Brief Grange Background
How much is Penfolds Grange Worth ?
The first vintage was the 1951 (The majority of the 1800 bottles were given
away to food & wine societies). At first it got a very negative reaction from
Penfolds management and the public in general. A typical reaction was: ".. a very
good, dry port, which no one in their right mind will buy - let alone drink.". It
wasn't until much later, after it started maturing in the bottle, that people started
to take notice and Grange Hermitage started on its journey to be the iconic wine
that it is today.
- The first vintage, 1951, can fetch up to $50,000.
- 1952 - 1959: Between $2,000 to $16,000.
- 1960 - 1969: Between $500 to $1800
- Exceptional later vintages such as the 1971, 1990 and the 1998 normally trade above
- The remainder of the vintages up into the present day typically trade between $300 to $500.
- A complete collection sells for around $150,000+ although some sets sell for
comprehensive Grange price list and an
investment briefing on Penfolds Grange.
Grange Pricing Controversy
Penfolds have a history of being
bold, aggressively leading the market when
From the outset, the first commercial release of the 1952
vintage was for just under
$1, an extraordinary amount in those days. Now, the 1952 can command as much as
$20,000 at auction.
The 1976 vintage made headlines with the jaw dropping price of $20, the first
Australian wine to breach that price barrier.
During the 1990's the auction market got way ahead of the retail price, with
many people making tidy profits flipping Grange as soon as they purchased it
from their local bottle shop.
Penfolds responded by putting the retail price up to match the
auction value. Rumors persist to the present day about the money making efficacy of
In 2013 Penfolds kept making headlines by increasing the retail price to
$785 (the auction market sets values on ordinary vintages at $300 and exceptional
$500), which creates a lag effect on previous vintages, perhaps dragging those
prices up along in its wake or, if the market does not react as they expect, then it will weigh this and
future vintages down; time will tell.
This year, 2016, with the release of the 2012 vintage, it will be interesting to see if Penfolds can maintain the
tradition of increasing the release price again or if they will bow to pressure and
hold the price steady.
Our investment review
of the 2008 Penfolds Grange
A sample of prices that was realised
for Grange in a recent wine auction
|PENFOLDS Bin 95 Grange Shiraz, South Australia||1955||Bottle||1||$3,900
|PENFOLDS Bin 95 Grange Shiraz, South Australia||1965||Bottle||1||$1,200
|PENFOLDS Bin 95 Grange Shiraz, South Australia||1968||Bottle||1||$550
|PENFOLDS Bin 95 Grange Shiraz, South Australia||1971||Bottle||1||$474
|PENFOLDS Bin 95 Grange Shiraz, South Australia||1971||Bottle||1||$559
|PENFOLDS Bin 95 Grange Shiraz, South Australia||1971||Bottle||1||$599
|PENFOLDS Bin 95 Grange Shiraz, South Australia||1971||Bottle||1||$630
|PENFOLDS Bin 95 Grange Shiraz, South Australia||1973||Bottle||1||$253
|PENFOLDS Bin 95 Grange Shiraz, South Australia||1973||Bottle||2||$390
|PENFOLDS Bin 95 Grange Shiraz, South Australia||1986||Bottle||1||$428
|PENFOLDS Bin 95 Grange Shiraz, South Australia||1990||Bottle||1||$459
|PENFOLDS Bin 95 Grange Shiraz, South Australia||1991||Bottle||1||$405
|PENFOLDS Bin 95 Grange Shiraz, South Australia||1993||Bottle||2||$306
|PENFOLDS Bin 95 Grange Shiraz, South Australia||1994||Bottle||1||$299
|PENFOLDS Bin 95 Grange Shiraz, South Australia||1999||Bottle||1||$325
|PENFOLDS Bin 95 Grange Shiraz, South Australia||2001||Bottle||1||$308
|PENFOLDS Bin 95 Grange Shiraz, South Australia||2002||Bottle||1||$360
|PENFOLDS Bin 95 Grange Shiraz, South Australia||2008||Bottle||3||$513
|PENFOLDS Bin 95 Grange Shiraz, South Australia||2008||Bottle||6||$540
To bid on any auction wines, first
sign up as a member (It is free to
join) and then when you have been validated you can log in to start bidding when
the next auction launches.
To be notified when other vintages of different wines will be available for bidding
in the future,
sign up for our auction alert email.
Where can I sell Penfolds Grange
It is illegal to sell wine in Australia without an appropriate licence. Wine
auction houses, such as Wickman's, offer regular specialised market places where
Penfolds Grange collectors come each month to buy and sell. Wickman's keep in
regular contact with known enthusiasts around the world and is an ideal place to
start looking for bottles to add or trade from your collection.
Signing up for our auction alert is a
great way to keep informed when new wine collections and sets become available
Further information on selling your Penfolds Grange
Collection with Wickman's
What is a hidden Grange ?
[Vintages 1957, 1958 and 1959]
During the late 50's when production of Grange was ordered to cease, a small core
of devotees risked their careers and continued to make Grange in secret, hiding
its production away from senior management.
