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Grange 2003 released

Penfolds has released its 2003 Grange with an estimated price tag of up to AUS$550 (£260, US$510) a bottle.

The release, along with all Penfolds top-end wines, comes as the Australian auction market is experiencing its strongest ever demand for super-premium red wines.

‘There’s an insatiable appetite for the top vintages of the top end wines,’ said Stewart Langton of auction house Langtons in Melbourne.

Langton, and Graham Wright of Oddbin’s Wine Auctions in Adelaide, say that the usual price increase of five or six per cent a year has trebled in the last year.

Langton attributes the increased interest to a global trend, seen in the last few years, of affluent consumers seeking more of the world’s outstanding products.

Wright said that the recent decision by Hong Kong to eliminate tax on wine could be leading to greater interest from Asian buyers.

He said hammer prices for five key Grange vintages in March this year had increased by between 14 and 36%. A bottle of 1990 Grange is worth around AUS$530 (£250, US$490) at auction, an increase of 32% on last year.

The price tag of the latest Grange puts the wine in the same league as a bottle of Bordeaux third growth chateau Palmer 2005.

Other Penfolds top-end red wine releases include the 2005 Bin 707 Cabernet Sauvignon, RWT Barossa Valley Shiraz and Magill Estate Shiraz, as well as the 2004 St Henri Shiraz. Prices range from AUS$175 (£80, US$160) for the Bin 707 to AUS$90 (£40, US$80) for the St Henri Shiraz.

Written by Chris Snow

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