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2004 Grange a ‘great, benchmark’ wine – at $600

The 2004 Penfolds Bin 95 Grange, to be released on May 1, is tipped to be one of the great vintages of Australia’s top wine.

The pre-release retail price has already reached $600, the highest ever for a new vintage Grange.

‘It’s certainly a benchmark wine, a very, very fine vintage,’ Langton’s Wine Auctions’ Andrew Caillard, an authority on Penfolds wines, said.

‘It eclipses the 2002. It’s the best since 1998.’

Penfolds’ chief winemaker, Peter Gago, put the wine in the same league as the ‘wonderful’ 1990 and 1996 vintages.

Gago not only praised the 2004 Grange but Penfolds’ super-premium collection to be released on May 1.

‘It’s been a long time since we’ve had a collection like this. It’s a fine a collection as we have ever released,’ he said.

Unlike prices for top Bordeaux wines which last week were slashed by up to 50%, Foster’s owned Penfolds has increased the prices of the new release by about 10% compared with last year.

One major fine wine retailer, Vintage Cellars, has already offered the 2004 Grange to its wine club members at AUS$599 a bottle.

The collection to be released on 1 May includes the 2006 vintage of Penfolds’ top white wine, the AUS$130 a bottle Yattarna Chardonnay.

The 2005 Yattarna was the best Chardonnay over £10 at the 2008 Decanter World Wine Awards and was also judged by the Australian Wine and Brandy Corporation’s assessors as Australia’s best export wine for 2008.

Other wines to be released on May 1 will include: the 2006 Penfolds Bin 707 Cabernet Sauvignon with a recommended retail price of AUS$185; 2006 Penfolds RWT Barossa Valley Shiraz – $170; 2006 Magill Estate Shiraz – $100; 2005 St. Henri Shiraz – $95; and 2007 Penfolds Reserve Bin A Adelaide Hills Chardonnay – $90.

Written by Chris Snow in Adelaide

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