Penfolds is paying tribute to their most influential wine maker, Max Schubert, with a new collection of wines that are aimed at millennials who want good and affordable wine that they can drink straight away.
“The wines have between 5 percent and 10 percent oak with really low tannings; they feature fresher fruity flavors,” said Southeast Asian Penfolds ambassador Patrick Dowling during the luncheon at the Ritz-Carlton Jakarta recently.
The luncheon revolved around the innovations by its former chief winemaker Schubert who was the creator of the iconic Australian red, Grange. The low tannins and oak contrast with Penfold’s usual deep red wines.
The theme of innovation could be seen in the rich and imaginative entree to the packaging of the Cabernet Shiraz.
“Max Schubert really changed the winemaking landscape and brought the Barossa and Australian wine making to the forefront with Grange,” said senior PR manager of Treasury Wine Estates, Gwen Cheong.
Schubert created this wine after exploring the wine in Bordeaux, France and learned more about red wines that could last for long periods of time. It was originally rejected by Penfolds in 1951, until it was included in an international competition and started production again three years later.
The luncheon’s entree was a rich tower of potato filled with egg, truffle and a mushroom sauce. It suited the fresh taste of the Shiraz and emphasized the “plush shiraz fruits” as written in the Penfolds wines overview while also being an innovative showcase of creative thinking in food.
Enticing entree: The potato, egg, and truffle entree is served with the Penfolds Max’s Shiraz.(Penfolds/File).
“The Shiraz is about fruit and enjoyment, it’s not about tanning, it’s not about structure and acidity it’s about fresh and crisp clean fruit flavors for a contemporary wine,” said Dowling on the first wine of the tasting.
The subtle oak flavor of Max’s Shiraz come from it being only 5 percent new oak — meaning 5 percent of the wine has come from a new barrel made of oak.
Penfolds has always released their new wines and wine collections with a pairing instead of with a simple wine tasting.
“I think that a tasting can be a bit challenging especially with a fuller red wine,” said Dowling. Who also added that Penfolds wanted to brand the wines in a way people would understand and connect with, as wine is generally accompanied by food shared with friends and family.
The main course was beef cheek with truffle ragout and a red wine sauce, with Max’s Shiraz Cabernet to accompany it.
Undressing the bottle: Penfolds’ Southeast Asian ambassador, Peter Dowling, shows how to open Penfolds Max’s Shiraz Cabernet.(Penfolds/File).
The Shiraz Cabernet was the star of the table setting as the bottle was completely covered in an untraditional, plastic, red design, which after “undressing” the wine of its plastic cover, revealed the traditional labelled wine to try.
Shiraz Cabernet paired very well with the tender beef shoulder because the mixed spices and creaminess in the flavor of the wine complemented that of the beef shoulder.
The Cabernet Sauvignon is Dowling’s favorite of the collection for its fuller, richer red flavor. The Sauvignon was paired with the classic black forest dessert.
Berry yummy: The black forest berry dessert is paired with Penfolds Max’s Cabernet Sauvignon.(Penfolds/File).
The desert came as a purple, shiny ball with a creamy inside and berries. The mellow berry fit well with the full-bodied taste of the Cabernet Sauvignon.
With the move away from the more traditional and deep reds, Penfolds aims to make the brand more accessible and easier to appreciate, while at the same time broaden its audience and types of wines.
“It is an interesting collection in the fact that it has been made for immediate drinking and no range has ever been released with the brand DNA of being consumed straight away,” said Dowling.
This piece has been published by the Jakarta Post