Why is Grange famous, what's all the fuss ?
It has a interesting history, an unbroken line of production since the very first
vintage, consistent quality in each vintage, worldwide acclaim, longevity and limited
How long should I cellar Grange for ?
It is generally accepted that Penfolds Grange does not drink at its best until at
least 12 to 15 years after vintage. The best vintages can age for 20 to 50 years.
When is Penfolds Grange released ?
Up until 2014 it was released 5 years after vintage but from 2015 it is now released 4 years after vintage.
It used to be released around April/May but in 2014 Penfolds decided that an October release would suit them better so this year (2016) the 2012
Penfolds Grange vintage is due to be released in October 2016.
Where to buy the latest release Grange ?
You can find bottles of the latest release at fine wine retailers throughout Australia.
They usually take 1 or 2 years before they appear at specialist wine auctions like
When is the best time to buy Penfolds Grange ?
If you can wait a year or two after it has been released, you can usually get the
latest release at specialist wine auctions like Wickman's at least 20% to 40% cheaper than
retail. See Wine Auctions in Australia (a
directory of leading Australian wine auctions)
What's Grange Hermitage ?
It is still Penfolds Grange, just an earlier bottle. Penfolds shortened the name
from Grange Hermitage to Penfolds Grange with the 1990 vintage.
Where to store your Grange ?
It is recommended that you store it in a dark, vibration free environment at a constant
temperature. The best place would be at a professional, secure wine storage facility
like Kennard's Wine Storage, located
in most capital cities.
How can I find out if an earlier vintage of Grange is any good ?
You can ask the members of specialist wine forums like
Auswine, post an enquiry to our
Facebook page or obtain the Rewards of Patience book from Penfolds.
Is there a problem buying Penfolds Grange with an export label ?
No, not normally. But as always check the provenance (A specialist wine auction house will have a provenance policy) as wine with an export label may have travelled extensively
overseas and back again.
Is Penfolds Grange a good investment ?
Do your research. Good vintages, exceptional publicity and a supply shortage always
do well in the short term, but on average there have not been any vintages in the
last decade or so that have enabled a consistent positive return on investment in
the short, medium or long term.
What should I look out for when buying older bottles of Penfolds Grange ?
The most important aspect is being able to prove or discover your
bottles purchase history and how it has been stored over time (its provenance).
This can be extremely difficult to accomplish unless you are buying it from an
auction house such as Wickman’s who document such factors. The next thing to
check is the ullage of the bottle and make sure that the level is the correct
level for its age or if there are any signs of weeping (Guide on bottle terms and estimating
risk at auction). Minor soiled, scratched or torn labels have only a small
effect on the bottles value.
What are the 'rewards of patience' ?
It is a book produced by Penfolds containing the results and tasting notes of one
of their iconic, comprehensive tasting panels where they open a bottle of every
wine they have ever produced (where practical).
What is a cliniced or recorked bottle of Penfolds Grange ?
Privately owned, older bottles of Grange are opened & tested during
one of the many re-corking clinics that Penfolds hold around the world. If they pass
then they are topped up, recorked and labeled as still being drinkable. This can
increase the value of the bottle in most circumstances.
The Penfolds Re-corking clinic dates and locations for 2016 have been announced.
You can contact Penfolds direct to find out if there will be a clinic in your
How long should I decant Penfolds Grange for ?
The younger the wine the more air it may need. How long really depends
on the age of the wine and its provenance. If you decant for too long it can die
on you before you get a chance to drink it but if you don't give it enough time
it can be closed and mute when you come to drink it. If in doubt ask those with
practical experience on one of the wine forums such as
What year is my Penfolds Grange ?
There are two years on the front label, the vintage and the bottling year. It is
the vintage (the year in which the grapes were picked, usually on the left side
of the label) that is used in quality charts and valuations of Penfolds Grange.
Is a signed bottle of Grange worth any more money ?
Yes, the bottles signed by the late creator of Grange (Max Scubert) may sometimes add
10% to 15% onto the final hammer price.
Is Penfolds Grange an investment grade wine ?
Certainly. It has an extraordinary history, consistency and acknowledged
quality on par if not exceeding the likes of the top tier investment wines from
France. On the world stage it is an unrivaled bargain at $300 for average vintages
and $500+ for exceptional vintages and $160,000 for a complete set is unheard of
given the quality and history of this wine. Unfortunately it does not have the international
demand of its foreign peers and its retail price is bloated by Australian government
Where can I get further information about Penfolds Grange ?
Your best bet is to ask people who cellar and drink it on a regular basis.
You can find a number of those people, happy to share their knowledge, on specialist
wine forums such as the Auswine forum
or post an enquiry to our
Facebook page and if we don't know we will try to find out for you.
Where can I get royalty free images of Penfolds Grange if I am writing
an article ?
We have a gallery of various
images collected over the years, please help yourself, just
remember to attribute the image to Wickman's with an active link.
Author: Mark Wickman
Copyright ©2015 Mark Wickman, All Rights Reserved.