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Penfolds Grange Premier 2012

Winemaker's Notes:

99 Points, Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2012 Grange comes from just two sub-regions of South Australia this year: Barossa Valley (the majority) and McLaren Vale. This makes a lot of sense since 2012 was a cracking year in both of these areas, producing a number of extraordinary wines. As usual, this Grange contains a splash of Cabernet Sauvignon, just 2%. Very deep purple-black in color, it opens on the nose with complex earthy/meaty/savory notes, soon giving way to baked blackberries, plum preserves, hoisin and Chinese five spice with dabs of sandalwood, licorice, menthol and vanilla. The palate reveals a surprisingly open, rich, full-bodied expression exuding a powerhouse of velvet-lined decadence. Still, it characteristically possesses that rock-solid “Grange” backbone of firm tannins and great freshness expressed in a real lively lift to the finish. And the finish is epically long. There are some stylistic similarities here to the opulent, gregarious 2008 vintage, perhaps just lacking ever so slightly in the same exhilarating abandonment of winemaking protocols for the celebration of the fruit and sites. That said, this is unquestionably a stonking great Grange!" 10/16 97 Points, Wine Spectator: “Powerful and impressive, this seamless expression offers chai tea, sandalwood, dark chocolate, gingerbread and tobacco notes that complement the juicy black cherry fruit flavors at the core. Gains momentum on the finish. Intense but polished, revealing an air of weightlessness that lingers. Drink now through 2035. From Australia.”

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

99 Points, Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2012 Grange comes from just two sub-regions of South Australia this year: Barossa Valley (the majority) and McLaren Vale. This makes a lot of sense since 2012 was a cracking year in both of these areas, producing a number of extraordinary wines. As usual, this Grange contains a splash of Cabernet Sauvignon, just 2%. Very deep purple-black in color, it opens on the nose with complex earthy/meaty/savory notes, soon giving way to baked blackberries, plum preserves, hoisin and Chinese five spice with dabs of sandalwood, licorice, menthol and vanilla. The palate reveals a surprisingly open, rich, full-bodied expression exuding a powerhouse of velvet-lined decadence. Still, it characteristically possesses that rock-solid “Grange” backbone of firm tannins and great freshness expressed in a real lively lift to the finish. And the finish is epically long. There are some stylistic similarities here to the opulent, gregarious 2008 vintage, perhaps just lacking ever so slightly in the same exhilarating abandonment of winemaking protocols for the celebration of the fruit and sites. That said, this is unquestionably a stonking great Grange!" 10/16 97 Points, Wine Spectator: “Powerful and impressive, this seamless expression offers chai tea, sandalwood, dark chocolate, gingerbread and tobacco notes that complement the juicy black cherry fruit flavors at the core. Gains momentum on the finish. Intense but polished, revealing an air of weightlessness that lingers. Drink now through 2035. From Australia.”

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