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They laughed when I sat down at the piano but when I started to play…

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Late at night after the guest’s had left is when I did my greatest work. The dregs in the bottles worth princely sums were not to be wasted so I would set to work, filter out the sediment, leaving small amounts of clear wine in a row of glasses. These I would blend into a drinkable volume, each a unique masterpiece.

Wine remains the same pleasant drink that makes you want to rush home, calm down and pour a glass of your choosing. Elsewhere they are plotting a different future for your humble glass, inevitable really when I look back at 50 years of progress. Indeed, the future has arrived and it tells that great wines are different, affordable by few, wine is a luxury, which the humble will never get to enjoy.

Good to find then that our strongest company Treasury Wines, the custodian of Penfolds, is pushing this brand to previously unimaginable heights. Caution though as while Penfolds Grange sells OK when launched the secondary market is at times a trifle weak so the quantity made must be carefully balanced with sales and consumption. Or perhaps not.

Good ideas take time to flower and I suspect from outright rejection a rethink led to a new Penfolds Grange called g3 being released a few years back. This was followed by g4 and g5. For the record g3 is a blend of three vintages 2008, 2012, 2014 with 1200 bottles created and sold for $3000 each; g4 is a blend of four vintages 2002, 2004, 2008, 2016 with 2500 bottles created and sold for $3500; and g5 is a blend of five vintages 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2018 with 2200 bottles created and offered for $3500.

I’m not sure how to handle this new status of wine, a luxury collectible not for drinking made by winemaking rock-stars. I note that the humble boy Peter Gago is the winemaker behind these creations and remaining normal will be his task.

In passing I am a fan of Larry Gagosian, the art dealer, as he gets it. America is awash with millionaires, 22 million says a recent count and while a billionaire, times 1000, is harder to achieve, the idea is to tap into this money. I love the thought, wines for collecting not drinking, and Mr Gagosian with his many art galleries has much to teach us. Why Peter Gago has the first four initials already so only four to go.

Depicted. Horowitz in concert.

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