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Penfolds G5 – first taste of the final multi-vintage Grange blend

Decanter was one of the first to taste Penfolds G5, the last in the Australian winery’s experimental series of blending separate vintages of Grange, its flagship red. David Sly gives his verdict.

Penfolds has unveiled G5, the amalgam of five separate vintages of Grange. It is the final chapter of its bold cross-vertical blending experiment with its flagship red wine.

The G5 combination of 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2018 Grange, representing 97% Shiraz and 3% Cabernet Sauvignon, contains fruit sourced from the Barossa (70%), McLaren Vale and Clare Valley, with a fraction from Wrattonbully in 2014.

Peter Gago, Penfolds chief winemaker and 2021 Decanter Hall of Fame recipient, says each vintage component comprises at least 10% of G5. Just 2,200 bottles are available, at AU$3,500 each (about £1,920 or $2,630).

Scroll down for Decanter’s exclusive tasting note and score of the new Penfolds G5 blend

‘The highly acclaimed 2010 Grange was chosen as the base for this blend,’ says Gago. ‘The other vintages add layers of sheen, poise and seduction – with great freshness added by the inclusion of the 2018 Grange, which has not yet been released.’

After the components were selected from trial blends, museum stock of older Penfolds vintages was poured from bottle into barrel. The final blend aged for 12 months in neutral American oak hogsheads (first used for 2016 and 2018 Grange). G5 was then bottled in April 2020.

G5 follows enthusiastic global receptions for Penfolds’ G4 (released in August 2020, which combined Grange from 2002, 2004, 2008 and 2016) and G3 (launched in October 2017; a blend of Grange from 2008, 2012 and 2014).

Given that Grange is presented by Penfolds as a definitive representation of Shiraz from any one vintage, Gago says the G series has been an experiment with a view to create something rare.

‘It’s not my attempt to create the perfect Grange vintage on the tasting bench,’ he explains. ‘These multi-vintage special releases were designed to keep Penfolds in the spotlight for being innovative. I see their price reflecting the great risk involved in making a blend that spans many years – and its rarity.’

The release of Penfolds G5 coincides with Grange’s 70th anniversary year, marking unbroken vintage releases from 1951 to 2021. The 2018 Grange will be released in August 2022.

Penfolds G5: the first taste

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