Featuring yet another vinophilic post, this hungry cow is also quite the thirsty cow. Moohehe.
Australian wines are huge in Singapore. Familiarity of the country, relatively near distance from our shores, very affordable pricing and big marketing efforts by Austrade and the Australian wineries have all contributed to Australia being the number 1 country in terms of imported wine volume.
Penfolds is one well-known Aussie brand which offers value at every price point. For a taste of their wines, hop on down to the Penfolds Luxury Wine Lounge at ION Level 1 from now till Nov 7 (Sunday)!
Taste these 3 accessible Koonunga Hill wines for free while opt to taste the more premium labels in their portfolio at an additional fee.
Penfolds Wine Ambassador, Jane Gibbs flew in from the Barossa Valley to share her knowledge and spread the joys of the Penfolds' experience.
For those who want to complement head knowledge with the practical aspect, classes are available too!
The Beginner's Guide on How to Taste Wine like a Pro ($10) introduces the basics of wine appreciation. More than just steps and instructions, wine appreciation is all about enjoyment!
The other class I attended was titled Learn the Secrets of Food and Wine Pairing for your Festive Fare ($10).
At this class, I was half-expecting food (festive fare, no?) and was surprised when a plate of salt, lemon, tomato, apple and brown sugar appeared (not to say these weren't food but you get the idea). But it was a practical approach. The basic tastes of salty, sour, sweet and savoury were present. Tasting the wine before taking a small bit of one of the items and then re-tasting the same wine showed the pairing/mispairing better than any textbook can.
The classes were kept light and simple. I am glad Mark, a local Penfolds ambassador, was present to give a local perspective to Jane's insight. The "Batman & Robin" thing worked nicely.
Move on to taste the premium labels after the entry Koonunga Hill range, there's plenty to savour.
Here are some of my impressions (remember these are not cast in stone, just my personal take!):
Yattarna Chardonnay 2004- Slightly yeasty notes with citrus and peach flavours. Good structure.
Bin 28 Shiraz 2006- Smokey nose with berries. Fruity but restrained.
Bin 128 Shiraz 2006- Meaty, savoury notes. Rounded and smooth. Soft violets.
RWT Shiraz 2005- Red berries, vanilla, toffee, minty but unfortunately hollow mid palate.
St Henri 2005- Quite closed on the nose. Cool cherry. Long, dry finish. Quite elegant.
Grange 2004- Touch of leafiness, spices (cardamom), chocolate, nuts and plums. Bit meaty. Really nice long finish.
The Grange is considered one of the world's most famous wines. It is popular and remains one of Australia's top drop.
Thanks to Penfolds and ICON International for the invitation.
Penfolds Luxury Wine Lounge
ION Level 1
2-7 Nov 2010
Chew On This: Ever wondered which vintages were considered "great" for Penfolds? How long your bottle of Penfolds can still age further?
For wine-rs who are interested in reading more on Penfolds and more specifically, a comprehensive overview and tasting notes of almost every wine Penfolds has ever produced, I am happy to give away one copy of The Rewards of Patience book (sixth edition)! This book is published once every five years and gives an insight into the progress of Penfolds wines as they age. Drop me a comment here with your email address by 15 Nov 2010 midnight and the online random number generator will pick one lucky winner! Cheers.
Update: The online random number has picked number 2 which means firstname.lastname@example.org wins the book! Congrats and happy Penfolds-ing!