Fairbank' Syrah Bendigo Vic 2004
Penfolds' chief winemaker, Peter Gago, put the wine in the same league as the 'wonderful' 1990 and 1996 vintages. Not only has Gago praised the 2004 Grange but the average ranking by critics globally is 99 points so far. This really is a stupendous wine that will cellar for at least 2 decades.
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Not exactly reasonably priced, so my notes from a wine tasting ($500+ a bottle if you want to buy one...). Well balanced, with tar, tobacco and other dark flavours dominating to begin with. Blackcurrant emerges with time. This is a really good well balanced wine that will become a *great* wine in 5+ years time. This is made from grapes from quite a wide region, so in some respects is the 'opposite' of the terroir-focussed single vineyard style of wine making - but still manages to be very good. Pity about the price.
External Reviews for Fairbank' Syrah Bendigo Vic
Virtually undeveloped, a huge, compacted Shiraz that feels like sucking on a stone of tannin, this nearly gives away its identity as Grange in a blind tasting. In a great vintage like '96, few other wines combine the explosive power and dense compaction Penfolds achieves in this selection of old-vines Shiraz. Tasting it now is more an intellectual pleasure, prying apart the layers of herbs, forest scents, bold fruit and tannin to understand its form, the wine remaining aloof and distant, like a sunrise over the horizon waiting to burst into flames. As tight as they may be, the flavors last for over a minute, the extreme spice warming every pore of the mouth, shedding jasmine and white pepper light across an expanse of dark, impenetrable shiraz. A classic Grange, this will likely come into its own at fifteen to twenty years of age.
The 2004 vintage was outstanding in Barossa, McLaren Vale, and Magill, the regions where the grapes were sourced for the marvelous 2004 Grange. It contains 4% Cabernet Sauvignon and was aged for 16 months in 100% new American oak hogsheads. A glass-coating opaque purple color, it displays a superb nose of wood smoke, Asian spices, incense, game, blueberry, and blackberry liqueur. Medium to full-bodied, satin textured, with deeply layered, succulent blackberry, plum, and chocolate flavors, it has the structure and complexity to merit extended cellaring of a decade and more. The winery estimates a drinking curve of 2016 to 2050; Irsquo;d be a bit more conservative on the long end of the range. It will ultimately be seen as one of the great vintages of Grange.
The 1998 Grange will be a legendary example. A blend of 97% Shiraz and 3% Cabernet Sauvignon, it tips the scales at a whopping 14.5% alcohol. The inky/purple color is followed by an extraordinarily intense nose of creme de cassis intermixed with blueberry and floral notes. As the wine sits in the glass, aromas of meat, plums, and cola also emerge. It is a seamless effort with sweet tannin, well-integrated acidity, sensational extract, and layer upon layer of blackberry and cassis fruit that stain the palate and fill the mouth. Its harmony, freshness, and remarkable length (the finish lasts nearly a minute) suggest an all-time classic. Anticipated maturity: 2006-2030.
Lithe, almost subtle, this is a dense, powerful wine that plays its plum and currant fruit against deft nuances of pepper, coffee and sassafras. Finishes with vibrant acidity that elevates the fruit and spice. A graceful wine that needs cellaring to grow into itself. Best from 2010 through 2020.
This dark purple-colored wine exhibits notes of sweet plum, blackberry, and cassis intermixed with some licorice, chocolate, and espresso. It is a blend of 94% Shiraz and 6% Cabernet Sauvignon that tips the scales at 14+% alcohol. The wine is layered, unctuously textured, full-bodied with tremendous intensity, moderately high tannin, and a 40-second finish. The wine needs a good 4-5 years of cellaring. Anticipated maturity: 2006-2025. This Grange should ultimately merit a higher score when it is closer to its plateau of drinkability.
Saturated purple-crimson colour; has an amazing depth to the bouquet, oak and black fruits already seamlessly woven; the longer you spend inhaling the aromas, the more you learn about the wine within, in much the same way as a Grand Cru red burgundy.... James Halliday. A Syrah wine from South Australia in Australia. 2004 Penfolds Grange 1500ml
A classic Grange, this '98 is recognizable for the vastness of its flavor, for the inimitable balance of explosive elegance. The lithe, potent, athletic build is right there when the bottle is first opened, and the power of the wine just continues to expand. The deep well of old-vine fruit is black, faceted with fig and date maturity, slowly fading into the flavor of the soil. Or is it the texture of the soil, gripping and fresh, as the wine turns and turns again, showing provocative glints and glimpses of black? Hold onto this wine, as it will need a decade to show itself and two to show its best.
Food Pairings for Fairbank' Syrah Bendigo Vic
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