The heritage-listed 5.24 hectare “monopole” Penfolds Magill Estate is one of the few single vineyards in the world located within city boundaries. Its legacy as the “Grange Vineyard”, ensures its place in Australian wine history. This “soft of nature, yet structured and substantial” wine is distinctly different to the mainstream Penfolds style, showing intense floral, blackberry, aniseed aromas, smooth richness and a "long spine without being overtly firm." Magill Estate Shiraz is batch-vinified in open wax-lined concrete tanks. After completion of fermentation, the wine is matured in a combination of new French and seasoned French and American oak for between 12-15 months.
Ned Goodwin MW and Langton’s Head of Domestic Buying Ramon Gunasekara discuss the newly released reds, including Bin 28 Kalimna, Bin 150 & Magill Estate, from the Penfolds Collection 2020.
The 2011 Magill Estate Shiraz is aged in 100% new oak (hogsheads) of which 65% is French and 35% American. This very deep garnet-purple coloured Shiraz is closed on the nose, though it does show lovely red and black fruits, quite a lot of exotic spices and a somewhat meaty, cedar note lingering in the background, though not overtly. Medium-bodied and elegant, it has quite a lot of individual character shaped by medium to firm, fine tannins, a crisp acid spine and a long finish. Drink it 2015–2025+ 93+ points, Wine Advocate.
Dark crimson. Really spicy aroma. Mulberry sweetness and zest at the same time, some violets. Fresh acidity, mouthwatering. Bright, vibrant, sweet, dark fruited and remarkably soft in texture. Some cedary character from the oak and the French oak shines. You wouldn't know it was 100% new oak though there's cedar on the finish and finesse to the end. 17/20 points, jancisrobinson.com
Penfolds is probably the most extraordinary of the world’s wine brands with an enviable reputation for quality at every price level. The original Penfold was an English doctor who, in 1844, planted grapes at Magill, now a suburb of Adelaide. However, it was not until the late 1940s that Penfolds began to forge a reputation for red wine.
The Penfolds house style emerged from a fortified wine producing culture and evolved as a winemaking philosophy which has had a profound effect on the entire Australian wine industry. Many of the techniques initially adopted to make Penfolds Grange would become part of the wider Penfolds winemaking culture. The number of techniques employed in the research and development of Penfolds wines is astonishing. Max Schubert and his team pioneered: major advances in yeast technology and paper chromatography; the understanding and use of pH in controlling bacterial spoilage; the use of headed down/submerged cap fermentation and the technique of rack and return; cold fermentation practices; the use of American oak as a maturation vessel and perhaps most critically, partial barrel fermentation. Nowadays, the use of American oak and barrel fermentation for instance is considered traditional Barossa winemaking practice!
Today, Penfolds house style embraces the concept of multi-regional blending, optimum fruit quality, the use of fine-grained American or French oak, barrel fermentation and maturation. Overall, the Penfolds style is about highly-defined fruit aromas, fruit sweetness, ripe tannins, richness, power and concentration. The number of iconic wines that have emerged from the Penfolds stable over the years is remarkable. Bin 389 a Cabernet Shiraz blend released in 1960 is now considered the quintessential Australian wine blend. Bin 128 Coonawarra Shiraz and Bin 28 Kalimna Shiraz released in 1962 pre-empted the contemporary enthusiasm for regional definition by about 25 years. Improved vineyard management, site selection and winemaking brought about subsequent releases of Bin 707 and Bin 407 Cabernet Sauvignon. The Penfolds Wine Making Philosophy is the accumulation of more than half-a-century of knowledge and winemaking practice initiated by Max Schubert and subsequently refined by Don Ditter, John Duval and Peter Gago. Their collective commitment to multi-regional and vineyard blending contributed to a consistency of style and quality that has cemented Penfolds reputation as the foremost producer of premium age-worthy red wines in Australia.