The most complete collection of Penfolds Grange ever to be retailed is now for sale, and if you have a spare $660,000 (or a house deposit and an understanding spouse), it can be yours.
The collection comprises 61 bottles produced over 60 years, including the original 1951 and the extremely rare Grange 1953 cabernet sauvignon (the only Grange that's not a shiraz). Also included are the "hidden" Granges of 1957, 1958 and 1959, and the 2010 Grange released this year.
Dubai wine and luxury spirits retailer Le Clos worked closely with Penfolds Grange to certify the collection, including the re-corking of six vintages by Penfolds chief winemaker Peter Gago. Le Clos then transported the vintage wines from Australia to its store at Dubai International Airport in climate-controlled storage.
So what should one do with 61 bottles of Grange spanning seven decades?
"I would drink it - that's what wine is for," says Good Food wine writer Huon Hooke. "I'd organise a dinner around the 1953 cabernet sauvignon, make it the centrepiece."
As for the food, Hooke would keep things simple. "I'd eat a bit of cheese with it or nothing at all. The wine is too delicate and fragile to stand up to hearty food."
For ARIA Restaurant's head sommelier Matt Dunne, the pleasure would be in the sharing: "I'd use Coravin [a wine 'access' system that lets you pour wine from a bottle without removing the cork] to showcase some of the wines to our customers by the glass (but maybe not the 1953 cab!)."
Joanna Savill, Good Food Month festival director, predicts a tussle with her husband to prevent him from cellaring it under the house.
"I would love to have a big party with guests from every single birth year and do a serious vertical tasting," she says. "Naturally it would end up not being very scientific.
"Alternatively, I'd keep a few bottles and offer the rest for a charity auction. Proceeds to our Good Food Month charity partner, OzHarvest."
Good Food's Callan Boys would take a slightly less charitable approach. "I'd drink one a year, probably on my birthday or Christmas Eve.
"I would also keep the bottle, refill it with Bowler's Run, and when wine nerd friends were over for dinner I'd whip it out and deglaze some pans just for the look on their face."
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