is the world’s oldest Cabernet vineyard.
Block 42, planted around 1888, stands out as a very special piece of viticultural dirt. It is thought that these Cabernet Sauvignon vines – producing remarkably vibrant, beautifully balanced fruit – are the oldest in the world. Over the last sixty years Block 42, also known as the Golf Course Block, has played an important role in the development of Penfolds Reds.
It contributed to the red table wine and Grange trials of the late 1940s and 1950s especially the rare 1948 Kalimna Cabernet and 1953 Penfolds Grange Cabernet. Although the vineyard provides unusually high quality fruit in most vintages, limited yields meant that Block 42 could not be relied upon as a core source for Max Schubert’s Grange. The development and continued success of Penfolds Bin 707 Cabernet Sauvignon, however, owes some part to the contribution of Block 42. Penfolds has released a Special Bin 2004 and 1996 Block 42 to highlight the exceptional provenance of this vineyard within a vineyard. These are wines with impressive concentration, balance and finesse.
2. Since 1991 over 90,000 bottles have been checked through the Penfolds Red Wine Re-corking Clinics.
Langton’s was involved in the original scoping of the Penfolds Red Wine Re-corking Clinics (Penfolds clinics). They were inspired by the practice of re-corking old bottles by United Kingdom wine merchants and Bordeaux Chateaux. In fact, Max Schubert would re-cork old bottles of Grange and other wines for his friends. A number of these bottles have turned up at Australian wine auctions over the years.
Penfolds has re-invented this ad-hoc practice into a serious after-sales service for Penfolds wine collectors. After many years in the cellar, corks can deteriorate and the level of the wine in bottle may ullage. If unchecked, it is possible the wine may overdevelop or oxidize making it undrinkable. The Penfolds clinics have become something of an institution and now take place in Australia, New Zealand, Asia, Europe and the US. It is one of the most successful Australian consumer relations programmes ever devised.
3. A recent poll survey carried out by Langton’s showed that 36% of collectors still prefer Grange with a cork seal.
In future, some Penfolds wines will be sealed under screw cap and some under cork. If you were to buy each of the following wines in future, would you choose to buy sealed with screw cap or cork closure?
The overall results showed that buyers were more comfortable with screw cap for lower priced wines. 49% preferred to buy Koonunga Hill in screw cap, 5 % in cork, 24% either and 21% would not buy. 48% preferred to buy Penfolds Bin Range in screw cap, 17 % in cork, 34% eithe