The last in Penfolds’ emblematic g series, the Penfolds g5 blends five different Grange vintages into a singular, superlative expression.
I approached the Penfolds g5 with some trepidation. And not just because Penfolds’ very own Chief Winemaker Peter Gago was the one introducing his creation to me.
For those not familiar with the g series, it is a limited-release, non-vintage trilogy from the leading Australian wine brand. What’s particularly exceptional about this series is that it draws upon Penfolds’ Grange wines, blending various vintages to create each individual g series expression. Over the decades the Grange has come to represent the pinnacle of winemaking for Penfolds. These award-winning wines – Australia’s most famous wine by a mile – are highly-prized and coveted.
To some, sacrificing remaining stocks of Grange to make the g series seems counter-intuitive. Maybe even sacrilegious.
The Penfolds g series, for the lack of a better comparison, is akin to Marvel Comics’s three-part Avengers series in its superhero cinematic universe. Like the Marvel Avengers movies, each g series release is put together with some of the best elements of the winemaker’s preceding work.
Grange vintages, assemble!
The g3, the first of the g series released in 2017, blended three separate Grange vintages from the years 2008, 2012, and 2014. Much like how Avengers: Age of Ultron introduced various superheroes from previous movies – Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor – into one film. Then there was the g4 that dropped in 2020. That combined Granges from the 2002, 2004, 2008 and 2016 vintages in one wine. That’s like Avengers: Infinity War, which brought in more elements from its other Marvel franchises – Guardians of the Galaxy and Black Panther, for example – into the mix.
The last of the Avengers series, Avengers: Endgame, brought in even more superheroes (Ant Man and Captain Marvel). But it was always positioned as a finale that brings together all the various plot lines into a rousing finish. While Marvel will continue to make box office superhero hits, the Avengers will never again assemble on the field of battle like they did against Thanos and his hordes.
Hence the trepidation.
The Penfolds g5 is effectively the Avengers: Endgame of Penfolds’ g series. It blends together pretty much what is left of the iconic 2010, 2012, 2014, and 2016 vintages, as well as the yet-to-be-released 2018 Grange.
The series is concluded. It’s the end to an epoch.
And Peter Gago said as much. “There won’t be a g6. There’s simply not enough old Grange stock (to make one),” Gago tells us. Will Penfolds be doing something similar in the future? Very unlikely. “We have our other initiatives that we’re working on,” Gago strongly hinted. By that he was referring to their Champagne collaboration with Thiénot, as well as Penfolds’ Californian wine project that’s just beginning to bear fruit.
Back to the Penfolds g5. “Each of the five vintages sensitively brings their own personality and contribution to the blend,” Gago elucidates on the Penfolds g5.
Like the Avengers coming together as a team, I think to myself as I get poured a glass.
The question is – how marvellous would it be to be able to own one for posterity’s sake?
Only 2,200 bottles of the Penfolds g5 are available around the world at a recommended retail price of AUD$3,500/S$4998 for a 750ml bottle. Expressions of interest entertained at www.penfolds.com.
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