Australian winemaker Penfolds and Champagne House Thiénot have announced a collaboration in which they have created three Champagnes. All are from the 2012 vintage.

A Chardonnay Pinot Noir Cuvée and two single vineyard wines – a Blanc de Blancs and a Blanc de Noirs – make up the2012 Champagne Thiénot x Penfolds range.

The 2012 Champagne Thiénot x Penfolds Chardonnay Pinot Noir Cuvée (pictured above) is being released first, including in travel retail. It will initially be available at Heinemann Tax & Duty Free Sydney from June 2019, with an RRP of A$280 (US$196). Following this period of exclusivity, it will then be available in selected airport locations around the world.

Treasury Wine Estates brand Penfolds said the collaboration celebrates its 175th anniversary and marks the start of a French and Australian wine alliance.

“This is step one of an inviting and compelling journey,” explained Penfolds Chief Winemaker Peter Gago. “Some time back, we announced our intent to make a Champagne. We are now revealing a partnership with our friends at Thiénot – one which would not have been imaginable a decade or two ago.

Joint efforts: Penfolds Chief Winemaker Peter Gago (left) and Thiénot Chef de Cave Nicolas Uriel. Photo by Leif Carlsson.

“To now actually work alongside a Champagne House and ultimately craft Champagnes proudly, which co-bears the globally recognised red stamp of Penfolds, is both wonderful and a first collaboration of its kind for an Australian winery.”

Thiénot Managing Director Stanislas Thiénot said: “This is a first for us, I am proud to say this has also been a truly collaborative experience from the very beginning. We have created blends reflective of both Thiénot and Penfolds’ wine styles and philosophies.

The 2012 Champagne Thiénot x Penfolds Chardonnay Pinot Noir Cuvée.

“We are very happy with the results, the Champagnes are modern reflections showcasing fruit, freshness, and finesse.

“This is the result of an unexpected encounter between two major wine regions, one belonging to the old world and the other to the new world, but with one single common goal: to produce great Champagnes. In addition, working with Peter Gago is extremely interesting and rewarding both for his immense experience and for his innovative vision.”

The wines are the result of the joint efforts of Thiénot Chef de Cave Nicolas Uriel and Gago, who together shared agreed style and quality ambitions. The three Champagnes are made from grapes sourced from prestigious vineyards in Champagne from the 2012 vintage.

From the outset, Peter focused on ensuring Penfolds House Style and blending philosophies aligned with those of Champagne Thiénot and their winemaking approach.

The Blanc de Noirs (Grand Cru) is sourced solely from an Aÿ vineyard, and the Blanc de Blancs (Grand Cru) from a regal single vineyard with vines up to sixty years old.

Treasury Wine Estates General Manager, Global Travel Simon Carter commented: “As the category leader for wine in travel retail, we aim to constantly evolve our portfolio to deliver products that are relevant and unique for travellers.

“The 2012 Champagne Thiénot x Penfolds Chardonnay Pinot Noir Cuvée is a fine example of a truly unique new product from Penfolds and the continuation of the Special Bottlings story in innovation and experimentation targeting travellers in airports around the world.

“We’re thrilled to be launching this product in travel retail and we strongly believe travellers will be captivated by this limited-release product.”

The 2012 Champagne Thiénot x Penfolds Blanc de Blancs and 2012 Champagne Thiénot x Penfolds Blanc de Noirs will be released in 2020.

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