October 13, 2020
Near Perfection from Down At The Iconic Penfolds Estate – A Grange Worthy of Being Placed Alongside the Benchmarks of 1990, 2004, and 2010.
“….may politely nudge the classic 2010 and 2004.” – Peter Gago, Winemaker
No doubt about it, the 2008 Penfolds Grange shook up the market with its 100-point release a few years back – arguably the finest release since the 1986 and 1976. However, in 2016 Australia’s iconic wine and pinnacle expression of Shiraz delivered once again, even challenging the 2008 and 2015. The press recently anointed the 2016 near perfection, and of the 60 vintages reviewed, dating back to 1952, it is the 2016 that is currently one of the highest-regarded Grange alongside the 2008 with the benchmarks of 2015, 2013, 2012, 2010, 2004 and now, 2016, close behind.
Joe Czerwinski, of the Wine Advocate, says the 2016 is “on a par with such vintages as 2010 and 2012, the big question is whether it will ultimately reach triple digits.” While Nick Stock for James Suckling writes it has “seamless fruit power” and “really is exceptionally complete” More importantly, Chief Winemaker Peter Gago agrees, comparing the release to the 1990, 2004, and 2010 - “may politely nudge the classic 2010 and 2004.”
Today, we were able to feature the 2016 release along with highlights from 2008, 2010, and 2015 and feature them at some of the BEST PRICING in the country.
Featured Wines: Debut from Penfolds Grange and Down Under.
*Note: wines are pre-arrival and extremely limited
Hands down, Penfolds Grange is one of the world’s most iconic wines and with time in the bottle it is one of wine’s most treasured experiences. Hard-to-believe the first commercial release of this wine was 1952 and the wine sold for less than a one dollar – that rare collector bottle now fetches $16,000. Each year, a mere 400-500 cases of the Penfolds Grange arrives in the U.S., and in its sixty-plus year history, the 2008, 2010, and now the 2015 rank as the great modern interpretations of the Australian icon.
ADDITIONAL NOTES AND REVIEWS:
2016 Penfolds Grange
99 Points, Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate: The 2016 Grange includes 3% Cabernet Sauvignon and was sourced from Barossa Valley McLaren Vale and Clare Valley with a little bit from Magill Estate in the suburbs of Adelaide. Aged in 100% new American oak (as always) it offers up trademark lifted aromas plus scents of vanilla toasted coconut cedar raspberries and blackberries. Impressively concentrated and full-bodied with an extraordinarily long velvety finish it's nevertheless reasonably fresh and tight with decades of cellaring potential if properly stored. Certainly at least on a par with such vintages as 2010 and 2012 the big question is whether it will ultimately reach triple digits.
98 Points, James Suckling: “Much anticipated vintage for Grange and it is a powerhouse of concentration and complexity. Aromas of orange and lemon peel to start, then graphite, blackberries, plum paste, black cherries, boundless sweet oak spice, fresh cedar, tar, mahogany, roasted coffee and chocolate - the list goes on. Such complexity. Classic Grange, offering such deep, dark intensity. The palate has immense richness and depth with a super succulent and very long, fleshy, deeply weighted array of dense, velvet-wrapped tannins that run so long. The fruit flavors sit in the blackberry, blood-plum and blueberry zone with succulent, long and assertive structure, carrying through in an utterly seamless mode. The finish is tightly wrenched, in spectacularly powerful style, locking this wine in for a very long haul. Best from 2030.“
2015 Penfolds Grange
100 Points, James Suckling: “Much anticipated vintage for Grange and it is a powerhouse of concentration and complexity. Aromas of orange and lemon peel to start, then graphite, blackberries, plum paste, black cherries, boundless sweet oak spice, fresh cedar, tar, mahogany, roasted coffee and chocolate - the list goes on. Such complexity. Classic Grange, offering such deep, dark intensity. The palate has immense richness and depth with a super succulent and very long, fleshy, deeply weighted array of dense, velvet-wrapped tannins that run so long. The fruit flavors sit in the blackberry, blood-plum and blueberry zone with succulent, long and assertive structure, carrying through in an utterly seamless mode. The finish is tightly wrenched, in spectacularly powerful style, locking this wine in for a very long haul. Best from 2030.“
