Dan Murphy’s Kris Nitschke is impressed with the latest release of 2006 Penfolds Grange shiraz range.
Dan Murphy’s Kris Nitschke is impressed with the latest release of 2006 Penfolds Grange shiraz range. Barry Leddicoat

Vintage wine worthy of the gods

IT IS a wine worthy of Dionysus.

But the Greek god of wine would probably have no better luck getting his hands on a bottle of the latest Penfolds Grange than the rest of us.

With limited quantities, a $500+ price tag and a wine score of 99 (out of a 100) points, the 2006 vintage is expected to last as long as one of Aphrodite's crushes – about a week.

“It is basically a gradual sale,” Dan Murphy's Kawana store manager Kris Nitschke said.

“We don't have people lined up the door for it today (yesterday) but it will go. We have had a lot of inquiries coming from collectors, checking prices et cetera.”

Customers are limited to two bottles each to help spread the Penfolds love but Australia's premier wine is becoming more and more popular as an investment.

A bottle of 1955 Grange sold online yesterday from the Woolworths-owned liquor giant's website for $4500 – and it had scored only 97 points when it was rated.

“I think the reason a lot of people want it is the icon status,” Hungry Feel restaurant owner and wine aficionado Chris White said.

“The resale market is also very strong. You have some people who buy to drink it and others to resell. But the '06 vintage is a great vintage from all accounts, so everyone will want it.”

Mr White said he has been fortunate enough to taste vintages dating as far back as 1978.

“I've been lucky with some of the customers we have had,” the Buderim chef said.

As for the '06? “Well you can dream, can't you?”

Penfolds Grange helped put Australian wines on the map. History has it that winemaker Max Schubert wanted to use techniques he had learned while touring the Bordeaux wine region.

The first vintage was a critical failure and Mr Schubert was ordered to cease and desist. It was an order he defied, much to the benefit of his bosses who changed their minds once those first vintages aged and the wine's true value came to light.

Penfolds does not release a vintage until it has sat for at least five years and the '06 won't reach its ideal drinking age until at least 2020.

For those wondering what all the fuss is about but who might not have the bank account to match – don't despair.

The first 100 people through the door of the Noosaville Dan Murphy's for the shiraz expo at 1pm will be given a chance to try the vintage at a price we can all afford – free.

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