2018 Penfolds, Superblend 802.A, Australia

2018 Penfolds, Superblend 802.A, Australia

Product: 20188066651
Prices start from £2,163.00 per case Buying options
2018 Penfolds, Superblend 802.A, Australia

Description

This wine is limited to one case per customer.

Penfolds’ latest Superblend is the product of the dazzling 2018 vintage, made from parcels that were destined for their flagship wines. 

The new so-called Superblend is another masterclass in blending from Penfolds. The nose is almost perfumed, with layers of fruit, star anise, liquorice and even a faintly caramelised note – crème brûlée even. The 100% new American oak is overt here, with plenty of vanilla and sweet spice on the palate, which is balanced by notes of caramelised nuts, smoked meat, a rippling acidity and silky, ripe tannins.

Drink 2022 – 2040

Henrietta Gullifer, Account Manager, Berry Bros. & Rudd (Nov 2021)

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wine at a glance

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Buying options

Available by the case In Bond. Pricing excludes duty and VAT, which must be paid separately before delivery. Find out more.
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Case format
Availability
Price per case
6 x 75cl bottle
BBX marketplace BBX 1 case £2,163.00
BBX marketplace BBX 1 case £2,375.00

Critics reviews

Wine Advocate94+/100
Wine Spectator 93/100
James Suckling95/100
Decanter93/100
Josh Raynolds, Vinous96/100
jancisrobinson.com17.5/20
Wine Advocate94+/100
A huge rush of cedar and vanilla greet the nose on opening, followed by waves of cassis and boysenberry fruit. The 2018 802.A Superblend is a mix of 68% Cabernet Sauvignon and 32% Shiraz, all raised in 100% new American oak for 22 months and blended just prior to bottling. With components drawn from several of South Austrralia's premium growing regions (led by Barossa and McLaren Vale), this is a full-bodied, lush wine that finishes with driving tannins and a long, velvety finish, yet it doesn't seem as seamless or elegant as its 802.B counterpart. Perhaps it just needs more time? Tasted twice, with consistent notes.

Drink 2025 - 2040

Joe Czerwinski, Wine Advocate (Jul 2021) Read more
Wine Spectator 93/100
Dense and taut, with a mouthful of cedary tannins, showing off cigar box, dried herb and powdery espresso notes. The fruit flavors are smooth and reminiscent of kirsch, framboise and huckleberry jam, with a hint of black walnut liqueur coming in on the finish, where the tannins clamp down further, yet luckily the flavors are equally intense. Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz. Drink now through 2037.

MaryAnn Worobiec, Wine Spectator (Nov 2021) Read more
James Suckling95/100
Very oak-forward style, showing rich red berries and chocolate, as well as vanilla, all vying for attention and turned up loud. There’s boldness to the palate, too, with dark plums, blueberries and blackberries in abundance. A blend of 68% cabernet sauvignon and 32% shiraz that was blended after 22 months maturation in 100% new American-oak hogsheads. Give this time. Try from 2026.

James Suckling, jamessuckling.com (Aug 2021) Read more
Decanter93/100
A supersized wine of imposing proportions. Using all new American oak hogsheads for its 22 months' maturation has turned up the volume very loud, with a concentrated melange of vivid red fruits, rich blood plum and sweet blackberry conserve. Such power puts all the focus on the fruit flavour and robust structure, concealing the beauty of the 68% Cabernet that seems rather overwhelmed by the Shiraz, especially in a tight finish that has bossy oak doing all the talking. 

Drink 2025 - 2055

David Sly, Decanter.com (Jun 2021) Read more
Josh Raynolds, Vinous96/100
Inky ruby. A slow-to-open bouquet displays powerful dark berry, cherry-cola, pipe tobacco and savory herb qualities that are complemented by oak spice and coconut accents. Densely packed bitter cherry, mocha, black cardamom and fruitcake flavors show superb depth as well as energy thanks to a core of juicy acidity. Turns smokier on the strikingly long finish, which emphatically echoes the floral and cola notes. Conveys a compelling expression of sweet and savory components and finishes extremely long and youthfully tannic. Made in all new American oak.

Drink 2027 - 2042

Josh Raynolds, vinous.com (Jul 2021) Read more
jancisrobinson.com17.5/20

Not made in 2019 and 2020. Made to celebrate Cabernet/Shiraz blends. Makes use of the A1-grade fruit that isn't suitable for Grange, similarly to Quantum – so that top-end grower fruit has more options. Cabernet and Shiraz matured separately for 18 months, then blended. Matured 22 months in American oak.

Black fruit, lots of floral perfume – really quite different to the 389 style, and perhaps less typically Penfolds. Still delicious with black cherry, rounded tannins, a touch of tarmac – this is almost Piedmont in aromatic profile. A little less integrated than the 802-B.



Drink 2022 - 2042

Richard Hemming MW, jancisrobinson.com (Sep 2021) Read more

About this WINE

Penfolds

Penfolds

Penfolds enjoys an iconic status that few New World producers have achieved. Established in 1844 at the Magill Estate near Adelaide, it laid the foundation for fine wine production in Australia.

The winemaking team is led by the masterful Peter Gago; it has the herculean task of blending the best wines from a multitude of different plots, vineyards and regions to create a consistent and outstanding range of wines. Its flagship wine, Grange, is firmly established as one of the finest red wines in the world.

Under Gago’s stewardship, the Penfolds range has evolved over time. Winemaking has moved away from New World heat and the sort of larger-than-life style that can mask individuality; the contemporary wines instead favour fine balance and typicity for the region or grape.

