Once a year, Penfolds Winery goes to the major cities of Australia and offers customers a free inspection and analysis of any Penfolds wine over 15 years of age. A team of Penfolds winemakers, including senior winemaker Peter Gago, perform this function and if necessary, will open, taste, top-up, recork and recapsule wines that might require a more detailed assessment because of low fill levels or leaking corks. A certifcate is attached to any bottle that passes these tests and is entered in a database to further guarantee the authenticity of the recorking process. There is no winery on the planet that performs this free service for their customers.
Peter and the senior winemaking staff of Penfolds recently visited San Francisco for the only recorking clinic in the US market. I have had the fortune to see many clinics in Australia but this clinic was extra special as I brought a 1959 Grange from one of JJ Buckley consignors to be assessed… and possibly rejected!! It was a nerve-racking experience as the wine was uncorked and then tasted.
You will find out what happened when you read my detailed blog on the Penfolds Recorking Clinic very soon!!