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Penfolds puts Australian wine into its first Médoc labels

By Vitisphere July 28, 2022
Penfolds puts Australian wine into its first Médoc labels
Penfold’s first French still wines will be released in Europe and Asia with a retail price of AUD500 for Penfolds II and AUD120 for FWT 585 (€340 and €80 respectively). - crédit photo : Alexandre Abellan (Vitisphere)

he launch by iconic Australian brand Penfolds (Treasury Wine Estates group) of its first still French wines shows that there is room for innovation in the red Bordeaux wine proposition. The move comes after the company bought four chateaux in 2019 and 2021. The 2019 Haut-Médoc, FWT 585 label epitomises an iconoclastic vision of maturation, using French and American barrels, and a taste for code names. The order of the letters is important – FWT stands for ‘French Wine Trail’ and should not be mistaken for another acronym, WTF… Although the label is not about vulgarity, the exclamation in some ways is relevant to the innovative approach taken by the brand for its other label, Penfolds II.

Stemming from a partnership with Dourthe, the limited edition 2019 vintage combines a Cabernet-Sauvignon from Haut-Medoc with an Australian Syrah from Penfolds’ Nuriootpa Winery in South Australia. Blended and bottled in Australia, the wine brings the company’s conversation with French wines full circle. It began 70 years ago with Max Schubert, who came up with the idea of creating the storied Grange label after a visit to Bordeaux.

The partnership with Dourthe is not a first for Penfolds – in 2019 it launched a Champagne designed in conjunction with Thiénot. The 2013 vintage of Penfolds x Thiénot will be released later this year.

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