The 1951 Penfolds Grange was the first Penfolds Grange to be made, it was an experimental wine and only 1800 bottles were produced. Max Schubert, the creator of Penfolds Grange, earlier, travelled to Europe and returned to Australia wanting to make a wine that rival the best wines of the world. The 1951 Penfolds Grange was made from shiraz fruit sourced from Magill and Morphett Vale. Penfolds Grange is now regarded as Australia’s finest wine, it is recognised globally as one of the worlds best and most consistent multi regional/multi vineyard wines.
The fruit used to make Penfolds Grange must be of a certain consistency and profile, the fruit must contain the Penfolds Grange DNA, the Penfolds Grange way, big, rich and powerful, if the fruit isn’t up to standard it doesn’t make the final blend. Penfolds Grange is predominately a shiraz based wine with some cabernet sauvignon added, the amount of cabernet sauvignon added varies from vintage to vintage, there has been as much as 15% in some vintages and as little as 1% in others and in some years, such as the 1999 Penfolds Grange, it is made from 100% shiraz. The 1951 Penfolds Grange was also made from 100% shiraz. Penfolds Grange is matured in new American oak for about 18 months.
The 1951 Penfolds Grange was not commercially released and the 160 cases (1800 bottles) that were made were largely given away to Max Schubert’s friends and colleagues. Some bottles of the 1951 Penfolds Grange were kept by Penfolds and were only released in the 1980’s when Penfolds Grange had gained it’s reputation as one of the worlds best wines, these bottles were in excellent condition and were snapped up by wine collectors.
The 1951 Penfolds Grange is Australia’s most collectible wine, with a single bottle can be worth between $30,000 and up to $50,000 (for those bottles in excellent condition). The 1951 Penfolds Grange has now past its best drinking and is seen only as a collectors item. The 1951 Penfolds Grange bottles were labelled Bin number 1.