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Penfolds' chief winemaker, Peter Gago, put the wine in the same league as the 'wonderful' 1990 and 1996 vintages. Not...Read more...
Grange is often all power in its youth, and this latest release offers all the tension and searing grandeur you could expet from Penfolds' most sou... Read more
A classic Grange, this '98 is recognizable for the vastness of its flavor, for the inimitable balance of explosive elegance. The lithe, potent, ath... Read more
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 bl... Read more
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External Reviews for Penfolds Grange
Grange is often all power in its youth, and this latest release offers all the tension and searing grandeur you could expet from Penfolds' most sought-after red. It's not yet expressive, locked in tannins that cover the fruit expression with dark-roast coffee scents of oak. But the tension around the fruit does begin to release a deep chocolate cherry flavor that remains subdued; that flavor will blossom with age, as this appear poised for three decades of development. A classic vintage, and the first 100-percent shiraz Grange since 1963.
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.
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.
winemaker's notes: A blend of 96% Shiraz and 4% Cabernet Sauvignon. Dark, deep red (at 5 years of age). Enticingly fragrant, yet at once 'Grange' - elements of cola, bay-leaf, malt, Indian spices and nougat. An ethereal oriental lift of glazed Peking Duck is interspersed with fermented black Chinese tea. Oak at one with the wine, other aromatics unite to create a continuum of spice and fruit. Impressive. Palate is seamless and redefined. Classic Grange structure - tight, defined & balanced, with 'slatey' / sandy tannins. Saturated fruits - blackberry and concentrated Satsuma plum skin. A darkened flavour theme of chocolate, liquorice and fermented black Chinese tea mask any overt presence of new oak, courting a long, effortless finish. Intense, powerful vs. composed, polished - an enviable counter-balance. 98 Points - James Halliday "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. The palate delivers all that the bouquet promises, and then some; it has absolutely perfect proportions to the river of flavours running through blackberry, Satsuma plum, licorice and spice; the tannins are quite active, but totally balanced and ripe." 96 Points - International Wine Cellar "Powerful aromas of cassis, blackberry and bitter cherry are complemented by exotic notes of smoky peat, pipe tobacco, violet oil and fresh blood. Deeply concentrated cherry skin and blackcurrant flavors are underscored by a strong mineral quality, with a sexy floral element gaining strength with air. The minerality builds on the finish, which leaves a wide swath of spice and earth notes in its wake. This wine's marriage of depth, spiciness, fruit, meatiness and minerality is extremely impressive." 99 Points - The Wine Advocate "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." 98 Points - Wine Spectator "Smooth and seductive, this delivers a full-throated chorus of currant, plum, blackberry and spice flavors, hinting at coffee and cardamom as the finish floats and sails easily over a bed of polished, refined tannins. A touch of black olive balances nicely against it all. Beautifully structured, expressive and very long. Best from 2012 through 2025."
Grange is often an explosion on release, and the '01 does not want for intensity. This vintage is unusual, as it's all from Barossa fruit; what's more unusual is that is subtlety and grace make it surprisingly approachable as a young wine. The power of old-vine fruit is there in color, black and concentrated at the core, deep red at the edge. It's also there in the complex aromatics, layered in earthy tannins. Those beautiful tannins drive the wine, releasing a quiet blast of black fruit that evolves for over a minute as it lasts past each taste. The wine just doesn't let go, and is as mouthwatering as the sizzle on a steak. Grange will often thrive for 20 years from the vintage, the best vintages lasting longer.
The summer of 2002 was one of the coldest on record, the autumn warm and dry. The season clearly branded this vintage of Grange with beautiful cool fruit and extremely long flavors. The fireworks that Grange can produce are subtle in ë02, exploding out in all directions while leaving a sense of elegance. Its power continues to build over the course of several days, almost electric with coffee, mocha, plum and red berry flavors. A graceful Grange? Yes, and sure to be long-lived as well.
A massive wine, with cascades of potent plum, cherry and blackberry fruit swirling around wafts of black pepper, bay leaf and exotic spice, which last and last on the finish, hinting at smoky, meaty notes. It's all packed in tightly, suggesting this should evolve spectacularly with age. Best after 2005.
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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