Australia's Penfolds Debuts Max's Wines in U.S.
NAPA, California (May 18, 2017) – The Iconic Australian winery Penfolds announced today the U.S. introduction of a major new line of wines: Penfolds Max’s. This new line pays homage to Penfolds’ legendary original winemaker Max Schubert, who forever altered the course of the modern day Australian wine industry with his creation of Grange – an iconic, multi-regional red wine blend that is today prized the world over.
Penfolds’ new Max’s wines were inspired by Schubert’s vision, courage and relentless pursuit of excellence. The first wines available in the U.S. market are Penfolds 2015 Max’s Cabernet Sauvignon ($25), and Penfolds 2015 Max’s Shiraz-Cabernet ($25). The new bottlings celebrate Schubert’s revolutionary winemaking approach, featuring multi-regional and multi-varietal blending to achieve great consistency of style and quality across vintages. In crafting the new wines, Penfolds’ chief winemaker Peter Gago looked to premium vineyards in such prized winegrowing regions as McLaren Vale, the Barossa Valley, Coonawarra, Upper Adelaide and more. Each sub-appellation contributes distinctive flavor and textural components to the harmonious final blends – proof positive that the sum is sometimes greater than its individual parts.
Schubert was first inspired to create a new style of red wine after a transformative visit to Bordeaux in 1949. He returned to Australia excited to craft a total departure from the sweeter Sherry and Port style Australian wines of the day. His new bottling, the 1951 Grange Hermitage, was bolder and drier in style, and was flatly rejected by Penfolds’ management who instructed him to cease making it. With conviction and courage, he continued making the wine in secret, hiding subsequent vintages deep in the cellar (a move that could have de-railed his career had he been discovered).
Several years of bottle development later, management decided to revisit the original Grange and deemed it a great success. The 1955 Grange went on to win multiple awards, earning Penfolds and Australia their rightful place on the world wine map and Schubert was again free to make his revolutionary wine after revealing his “hidden Granges” from a secret cellar.
Adding to the excitement of the U.S. launch, the introductory vintages of Max’s Shiraz-Cabernet and Max’s Cabernet Sauvignon will be cloaked in a luxurious, bright red, shrink-wrapped package. The eye-catching design aims to capture consumer attention and telegraphs Penfolds’ reputation for innovation and an unswerving focus on quality. With a nod to the “Hidden Granges,” the shrink wrapped exterior can be “unzipped” after purchase to reveal a classic Penfolds bottle contained within, complete with the familiar white label emblazoned with the crimson Penfolds logo.
Explains DLynn Proctor, Penfolds’ Americas Winemaking Ambassador, “We’re excited to introduce Max’s wines in such an innovative package to our loyal Penfolds fans, and also to younger wine enthusiasts who may not be as familiar with the Penfolds brand and legacy. The art of the blend Max Schubert perfected so many years ago, and which remains one of the cornerstones of our winemaking philosophy today, is on full display in these new Max’s wines.”