How common are multi-vintage blends? – Ask Decanter

Penfolds g3 combines three Grange vintages. Credit: Penfolds

Phil Potter asks:

I recently read on about Penfolds’ new G3 wine, which is a blend of three Grange vintages. Are there any other examples of this kind of vintage blending?

John Stimpfig replies:

The most obvious example is non-vintage Champagne, which is more accurately described as a multi-vintage blend. Then there are fortified wines such as Sherry and tawny Port, which are also blends of several vintages.

However, there are very few still wines which adopt this practice. The well-known exceptions to the rule include Chris Howell’s Cain Cuvée (Napa), Vega Sicilia’s Reserva Especial (Ribera del Duero) and Valdivieso’s Caballo Loco (Chile).

But change may be afoot as more winemakers are starting to experiment with this multi-vintage concept. These include, in South Africa, Ryan Mostert’s Smiley White. And there are others in Spain, California and Argentina.

Originally published in Decanter magazine. Look out for an article by Anthony Rose in Decanter’s April issue which will report further on this topic.

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