29 May 2023 – Lifetime Member Only event!

Penfolds has been making high quality wines for almost 180 years and they have maintained their pioneer mentality by constantly improving their wine making techniques and experimenting with new ideas to produce some of the finest and highly respected wines in the world.

 We will be tasting six of their wines (a sparkling entry wine (NR), plus two whites and three reds, all rated from 92 to 100 points – see below). The wine highlight of the evening will be the 2018 Grange, the iconic wine that has been produced for the past 70 years. This 2018 vintage has received five 100-point scores from various wine experts, including Lisa Perotti-Brown formerly of Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate and from James Suckling. You need to enjoy Grange at least once in your life! We have been told that additional bottles of this just released wine can be purchased to $800 AUD, if you can find it.

The Pascale Restaurant in the QT Melbourne Hotel, 133 Russell Street, Melbourne. This bustling open-plan dining room offer an expansive menu influenced by a modern day bar & grill and set within the buzz of QT Melbourne. The open kitchen adds to the theatrics, offering glimpses into the dish creation. Staying true to QT’s energetic and playful style, Pascale restaurant couples the freshest and finest ingredients with a commitment to celebrating locally sourced produce.

This is our Lifetime Member Only event and it will be held on Monday evening, May 29, 2023. The cost is $240 USD per person, including tax and gratuity. Dress is “business attire”. Very limited seating – maximum of 54.

Last minute menu change:

We have been informed that the Pascale Restaurant has a new chef and consequently a new menu. We will now use a “shared Menu” that will allow all of us to select the canapes, mains, sides and deserts that we prefer at the table. They will be served family style so we will have a lot of choices to please everyone’s palate.

Each course will be paired with an appropriate Penfolds wine. There will be seven of their top wines served, including their iconic Grange that will be served last with a selection of cheeses. All of these wines have received high ratings from the “experts” and the Grange has scored a perfect 100 points from three experts and 99 points from several others.

We are very close to being sold out. If there are no tickets left, you will be added to the wait list.

More On Penfolds Wines

After the success of early sherries and fortified wines, founders Dr Christopher and Mary Penfold planted their vine cuttings they had carried on their voyage over to Australia. In 1844, the fledging vineyard was officially established as the Penfolds wine company at Magill Estate.

As the company grew, so too did Dr Penfold’s medical reputation, leaving much of the running of the winery to Mary Penfold. Early forays into Clarets and Rieslings proved increasingly popular, and on Christopher’s death in 1870, Mary assumed total responsibility for the winery. Mary’s reign at the helm of Penfolds saw years of determination and endeavour.

By the time Mary Penfold retired in 1884 (ceding management to her daughter, Georgina) Penfolds was producing 1/3 of all South Australia’s wine. She’d set an agenda that continues today, experimenting with new methods in wine production. By Mary’s death in 1896, the Penfolds legacy was well on its way to fruition. By 1907, Penfolds had become South Australia’s largest winery.

In 1948, history was made again as Max Schubert became the company’s first Chief Winemaker. A loyal company man and true innovator, Schubert would propel Penfolds onto the global stage with his experimentation of long-lasting wines – the creation of Penfolds Grange in the 1950s.

Despite great success, Penfolds never rests on its laurels. In 2012 Penfolds released its most innovative project to date – 12 handcrafted ampoules of the rare 2004 Kalimna Block Cabernet Sauvignon.

Two years later, Penfolds celebrated the 170th anniversary – having just picked up a perfect score of 100 for the 2008 Grange in two of the world’s most influential wine magazines. Today, Penfolds continues to hold dear the philosophies and legends – ‘1844 to evermore!’.

The Penfolds wines we will be enjoying with our meal are:

  1. NV Sparkling Wine (NR)
  2. 2022 Riesling, Bin 51, Australia, So. Australia, Barossa, Eden Valley (94+ points, Wine Advocate)
  3. 2020 Chardonnay, Bin 311, Tasmania-Adelaide (92 points, Wine Advocate)
  4. 2020 Cabernet Shiraz, Bin 389, Australia, South Australia (96 points, Wine Advocate)
  5. 2019 St. Henri Shiraz, Australia, South Australia (96+ points, Wine Advocate)
  6. 2018 Grange, Australia, South Australia (100 points, various)

All of these are very good to great wines and you are urged to research them, but the Grange deserves special attention.

Erin Larken of the Wine Advocate writes:

After the success of early sherries and fortified wines, founders Dr Christopher and Mary Penfold planted their vine cuttings they had carried on their voyage over to Australia. In 1844 the fledging vineyard was officially established as the Penfolds wine company at Magill Estate.

This wine comes with high expectations—as does the vintage. The 2018 vintage across South Australia (and cheekily, we could probably extend the accolade to all of Australia) was excellent. It was warm, but without incident, and responsible for powerfully ripe, serious wines. Many producers made some of their best wines in this vintage. So here, to the 2018 Grange: there is spiced raspberry, lashings of salted licorice, red curry paste, layers of forest berries, rendered lamb fat and crushed pink peppercorns to start. In the mouth, the tannins close around the fruit with the same polish and seamlessness as the 2008, possibly the 2004? Very different vintages, but there is a textural similarity for me. This is polished and glossy and so very pretty. It contains 3% Cabernet Sauvignon this year, and 69% Barossa, 18% McLaren Vale and the balance from Clare Valley. Each of the regions brings with it its own characteristics. Barossa brings the red dirt, blood, deli meat and rust. McLaren Vale brings the plush purple fruits with a side of meat and licorice. Clare brings the polish, the opulence and the velvet texture. With their powers combined, this is an extraordinary Grange. One of the true greats, which will only get better as it ages. 99 points.

The most powerful expression of Penfolds multi-vineyard, multi-district blending philosophy, Grange is arguably Australia’s most celebrated wine and is officially listed as a Heritage Icon of South Australia. As we said above, “You need to enjoy Grange at least once in your life!”

12 Responses

  1. Hi
    I am a lifetime member, can i bring my wife? if so please do sign us up for the event.
    My wife is a pischitarian so she will have the snapper, I am an all eating guy, thus sign me up for steak. 🙂
    Kind regards
    Svend Andersen

    1. Lifetime memberships include spouses, so the answer is yes! Please make sure you register for each of you using the buttons – you’ll have to do one for you and one for your spouse.

  2. I live in Rhode Island and am a lifetime member of this fellowship. Will
    There be any zoom tastings and ones where wines can be shipped to taste!


  3. Hi,
    We just made reservations for the both of us, but had to make them separately, in order to have one filet and one snapper. How is the seating arranged? We obviously, would like to sit together.
    Julia Irene Hickey
    Charles Lindsey Kroll

    1. There are no reserved seats so just sit together. We are glad you are coming to this fabulous dinner!