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Australia

Australia

Australia has come to represent the most 'successful' New World producer to date, the benchmark by which competitor winemaking nations have come to judge themselves. However it’s been achieved not without significant cost to an industry that has been forced to consolidate in ever-decreasing circles, in order to keep the wheels from falling off the Brand Australia juggernaut. In 2003-2004, 20 businesses accounted for 86 percent of all production. The prize has been a 24 percent share of the UK market (as well as a rapidly-improving one in the USA), ironically a position it held 'before the Wars' as a supplier of fortified 'Empire wine'.

Commercial viticulture was established during the early part of the 19th century, with South Australia the last to plant in the 1840s before quickly establishing itself as the major source of fortified wine. A post-WWII move towards consumption of still dry table wine, encouraged by the steady stream of immigrants, was accelerated by the introduction of German pressured fermentation vats, stainless-steel and refrigeration units during the 1970s, enabling winemakers to ferment to dryness. At the same time, French barrels made their debut, adding complexity and a premium allure, while fruit from new, cooler areas such as Coonawarra and Padthaway permitted lighter styles to be made.

These seismic improvements were not lost on the UK market, itself in near revolution during the early 1980s as Thatcher's government bounced the economy back to life. With Neighbours dominating the airwaves, supermarkets were given carte blanche to spread far and wide, immediately creating a demand for a new style of wine, namely a ‘brand’, with consumers only too willing to move from Bulgarian table wine to an Aussie fruit bomb – especially one with an Emu on the label.

The Australians grasped the opportunity, only too willing to supply the right product at the right price, supported by aggressive pricing and discounts. On the supply side, the structure of their industry allowed them to cross-border blend and so maximise production. Corporate consolidation further improved their effectiveness to compete on volume yet has not hitherto allowed them to grow sales value.

Only the ramifications of a current chronic seven-year drought, with saline levels at unprecedentedly high levels and the evaporation of the Murray Darling River (South Australia's only real source of irrigation since viticulture began) to a virtual trickle has prompted the Australian Wine and Brandy Corporation (AWBC) to finally enforce water quotas. Yet even when an oversupply still exists, key Australian brands are now being obliged to import wine from the likes of Chile to meet demand; 40 percent of wineries are running at a loss, largely as a result of over-capitalisation.

Meanwhile there's a significant minority of winegrowers making regionally expressive, terroir wines of real distinction clamouring to make themselves heard; unfortunately it is the corporates that control how the marketing budget is spent, the ‘big five’ comprising Fosters Wine Estates (Wolf Blass, Penfolds, Rosemount Estate, Lindemans), Hardys Wine Co. (Banrock Station, Leasingham), Orlando Wines (Jacob's Creek), Australian Vintage Ltd (McGuigan Wines, Tempus Two, Miranda), and Casella (Yellow Tail). Maybe global warming will have the final say.

Though blending away regional differences has essentially been key to Australia's brands competing, there is a range of regional styles that’s clearly defined and demanding recognition, notably Barossa Valley Shiraz, Eden Valley Riesling, McLaren Vale Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon, Langhorne Creek Cabernet Sauvignon, Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon, Wrattonbully Cabernet Sauvignon, Clare Valley Riesling, Adelaide Hills Chardonnay, Yarra Valley Pinot Noir, Hunter Valley Semillon, and Margaret River and Great Southern Cabernet Sauvignon.

Climatically the continent could be divided into two: a tropical weather pattern affecting New South Wales and the north, while the southern half of the country – covering the key viticultural states of Western and Southern Australia, Victoria and Tasmania – enjoys a less extreme band of warm to hot weather oscillating between 25 and 35 Celsius. Yet without the cool oceans enjoyed by California or the mountain ranges of Italy, the climate does not benefit from significant diurnal shifts in temperature, between day and night. There are, however, notable cooler spots such as Barossa ValleyClare ValleyEden ValleyCoonawarraWrattonbully, Adelaide Hills, Macedon Ranges, Yarra Valley and Tasmania. Relatively high humidity (around 55 percent) seems to be a prerequisite for successful photosynthesis in these climes.

Of the 167,000 ha producing 14.3hl of wine in 2005, the state of South Australia accounts for 43 percent of the vineyard area (ie Riverland, Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale); New South Wales, 24 percent (Riverina, Murray Darling, Hunter Valley); Victoria, 23 percent (Heathcote, Swan Hill, Yarra Valley); and Western Australia just 8 percent (Margaret River, Great Southern).

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Cab.Sauvignon Blend

Cab.Sauvignon Blend

Cabernet Sauvignon lends itself particularly well in blends with Merlot. This is actually the archetypal Bordeaux blend, though in different proportions in the sub-regions and sometimes topped up with Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Petit Verdot.

In the Médoc and Graves the percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend can range from 95% (Mouton-Rothschild) to as low as 40%. It is particularly suited to the dry, warm, free- draining, gravel-rich soils and is responsible for the redolent cassis characteristics as well as the depth of colour, tannic structure and pronounced acidity of Médoc wines. However 100% Cabernet Sauvignon wines can be slightly hollow-tasting in the middle palate and Merlot with its generous, fleshy fruit flavours acts as a perfect foil by filling in this cavity.

In St-Emilion and Pomerol, the blends are Merlot dominated as Cabernet Sauvignon can struggle to ripen there - when it is included, it adds structure and body to the wine. Sassicaia is the most famous Bordeaux blend in Italy and has spawned many imitations, whereby the blend is now firmly established in the New World and particularly in California and  Australia.

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