Qantas is now serving three top drops from Penfolds to mark this week's release of new vintages from the South Australian wine producer.
Flyers in international first class can sample the Penfolds RWT Shiraz 2012 from the Barossa Valley.
The initials RWT stand for 'Red Winemaking Trial – the name given to the project internally when developmental work began in 1995. Of course, it's a trial no longer, with the RWT Shiraz officially launched in May 2000 with the 1997 vintage.
RWT is made from fruit primarily selected for its aromatic qualities and fine texture rather than sheer intensity or power of flavour.
This single-region Barossa Valley Shiraz, matured in French oak, offers an opulent and fleshy style, contrasting with the more muscular and assertive Grange.
Also poured in the pointy end is Penfolds Reserve Bin A Chardonnay from the Adelaide Hills.
Penfolds Reserve Bin A Chardonnay has evolved into a wine that is now a distinctive, single-region style in its own right, Qantas notes, with a contemporary and distinctive Adelaide Hills Chardonnay persona.
"All fruit is hand-picked into small bins and then whole-bunch pressed. The juice is incrementally filled to barrel directly from the press, and allowed to undergo a natural fermentation, sans inoculation."
Business class passengers on domestic and international routes will find the popular Penfolds Bin 28 at the ready, with the multi-region multi-vineyard blend showcasing warm-climate Australian Shiraz that's "ripe, robust and generously flavoured."
Qantas spends over $15 million on wine each year, and is Australia's third-largest buyer of wine after Woolworths and Coles.
The airline's passengers also do their bit, drinking around 2.5 million bottles of wine per year both in the air and in airport lounges.
Australian Business Traveller recently sat down with Qantas Sommelier David Holder to see just how the airline pairs wines with its ever-changing menus.
Qantas has dominated the Cellars in the Sky awards for the last four years, this year taking out five gold medals for inflight wine including Best First Class Cellar, Best Business Class Cellar and the coveted Best Overall Wine Cellar award.
Qantas also received the Best Airline Wine List in the World award for 2014, with The World of Fine Wine editor and judging chairman Neil Beckett saying that Qantas “really has gone much further than any of the other airlines we have seen."
- Qantas First Lounge – behind the wine list
- Singapore Airlines serves up Taittinger in business class
- Qantas offers Grange at airport lounges – but you pay with frequent flyer points
- Travel tip: how to safely pack wine in your luggage