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A significant turning point for Penfolds Grange, bottles were labelled Bin numbers 49 and 95, and are now becoming increasingly rare.
By the early sixties, Grange had secured its future. The experimental work carried out by Max Schubert and his team during the fifties left lasting impressions. Grange production officially resumed with the 1960 vintage, following a company order in 1956 to stop. Max Schubert defied the order and continued to produce Grange in secret for three years (1957-1959). A blend of 92 per cent Shiraz and 8 per cent Cabernet Sauvignon from the Magill Estate and Morphett Vale in the Adelaide Hills, and Kalimna Vineyard in the Barossa. Generally hot and fairly dry growing season, rainfall was down 20 per cent on average. Maturation for eighteen months in new American oak hogsheads. Alcohol 12.80% Acidity 6.10g/L pH 3.67.
Grange displays fully-ripe and intensely-flavoured Shiraz and Cabernet in combination with new American oak. The result is a unique Australian style that is now recognised as one of the most consistent of the world's great wines. The Grange style is the original and most powerful expression of Penfolds multi-vineyard, blending philosophy. 1960 represents a more obvious and up-front Grange, bright and smokey with bouquets of jammy plums and raspberries, almost treacle-like.
Winemaker comments by Max Schubert: Medium brick red. Complex smoky/meaty/fig-jim aromas with hints of leather/spice. A lovely fruit sweet concentrated wine with plenty of mocha/dried fig/blackberry flavours and fine drying tannins.
Grange is arguably Australia’s most celebrated wine and is officially listed as a Heritage Icon of South Australia. Grange boasts an unbroken line of vintages from the experimental 1951 and clearly demonstrates the synergy between Shiraz and the soils and climates of South Australia. Grange utilises fully-ripe, intensely-flavoured and textured Shiraz grapes. The result is a unique Australian style that is now recognised as one of the most consistent of the world’s great wines. The Grange style is the original and most powerful expression of Penfolds multi-vineyard, multi-district, blending philosophy.
Penfolds was founded by a young English doctor who migrated to one of his country's most distant colonies over a century and a half ago. Dr Christopher Rawson Penfold was born in 1811, the youngest of 11 children. He studied medicine at St Bartholomew's Hospital, London, graduating in 1838.
In 1844 Dr Penfold and his wife Mary purchased the Mackgill estate, “comprising 500 acres of the choicest land.” By all accounts it was Mary Penfold who was responsible for the management and early winemaking responsibilities of the fledgling wine estate. Initially the wines - made from grenache – were prescribed as tonic wines for anaemic patients and the famous Penfolds slogan ‘1844 to evermore’ harks back to its origins as a prescribed tonic.
By 1870 the Grange vineyard comprised over 60 acres with several different grape varieties including grenache, verdelho, mataro (mourvèdre), frontignac and pedro ximenez. The estate was producing both sweet and dry red wine and white table wines, with a growing market in the eastern Australian colonies of Victoria and New South Wales. A catalogue from 1889 lists wines from the Grange and Magill vineyards as Mataro, Grenache, Constantia, Grange Port, Frontignac, Grange Tawny, Pedro Ximenes, Tokay, Madeira, Grange Sherry and Muscadine. The catalogue adds: “We have also light red and white dinner wines of claret and riesling types, suitable for use in Clubs.”
Penfolds and Co. – the newly formed partnership of Mary Penfold and her son-in-law Thomas Hyland and her cellar manager Joseph Gillard – now claimed to be producing over one-third of South Australia’s wine. Mary Penfold passed away in 1896 after a remarkable contribution to Australia’s wine industry.