In 1844 Christopher Rawson Penfold planted vines on the slopes of Magill to produce fortified wines. Penfolds is now proud to present a range of fortified wines that is a continuation of more than 160 years of winemaking tradition.
For nearly 60 years Penfolds Club has been one of Australia’s favourite choices of Tawny. Beginning life as Penfolds Five Star Club Tawny in the 1940s, this wine has grown with the nation.
Penfold’s Club Tawny began its life in the 1940s as Penfolds Five Star Club Tawny Port, however the term ‘port’ is no longer used by Penfolds, in accordance with international standards and trade agreements.
The Club styles use a modified Solera System for early release with an average age of around three years. The Riverland and the Barossa Valley are the principal sources of Penfolds Tawny fruit and the Club Tawny in particular has a significant Riverland component.
The choice of fortification spirit is an important one. The style and quality of spirit, which add complexity and mouth-weight, can have regional differences. Penfolds uses two different spirit types, both of which have a similar character: rich, full and oily, varying only in the level of intensity. The primary function of the spirit is to accentuate primary fruit qualities and add initial complexity. In the case of Penfolds Club Tawny, the spirit chosen is lighter in intensity, allowing the primary fruit qualities to shine through.
|A platter of soft and firm cheeses with dried fruit and lavosh
Coffee with petit fours
|Australia’s winemaking history of less than two hundred years is brief by European measures though, like Europe, punctuated by periods of extreme success and difficult times. From the earliest winemaking days Penfolds has figured prominently and few would argue the importance of Penfolds’ influence on Australia’s winemaking psyche.
Without the influence of Penfolds the modern Australian wine industry would look very different indeed. Sitting comfortably outside of fad and fashion, Penfolds has taken Australian wine to the world on a grand stage and forged a reputation for quality that is without peer.
Penfolds’ reputation for making wines of provenance and cellaring potential might suggest a mantle of tradition and formality is the preferred attire of a company with so much history to defend. But to label Penfolds as simply an established and conventional winemaker, would be to confuse tradition with consideration and to overlook the innovative spirit that has driven Penfolds since its foundation, and continues to find expression in modern times.
If there is anything traditional about Penfolds, it is the practice of constantly reviewing the wines it already does well, and continuously evolving and refining styles as vineyards mature and access to ever older and more varied vineyard sites improves.