Penfolds chief winemaker Peter Gago led a worldwide interactive tasting via webcast, live from the Vinexpo trade fair on Monday.
Gago chaired a vertical tasting of the iconic Australian wine, Penfolds Bin 389, often referred to as ‘Baby Grange’.
Six vintages of the Cabernet Shiraz blend, including 1976, 1986 and 2006, were sampled in real time in 11 countries, from Bahrain to New Zealand.
The event was divided into morning and afternoon sessions, accommodating tasters from the different time zones. The Middle East and Asia tuned into the morning session, while the US and Europe took part in the afternoon.
The tastings themselves were run at select venues in the participating countries, enabling guests to sample the wines at the same time as their host in Bordeaux; Penfolds claims this was a first in terms of the number of people tasting simultaneously, in so many locations.
Assisting Gago at the tasting were winemaker Jacques Lurton, Andrew Caillard MW of Langton’s auction house, and Decanter columnist Ch’ng Poh Tiong.
Throughout the tasting, participants were given the chance to ask questions via the Internet link.
‘New World winemakers have often strayed from convention in the way wine is traditionally made, so it stands to reason that we are doing the same with this original mode of wine tasting,’ Gago said.
The London session of the tasting was held at Australia House on the Strand.
Written by Lucy Shaw