Australia’s renowned wine brand Penfolds has unveiled three different Champagnes that it has created in collaboration with family-owned Champagne house Thiénot to mark its 175th anniversary.
This would also mark the first release of Champagne for the Australian wine brand in its 175-year history, as it expands its portfolio beyond Australia to make wines in California, Italy and France.
Made with grapes from 2012 vintage, the three Champagnes are a Chardonnay Pinot Noir Cuvée, and two single vineyard wines – a Blanc de Blancs and a Blanc de Noirs.
The Blanc de Noirs is sourced solely from a grand cru Aÿ vineyard, and the Blanc de Blancs from a grand cru single vineyard with vines up to 60 years old, according to the company.
The cuvée will soon hit the shelves next month, and carries a recommended retail price of AU$280 (US$192 or RMB1,340) a bottle.
The 2012 Champagne Thiénot x Penfolds Blanc de Blancs (Avize Grand Cru) and 2012 Champagne Thiénot x Penfolds Blanc de Noirs (Aÿ Grand Cru) will be released at a later date in 2020, says the company.
The three bubbles are created by both Thiénot chef de cave Nicolas Uriel and Penfolds’ chief winemaker Peter Gago, who agreed on style and quality.
The bubbles also take on some additional Australian flair. The liqueur d’expédition housed in Yattarna barriques from Australia added “greater symbolism and connection”, according to Penfolds.
Speaking of the collaboration, Gago said, “This is Step One of an inviting and compelling journey. Some time back, we announced our intent to make a Champagne. We are now revealing a partnership with our friends at Thiénot – one which would not have been imaginable a decade or two ago. To now actually work alongside a Champagne House and ultimately craft Champagnes proudly, which co-bears the globally recognised red stamp of Penfolds, is both wonderful and a first collaboration of its kind for an Australian winery.”
Penfolds first announced the plan of introducing Champagne to its range last year, when it revealed that the Australian wine brand would be taking its “multi-region sourcing” concept to a global level.
In addition to the Champagne, the winery is also making Californian wines using the “the best of the best” Napa grapes starting with 2018 harvest. The range is expected to be launched in 2022.
Last year, it also introduced a controversial fortified Shiraz, infused with the Chinese fiery liquor, Baijiu, tailored for its most profitable market China, selling at AU$150 a bottle.