Penfolds is a symbol of the best that Australia has to offer, what a wine from Australia bearer should be. That is why I'm so excited to attend Penfolds Gala Tasting last night. An experience not to be missed. 15 minutes drive from my office, I arrived at Jimbaran Outdoor Lounge, location of the Penfolds Gala Tasting took place. I am greeted and taken into a tasting experience of iconic wines from Australia.

Penfolds has been making remarkable wines since 1844. This oldest wineries has a history and heritage that reflects the country’s journey from colonial settlement to the modern era. In its history, Penfolds was founded by Dr Christopher Rawson and Mary Penfold. By 1881 Penfolds was producing one third of South Australia’s wine production. Until at last Penfolds became Australia’s largest producer of fortified wines by the time of Australia’s Federation in 1901.

One of the great things about Penfolds is this brand received a long line of awards and accolades during the 2000's. In 2005 the US Wine Enthusiast magazine named Peter Gago its ‘Winemaker of the Year’ and in the same year Langton’s Classification of Australian Wine, led by Grange, recognised the history and popularity of the company’s core range of fine wines.

Presently the best vintage and gain further complexity. Penfolds Koonunga Hill Chardonnay produced above average rainfalls throughout the growing season with a mild to warm summer. This is good for wonderful flavour development in what is deemed an exceptional white vintage. With light straw colored, this kind of wine offers a stone fruits abound-scented pear and underlying complex characters of creamy nougat. Beautifully balanced out with fine acidity, this wine is best consumed young and fresh.

The star white is no surprise, as the quality of the Chardonnay, Koonunga Hill Autumn Riesling acknowledges the original 1971, by closely adhering to the original packaging with a fitting ‘retro’ label. The Autumn label now sits in the Koonunga Hill tier and like its siblings, it aims to deliver the quality, value and consistency for which Koonunga Hill is renowned. 

Initial burst of rose petal florals and perfume are followed by delicate aromas of lime juice and orange blossom. Then, rose petal and lime juice notes carry through to the palate which is beautifully balanced by a hint of natural sweetness. Koonunga Hill Autumn Riesling was introduced to satisfy a burgeoning interest in a classic Australian wine style which has caught the attention of markets.

Penfolds is the ultimate in Australian Shiraz. Koonunga Hill Shiraz Cabernet reputation has been built upon its youth with the potential to develop if carefully cellared. Sourced from premium vineyards across South Australia, Shiraz Cabernet presents lovely crisp acid and a long, classically-styled, is known for its full-flavoured style with a medium to full-bodied. This Koonunga Hill Shiraz Cabernet is a reflection of the Penfolds winemaking style and philosophy.

Penfolds Koonunga Hill has always aimed to deliver quality, value and consistency. With this original Koonunga Hill Seventy Six Shiraz Cabernet, Penfolds is are confident the 2012 vintage reaches the same quality and expectations as its predecessors. A retro wine, combination of Raspberry, vanillin, chocolate, and yoghurt aromatics impatiently leap from the glass. This variant is sourced from smaller berry and bunch sizes were noticeable in most regions, coupled with favourable weather conditions, saw great results for some quality markers – colour, tannin profile, fruit concentration and flavour depth.

Wine is made to enjoy. The good news is in efforts to attract and keep customers, many brand now run tasting. Not all tasting sessions are taken as seriously as you might think. One of the reasons that I feel honored is I could get a group of like-minded friends together and start regular wine tasting sessions. They're also great fun. 

In this event, InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) also announced a new partnership with global wine company, Treasury Wine Estates, to offer a premium selection of wine from award-winning Australian marque Penfolds at more than 65 InterContinental hotels and resorts across Asia, Middle East and Africa (AMEA).  The collaboration will bring a great new selection of fine wines to hotel dinner tables and bars, enhancing dining experiences across the region.

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