The wine’s oldest component dates back to 1915 – the same year Grange creator Max Schubert was born.
The 1915, while only a very small volume contributor to the blend, is one of the most historically significant components.
It represents a true link to the Penfold family and is the last of the original 1915 stock held at the Magill winery.
The possession of such a small volume afforded very few options as to its use.
It could continue to be held in glass as a museum piece and never be appreciated, be consumed by a selected few, never to be experienced again or it could be incorporated into the 50-year-old Solera.
By selecting the last of these three options, Penfolds fortified winemakers have ensured this wine will contribute to the continuation of the Penfolds history and like all the components contained in the Solera, will be preserved for a (very) long time.
Incorporating the 1915 vintage component from Penfolds’ precious glass stock reserves means the 50 Year Old Rare Tawny carries a genetic connection to the earliest recorded vintage of Penfolds Grandfather Tawny.
In addition to the 1915 component are 1940 and 1945 glass-stored Grandfathers.
These two vintages were the foundation of Grandfather and were the first commercial releases in 1965 and 1969.
The two wines were also instrumental in determining, guiding and refining the Penfolds House Style.
The incorporation of a small volume of the 150th Anniversary Great Grandfather, released in 1994, with further maturation in small oak casks since its release, is a connection to the current fortified winemaking generation.
Other major single vintage components identified by Penfolds fortified winemakers over the decades for extended maturation include 1959, 1960, 1961, and 1971.
All these individual vintage components were chosen for their distinctive characters and the contribution they make to the blend.
Penfolds chief winemaker Peter Gago said:
“This is an extraordinarily expressive and evocative wine. This is our history in a bottle. Our hopes and aspirations, across a hundred years are somehow distilled through this 50 Year Old Rare Tawny. From the beginning, almost 170 years ago, fortified wines were created by our forebears at Penfolds…and we have never stopped.”
While the 50 Year Old Rare Tawny is the ultimate expression of the Penfolds fortified House Style, it is easily linked to the entire Tawny collection which comprises of Great Grandfather Rare Tawny NV, Grandfather Rare Tawny NV, Father Grand Tawny NV, Club Reserve Tawny NV and Club Tawny NV.
The Penfolds 50 Year Old Rare Tawny is available from Penfolds Cellar Doors for AU$3,550.