Definitive Penfolds Guide Released

Penfolds (tastings) has released the seventh edition of “The Rewards of Patience”, the best update yet of its extraordinary book of history and collected tasting notes.

The 310-page volume was written and edited by master of wine Andrew Caillard and contains tasting notes on multiple vintages of all Penfolds red and white wines, from Koonunga Hill (tastings) up, with emphasis on the most prestigious.

The design has been lifted to a new level by the involvement of publisher Hardie Grant. The tasting notes have a new format: instead of being set out vintage by vintage under each wine’s name, we have clusters of wines under vintage headings.

The photography by Richard Humphrys and Milton Wordley adds great atmosphere. Also for the first time, tastings were held outside Australia – in New York, Berlin and Beijing, as well as Adelaide. While a handful of experienced overseas tasters did join in for the previous four editions, this is the first time a large cast of overseas tasters has been involved (23, making a total of 30). This has injected a more international flavour into the comments. Indeed, the book has a much more global look and feel, as befits Penfolds’ increasing world standing.

Caillard has succeeded in the herculean task of synthesizing the comments of the tasters, and detailing the history, which includes more on the Penfolds vineyards. The historical chapters are also packed with interest, although the text is oddly vague about the date of Grange creator Max Schubert’s seminal visit to Bordeaux (it was in 1950, not ’49). This is an outstanding and beautifully produced book.

It’s $39.95, widely distributed in retail bookshops or from the website, www.penfolds.com

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