Koonunga Hill is a multi-district shiraz cabernet, based largely on Barossa, McLaren Vale and Coonawarra fruit. It is a classic Penfolds maturation-style wine where fruit complexity and vivacity, rather than oak, are brought to the fore.
The original Koonunga Hill blend is still just as popular today. The wine shows all the rich voluptuousness and alluring spice of great Australian shiraz and adds a welcome element of structure and spine, thanks to some premium cabernet sauvignon fruit.
Although remaining true to its origins of style, there has been a steady progression of refinement. Increased fragrancy and richness of fruit, buoyancy and weight gives this wine immediate current appeal and outstanding cellar-ability over the medium term.
|Gnocchi with a traditional beef ragu
Moroccan lamb pie
|Australia’s winemaking history of less than two hundred years is brief by European measures though, like Europe, punctuated by periods of extreme success and difficult times. From the earliest winemaking days Penfolds has figured prominently and few would argue the importance of Penfolds’ influence on Australia’s winemaking psyche.
Without the influence of Penfolds the modern Australian wine industry would look very different indeed. Sitting comfortably outside of fad and fashion, Penfolds has taken Australian wine to the world on a grand stage and forged a reputation for quality that is without peer.
Penfolds’ reputation for making wines of provenance and cellaring potential might suggest a mantle of tradition and formality is the preferred attire of a company with so much history to defend. But to label Penfolds as simply an established and conventional winemaker, would be to confuse tradition with consideration and to overlook the innovative spirit that has driven Penfolds since its foundation, and continues to find expression in modern times.
If there is anything traditional about Penfolds, it is the practice of constantly reviewing the wines it already does well, and continuously evolving and refining styles as vineyards mature and access to ever older and more varied vineyard sites improves.