(2019) From a range named in honour of Max Schubert, the winemaker who created Penfolds Grange, this is Chardonnay sourced from the cool Adelaide Hills. The Hills were the original source of fruit for Yattarna, Penfolds' 'white Grange' project, which sells for £100+ per bottle, and although Yattarna is now a blend with Tasmanian fruit, the Adelaide Hills is prime Chardonnay country for Penfolds and many other top brands. This is a terrific example at its affordable price, of the precision and freshness the terroir here can give. Aged in French oak, but only 20% of it new, there's oatmeal and nougat on the nose, stone fruit aromas and a flinty whiff of Chablis-like reduction. Only 12.5% alcohol tells of early picking, which helps with that, and on the palate brings a huge surge of lemon zestiness to the ripe fruit and barrel-derived richness and toasty fullness. I found this to a very classy Chardonnay in a thoroughly modern New World style. Watch the video for more information.
(2019) Named in homage to Max Schubert, the Cabernet is sourced from three regions of South Australia: Wrattonbully, McLaren Vale and Coonawarra, and the wine aged in French and American oak, only around 7% new. It's a bold, luxurious style of Cabernet, fully ripe, licked with tobacco and smokiness, bursting with black fruit and yet with a hint of cedar and blueberry cool precision. In the mouth it has substantial presence with its 14.5% alcohol, no shortage of ripeness and plummy weight, but the smooth tannins and balanced cherry-skin acidity is very well handled. A fitting partner to the Max's Chardonnay. Watch the video for more information.