Penfolds

Penfolds is the star in the crown of Treasury Wine Estates (TWE), but its history predates the formation of TWE by close on 170 years. Over that period of time its shape has changed both in terms of its vineyards, its management, its passing parade of great winemakers, and its wines. There is no other single winery brand in the new, or the old, world with the depth and breadth of Penfolds. In 2013 the retail prices ranged from $18 to $785 for Grange, which is the cornerstone, produced every year, albeit with the volume determined by the quality of the vintage, not by cash flow. There is now a range of regional wines with single varieties, and the so-called Bin Range of wines that include both regional blends and (in some instances) varietal blends. It may sound complicated, but given the size of the business, and the long-term history of the Bins (the oldest dating back to the early 1960s) it is not as difficult as one might imagine to understand the winemaking and commercial rationale. Despite the very successful Yattarna and Reserve Bin A Chardonnays, and some impressive Rieslings, this remains a red wine producer at heart. JAMES HALLIDAY