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G-Whiz: Penfolds g3 Took us by Surprise, And so Did The Label

By Sunday 7 January 2018April 21st, 2021No Comments

Penfolds surprised a lot of people when it launched its latest luxury wine g3 – a blend of three Grange vintages – 2008, 2012 and 2014.

The wine sells for $3,000 each and only 1,200 bottles were produced. They sold out within days of release. The stunning package also contained an element of surprise. For starters, it looks nothing like Grange and – shock, horror – the label even has some modern elements. It’s bordering on, well, cool and contemporary.

The label is the work of Rowena Curlewis and her team at Denomination in Sydney.

Rowena explains the design process behind Penfolds’ latest luxury wine: “Blending vintages is ground breaking in table wine so this innovative blend needed a highly distinctive feel for Penfolds. And with only 1,200 bottles produced, the design of g3 needed to be bespoke and crafted to reflect the rarity of this special release.

“In contrast to the refined traditionalism of the rest of the Penfolds packaging design, g3 is a bold and modern statement. It demands to be noticed.

“The label features specially commissioned calligraphy from master calligrapher Brody Neuenschwander to reflect the artisanal and bespoke nature of this trailblazing blended wine, while the exuberant g3 lettering communicates its ground breaking and contemporary qualities. Meanwhile the quiet refinement of the embossed Penfolds crest provides a contrast and denotes its luxury status.

“The use of pale grey links back to the colour of Penfolds Grange labels and the neck label simply features the Penfolds crest with Neuenschwander’s individual bottle numbering.”



The super-premium reverse taper bottle also helps differentiate g3 from the rest of the Penfolds portfolio. It is sealed with cork.

Two of the Grange vintages selected for this wine – 2008 and 2012 – are recognised as some of the finest Granges released.

“It wasn’t about selecting the biggest or the best Grange vintages, in fact it was

about making something different – but not just to be different,” Penfolds winemaker Peter Gago says.

“Each Grange vintage component selected to make this wine brings something different to the final blend. Grange 2008 is a big bold wine, 2012 is about elegance and sophistication, while 2014 is a young wine that serves to freshen up the blend.

“This endeavour adds new meaning to Penfolds’ ongoing pursuit to confidently move into the future while always respecting the ethos of the past and tradition.”

• This article first appeared in the November-December issue of WBM – Australia’s Wine Business Magazine. To subscribe to Australia’s best wine industry magazine, visit




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