Penfold's has raised the price of its flagship Grange by $165 per bottle in the face of unprecedented global demand, adding 25 per cent to the price of a bottle of Australia's most famous red wine.
The 2008 vintage of Grange - due to be released May 2 – has a recommended retail price of $784.99 per bottle. Penfold’s had intended to increase the price to $685 a bottle – a rise of 10 per cent – but the demand from overseas has been too great. Last year's release of the 2007 vintage Grange had a list price of $625 per bottle.
The price rise follows a perfect 100 score by Robert Parker's Wine Advocate. The last Grange to be awarded 100 points was the 1976 vintage.
In 1990 a review by Robert Parker decribed Grange as the greatest red wine in the world, a remark that put the Australian wine on the world stage.
In her review of the 2008 Grange in the respected American wine journal, master of wine Lisa Perrotti-Brown wrote: "Deep purple-black in color, the 2008 Grange puts forward a very complex nose packed with aromas of mulberries, layers of baking spices, cloves and cinnamon with nuances of minced meat, anise, potpourri and whiffs of dried mint and chocolate. It is framed by firm, grainy tannins and a refreshing acid line before finishing very long with aniseed and lingering blackberry preserves notes. This is clearly a wonderfully opulent and a magic vintage for this label."
That perfect 100 score has lifted overseas demand for the wine, especially from Asian markets.
Such is the demand for Penfold's wine from China, a source at the company said the city of Shanghai alone would buy the entire production of Grange unless its allocation was restricted.
Other wines in the Penfold's range are also expected to see price rises this year.
"A suite of 90+ Robert Parker scores from the Wine Advocate including a 'perfect' 100 score for the 2008 Grange, has meant that we've been inundated with an increase in (pre-release) demand from around the world – particularly for Grange," said a spokeswoman for Penfold's.
"Given that our supply of these Icon and Luxury wines remains incredibly limited we have increased our prices. We informed our customers late last week."