These are two of three wines under the relatively new Penfolds label ‘Max’s’, which pays tribute to former chief winemaker and creator of Grange, Max Schubert. There’s a third wine in the range, the Shiraz/Cabernet, which is just a little cheaper at £16.95.
Penfolds Max’s Chardonnay 2017 Adelaide Hills, Australia
Bright, lively and focused with a piercing lime-laced acidity underpinning attractive yellow plum and lemon fruit. Has some subtle spicy framing with a suggestion of toast and fresh-baked bread, but the real driver here is the lovely zippy fruit, and the grapefruit tension on the finish. Lovely wine. 93/100
Penfolds Max’s Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 South Australia
Blends together fruit from McLaren Vale, Wrattonbully and Coonawarra, aged in oak with 6% new French and 7% new American. This is rich and sweetly fruited with a minty edge to the luscious blackberry and blackcurrant fruit. It’s very rich and ripe, with a rounded mid-palate and a slight jamminess. A crowd-pleaser more than something for contemplation, but impressively put together. 90/100