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A CHAMPAGNE WORTHY OF CELEBRATING OUR PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE.
We are proud to unveil a new collaboration with family-owned Champagne House Thiénot and will soon launch our first limited release Champagne. This launch symbolically celebrates our 175th anniversary and marks the start of a wonderful French and Australian wine alliance.
We have re-ignited our love affair with France, a special place for Penfolds, where our winemaker Max Schubert was inspired to create Grange.
Partnered with Thiénot, a respected player in the world of Champagne, we instigated hands-on involvement throughout the tirage storage to create this extraordinary 2012 Chardonnay Pinot Noir Cuvée.
This release, the first in a series, will be available from select fine wine retailers around the world from late June.
The wines represent the joint efforts of Thiénot chef de cave Nicolas Uriel who together with Peter shared agreed style and quality ambitions. The Champagne is made from grapes sourced from prestigious and highly regarded vineyards in Champagne from the spectacular 2012 vintage
The first three bottlings released under the special Thiénot x Penfolds label are made with wines produced from the outstanding 2012 vintage. The range includes a blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, as well as two single-vineyard wines from grand cru villages: a Blanc de Blancs from Avize, and a Blanc de Noirs from Aÿ
Nicolas Uriel, Thiénot’s chef de cave, collaborated closely with Gago to create Champagnes expressing, in the words of Gago, ‘their differences while sharing the collective interpretation by Thiénot and Penfolds.’
The trio has slightly lower levels of dosage than those usually chosen by Maison Thiénot and, to strengthen the cross-hemisphere tie, they use a liqueur d’expédition elaborated in barriques initially used for Penfolds’ flagship Yattarna Chardonnay.
Malolactic fermentation is deliberately avoided to retain freshness, and Uriel explains that they ‘chose to lower the amount of dosage and not use barrel-ageing so as to enhance the terroir transparency of these Champagnes, while benefitting from Peter Gago’s blending expertise for fine-tuning the style we wanted.’
These Champagnes will be distributed by Penfolds around the world except for France, where it will be in the hands of the Thiénot group.
Lower-than-average yields in Australia, as across much of Europe. This was blamed on high winds, drought and low fruitfulness resulting from the poor 2011 vintage. Quality, however, was much better than in the exceptionally damp 2011, with South Australia avoiding some of the weather extremes experienced by other states. Strong varietal typicality is a commonly cited feature of the 2012 crop.