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Penfolds Grange 2003

Winemaker's Notes:

Deep red. Captivating, complex, complete. Unravelling aromatics unfurl with air - blue fruit notes entwined with barrel ferment and maturation elements; nothing singular, always in tandem. Sweet soy, cola and quince paste high notes escape from an ethereal layer (aniseed, fennel and fresh treacle ginger pudding) wafting above. Dark and liqueur chocolate, laced with Moroccan spices. An underlying tar/graphite blackness is lifted by derived fruit/quince pie flavours - a few years earlier they may have been more brashly varietal and elemental. Pronounced tannins sweep across the palate, although they are certainly part of the wine, never obtrusive. Long, layered and compelling, this wine is at the spicier end of the Grange spectrum.

Penfolds Wines:
  Tired of boring old wines from Australia? No? Then you can probably thank Penfolds Wines. Penfolds, founded in 1844 by Mary and Dr. Penfold (Mary gets top billing since she took care of most of the early management and winemaking responsibilities), has completely revolutionized not only its own product lines throughout the years, but also many wines in Australia as a whole. The wine ... Read more
  Tired of boring old wines from Australia? No? Then you can probably thank Penfolds Wines. Penfolds, founded in 1844 by Mary and Dr. Penfold (Mary gets top billing since she took care of most of the early management and winemaking responsibilities), has completely revolutionized not only its own product lines throughout the years, but also many wines in Australia as a whole. The wine produced by Penfolds was originally prescribed as tonic wines for anaemic patients, with the wine made from Grenache. By 1870, with 60 acres under vine, they were producing many more wines. In the 1920s and 1930s, Penfolds was known for its fortified wine, like many other wineries in the area. 1943 marked the start of a massive expansion for Penfolds Winery, with first the acquisition of Auldana Vineyard and its winery, and then the purchase of Kalimna Vineyard in 1945. By the end of the decade, they owned vineyards in McLaren Vale, Griffith, the Hunter Valley, and Minchinbury. Around the same time, winemaker Max Schubert returned from oversees with a completely new vision for the future of the winery. In the 50s, he started experimenting with the red wine he called Grange, which is a mix of primarily Shiraz and a little Cabernet Sauvignon, and by the 1960s the wine had spread across the Australian wine industry. Not wanting to stop with merely one of the most successful wine projects in the history of Australia, Penfolds Wines started the “White Grange” project in the 1990s, leading to the immensely popular and publicized release of the Penfolds Yattarna Chardonnay. Peter Gago became their Chief Winemaker in 2002, and he, along with three winemakers in charge of red wine and one in charge of white, continue the tradition of experimentation and evolution. Read less

External Reviews for Penfolds Grange

External Review
Source: Premier Wine & Spirits
05/18/2011

A magnificent edifice of a wine, elegant and refined in structure but dripping with flavor - a virtual cascade of plum, black cherry, blackberry, anise, pepper and exotic spices that lingers on the finish; this just doesn't quit. Best after 2002.


External Review
Source: Premier Wine & Spirits
05/18/2011

Inky violet with a bright rim. Explosive and utterly captivating on the nose, offering a range of aromas that encompasses red and darker berries, flowers, cigar box, minerals and sexy oak spices. Quite broad on the palate, and packing a real punch to its flavors of cassis, boysenberry, candied plum, bitter chocolate and fruitcake. Serious, harmonious tannins give plenty of structural support. This expands and grows even sweeter with aeration, finishing with outstanding persistence. Oak spices add sex appeal. A superb Grange.


External Review
Source: Prestige Wine & Spirits
09/27/2011

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.


External Review
Source: Premier Wine & Spirits
05/18/2011

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; I'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.


External Review
02/06/2011

Penfolds- iconic 2003 Grange is Shiraz blended with 3.5% Cabernet Sauvignon from Coonawarra. It was aged for 15 months in 100% new American oak. Opaque purple-colored, it offers up aromas of cedar, cigar box, leather, Asian spices, and blueberry. On the palate it is layered but a bit short on depth and grip with only moderate length. It will evolve for 5-7 years and drink well from 2014 to 2030.


External Review
Source: Premier Wine & Spirits
05/18/2011

Ruby-red. Initially closed on the nose but aeration brings a complicated bouquet of raspberry, wild strawberry, crème de mure, sexy oak spices, woodsmoke, tobacco, vanilla and fresh flowers. A deep, sweet but precise midweight, with energetic flavors of red and dark berries, cherry compote, cinnamon, mocha and smoked meat, all wrapped in substantial but silky tannins. Sappy and expansive on the impressively long, velvety finish. You'd be nuts to open this any time soon.


External Review
Source: Premier Wine & Spirits
05/18/2011

Though the nose on this wine is still somewhat closed, it's still remarkable. Individual notes (apart from eucalyptus and toast) aren't discernible; instead, it's an intense, penetrating sensation that fills the nose. Vanilla and coffee flavors are sumptuous foils to rich blackberries on the palate, which is muscular and plush as all get-out. Finishes long, with big but soft tannins. We can't wait to revisit it in 10-15 years, when the gems that are locked up tight now will sparkle.


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Deep red. Captivating, complex, complete. Unravelling aromatics unfurl with air - blue fruit notes entwined with barrel ferment and maturation elements; nothing singular, always in tandem. Sweet soy, cola and quince paste high notes escape from an ethereal layer (aniseed, fennel and fresh treacle ginger pudding) wafting above. Dark and liqueur chocolate, laced with Moroccan spices. An underlying tar/graphite blackness is lifted by derived fruit/quince pie flavours - a few years earlier they may have been more brashly varietal and elemental. Pronounced tannins sweep across the palate, although they are certainly part of the wine, never obtrusive. Long, layered and compelling, this wine is at the spicier end of the Grange spectrum.

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