In 1844, Christopher Rawson Penfold planted vines on the slopes of Magill to produce fortified wines. Now the historic bluestone cellars are home to a tradition of fortified winemaking dating back over 150 years.
In 1915, an oak cask containing a blend of the finest tawnies the company possessed was set aside for the exclusive use of the Penfold family. This became known as ’the Grandfather’ due to the great age of the oldest tawnies in the blend.
Wine Spectator 91 points - Supple, silky and appealing, offering a refreshing balance of spicy, almond-scented pear fruit. Picks up sandalwood and sassafras notes as the finish lingers. Drink now.H.S. (Oct 1 2014)
Penfolds Grandfather Rare Tawny is batch-aged in old oak hogsheads for approximately eight years. After this stage it enters the six-stack ‘Grandfather Solera’, a fractional blending system utilised to maintain consistency in style.
Each year winemakers draw one-twelfth of each barrel from the lowest level of the Solera. The barrel is then topped up from the barrel sitting above it and the process is complete when the barrels on the highest level are one-twelfth empty.
The top barrels then receive the blended eight-year-old Grandfather Tawny. Theoretically, the wine drawn from the lowest level of the Solera is now at least twenty years of age, having been in the fractional blending system for twelve years.
During the maturation process, the wines become more concentrated and complex; opulence, weight and sweetness is intertwined and balanced by the alcohol, acidity, oak nuances and volatility. Grandfather Rare Tawny, with an average age in excess of fifteen years, has a dense, tawny colour, with rich, nutty aromas and extraordinary intensity on the palate.
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