99 Points, Jeb Dunnuck: “The flagship 2015 Grange is a monster of wine and one of those rare wines that blends power and elegance perfectly. Revealing a saturated purple color, it’s seemingly more forward and seductive than past great vintages, which I suspect is due to the incredible purity of fruit as well as the wine’s flawless balance than any change in winemaking or stylistic shifts. I also think the acidity is healthy, and the 2015 tips the scales at 14.5% alcohol, which is certainly in the sweet spot, if not tame, for beautifully ripe Syrah these days. A blend of 98% Shiraz and 2% Cabernet Sauvignon that spent 20 months in new American oak hogsheads, it offers an extraordinary perfume of sweet crème de cassis, lead pencil shavings, camphor, Asian spices, licorice, and wildflowers. This is followed by a full-bodied, powerful yet incredibly seamless and elegant Shiraz that has no hard edges, a big, dense mid-palate, ripe tannins, and a great finish. Coming close to rivaling the 1986, which has always been a benchmark vintage of Grange for me, the 2015 offers a more polished, elegant, approachable style. Vintage comparisons aside, this is a legendary example of Grange in the making. The savvy wine lovers out there will give this 7-8 years of bottle age (I’ll probably be out of bottles by then) and enjoy over the following 2-3 decades.”
2010 Penfolds Grange
100 Points, James Suckling: “The 2010 Grange arrives with much expectation and does not disappoint. This is a powerhouse, structurally superior to both the 2009 and 2008 vintages and breathtakingly dense, long and precise. The nose has cola, blackberry, vanillin, hard brown spices of all kinds, coal smoke, meaty charcuterie elements and a strong tarry, savory note that speaks of the 85% Barossa Valley componentry. The palate has super deep tannins that fan out through flavorsome black fruits. These are purposeful tannins; they bristle on the palate, tantalizing and assertive yet playful, strong not aggressive. The power here is the thing; this has mouth-coating density and terrific drive, so tightly coiled, it gives enough away to suggest a very, very long cellaring wine is here. This is a classic Grange that will please the serious collectors. A wine of genuine pedigree.”
99 Points, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate: “The 2010 Grange is a 4% Cabernet Sauvignon and 96% Shiraz blend made from Barossa Valley, Clare Valley, Adelaide Hills, McLaren Vale and Magill Estate fruit that was aged 17 months in 100% new American oak hogsheads. Very deep purple-black in color, this is classic Grange - amongst the finest produced - replete with fresh, vibrant and youthful black fruit notes showing some blueberry aromas and accents of camphor, anise and the slightest floral hint plus a whiff of oak in the background to lend a cedar-laced lift to this textbook Shiraz nose. Medium to full-bodied in the mouth, it is very taut and finely constructed showing typically firm, grainy, uniform tannins, great concentration and wonderful persistence on the finish. If I have any very slight complaint of this near perfect wine it is that it seems a little too clinical and appears to speak less of the land and the heart of South Australia and more of the very skilled winemaking than did the Grange from the magical 2008 vintage.”
2008 Penfolds Grange
100 Points, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate: “Deep purple-black in color, the 2008 Grange puts forward a very complex nose packed with aromas of mulberries, layers of baking spices, cloves and cinnamon with nuances of minced meat, anise, potpourri and whiffs of dried mint and chocolate. Medium to full-bodied, taut and very spicy in the mouth, it shows touches of sandalwood and Chinese five spice complementing the layers of dark fruit flavors. It is framed by firm, grainy tannins and a refreshing acid line before finishing very long with aniseed and lingering blackberry preserves notes. This is clearly a wonderfully opulent and a magic vintage for this label.”
100 Points, Wine Spectator: “An utterly majestic Shiraz, sleek and seamless, brimming with ripeness on a framework that allows for grace and expressiveness in equal measure. The intensity of fresh blueberry and plum fruit holds attention until the nuances kick in, offering glints of exotic spice, coffee, cocoa, bay leaf and mint. Shows tremendous presence without a lot of weight, the tannins present but not even close to getting in the way. A great wine now, with plenty of room to grow.”
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All my best,