The original and most powerful expression of Penfolds multi-vineyard, multi-district blending philosophy, Grange is arguably Australia’s most celebrated wine and is officially listed as a Heritage Icon of South Australia. Crafted utilising fully-ripe, intensely-flavoured and structured shiraz grapes, the result is a unique Australian style that is now recognised as one of the most consistent of the world’s great wines. With an unbroken line of vintages from the experimental 1951, Grange clearly demonstrates the synergy between shiraz and the soils and climates of South Australia. This release in 2021 commemorates the 70th anniversary since Grange was first made.
Where to start?! An advancing wave of flavours, understated power and charm. The swell builds and a more persuasive wave follows …
and then more, with each sip.
In an attempt to unravel and articulate this ‘ingestion’ …
Laden with shiraz fruits from the Barossa to the North and McLaren to the South – ‘maritime’ and ‘continental’ climatic/varietal diversity.
Red and black liquorice, soy and malt, burnt vanilla marshmallow …
Dark chocolate, wrapped in a satiny copha/beeswax candle-like coating.
Supple oak nuances – dexterously integrated, no doubt compliments of barrel ferment (and our valued long-time Barossa cooper).
Mouthfeel is creamy/velvety, rather than blocky/chunky at this youthful stage in bottle.
Tannins are tight, creating a dense coating, with a ‘rusty’ edge.
Ebullient acidity, whilst lively and racy, is well-managed and protective. To borrow a recently read descriptor – “cherry stone minerality” …
Swamped by a Barossa ferrous dustiness … regionally captured so persuasively with this 2017 vintage.
Rampant scents derived from kitchen (winery) and garden (vineyard) …
A wine-loving forensic sniff or two, rather than an imagined spectrophotometric analysis reveals:
• Venison carpaccio with a sweet balsamic reduction and freshly-pressed olive oil. Or, uncured pastrami?
• A salsa verde type-emulsion with an emphasis on the parsley and extra virgin olive oil. Add tomato, omit lemon.
• Enough of the savoury – wafts of sticky rice pudding, apricot pip, vanillin pod and coconut husk.
• Subtle sweet and spiced sandalwood, ground cumin and wintergreen notes remind of an eighteen-month sabbatical in oak.
Verified: 2017 Grange.
Dense and deep, bright and lively crimson-red