By James Atkinson
Penfolds says discounting of this week's Grange 2007 release is on par with previous years, despite reports of some retailers knocking more than 20 per cent off the recommended retail price.
Grange 2007 was released to the market with an official RRP of $685, Penfolds global brand business director Sandy Mayo told TheShout.
"But we can't control retailer's pricing so the RRP's not really a price that you see," she said.
"We say 'from $625' is about the price – that tends to be what we think will be an average price in the market."
Mayo acknowledged that Grange pricing has shot up in recent years, with the previous vintage priced "from $585" last year.
"It's very much demand-driven pricing in that we're seeing increasing demand from all corners of the world – that's what's causing the price to go up."
Mayo, who this week clarified Penfolds' position on cork closures, said it was "unfortunate" to hear reports of some retailers pricing Grange at less than $500, "but it's beyond our control".
"Retailers are free to set their price. [But] we want Grange to be as accessible to as many of our consumers who want to buy it as possible," she said.
Mayo said this year's media speculation about Grange pricing is no different previous releases.
"People are very engaged and involved and interested in Grange. Each year it comes out and everyone's interested in what the price is going to be," she said.
Adelaide-based wine auctioneer Mark Wickman said that if Grange follows its typical pattern that it has been showing over the last decade, "once the dust settles in a year or so, I would expect this vintage to sell at auction in Australia for around $350 to $400".
Wickman, of Wickmans Fine Wine Auctions, pointed to nationally available data for each Grange vintage as proof of the trend.