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    10
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    4
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    Lamb with aubergines

Penfolds Grange 1971 best wine in world award will turn world on to Australia’s finest wines

THE naming of Penfolds’ 1971 Grange as the world’s greatest wine of the 1970s will have immediate impact on Australia’s reputation in international fine wine circles.

Current Chief Penfolds winemaker Peter Gago, still in shock over the announcement that one of the finest vintages of Australia’s most famous red wine has beaten the greatest French estates to such an accolade, believes the win means just as much for Australia’s wine industry as it does for his employer Penfolds.

“It’s really amazing for Australia,” Mr Gago said.

“This will alter the perception that we are only good for critter and basic commodity wines,” he said.

The half-million dollar, internationally judged tasting of hundreds of famed labels from France, Spain, Germany, Italy and new world producers like Australia and the US placed Penfolds 1971 Grange at the top of an astounding collection of luxury global wines.

Included in the judging, held by European luxury magazine FINE, were the greatest French wines from Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne and the Rhone.

 

Top of the Grange: the 1971 vintage has been named the best wine of the ‘70s.

Top of the Grange: the 1971 vintage has been named the best wine of the ‘70s.

 

The 1971 Grange tipped out the legendary Chateau d’Yquem 1975 Sauternes, considered the world’s best sweet wine, in a 98.5 points to 98 points showdown, while other Granges from the 1970, 1972 and 1976 vintages also made it into the top 100 listings. The results of the tasting will reverberate around the fine wine world, Mr Gago said after being told of the judges’ decision.

“Grange always gets benchmarked against similar wines, but the fantastic thing was this was the best of the best across the whole decade,” he said.

“It’s a whole new level of seriousness and will be noticed by the elite wine connoisseurs of France, the UK and US and Germany.”

The 1971 vintage of Grange has long been considered one of the great years of the famed lineage of Australia’s most famous red wine, made mostly from shiraz but in this outing also including 13 per cent of cabernet sauvignon.

Along with the 1955 and 1990 vintages, it has convinced prominent overseas wine judges and critics to name Penfolds Grange as a global icon.

Its fame has led to many other South Australian shiraz being lauded as one of the continent’s leading gifts to the wine world. Wines such as Henschke Hill of Grace Shiraz are also revered by collectors around the globe.

Australia also is renowned in international circles for its extraordinary history of aged fortified wines from the Victoria’s northeast Rutherglen region, and its capacity for Hunter Valley Semillon to age for many years to deliver one of the most unique white wine styles.

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The Story

Grange is arguably Australia’s most celebrated wine and is officially listed as a Heritage Icon of South Australia. Grange boasts an unbroken line of vintages from the experimental 1951 and clearly demonstrates the synergy between Shiraz and the soils and climates of South Australia. Grange utilises fully-ripe, intensely-flavoured and textured 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. The Grange style is the original and most powerful expression of Penfolds multi-vineyard, multi-district, blending philosophy.

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Vintage 1971

This wine is a blend of 87 per cent Shiraz and 13 per cent Cabernet Sauvignon and created a sensation when it won gold and topped its class at the Gault-Millau Wine Olympiad in Paris in 1979, beating the best Rhone Valley wines.
It also won a trophy, four gold, four silver and five bronze medals at Australian wine shows between 1971 and 1982.

'If you had to point to a wine which fulfilled all the ambitions of Grange, it would have to be 1971,' said Max Schubert in 1993. 'It
was a great wine from a vintage that was great throughout South

Australia'.
VINEYARD REGION Barossa Valley (including Kalimna Vineyard), Magill Estate (Adelaide), Clare Valley,Coonawarra.

VINTAGE CONDITIONS An excellent year in South Australia with ideal, generally warm conditions throughout both growing season and vintage. The result was an abundance of grapes of very high quality.

GRAPE VARIETY Shiraz (87%), Cabernet Sauvignon (13%)

MATURATION Eighteen months in new American oak
hogsheads.

WINE ANALYSIS Alc/Vol: 12.30%
Acidity: 6.30g/L
pH: 3.72


Winemaker comments by
Max Schubert

COLOUR Medium brick red.
NOSE An astonishing wine with intensely sweet, lifted,
complex and perfumed prune/apricot/truffle
aromas with hints of violet and fig.
PALATE Silken, opulent with fleshy apricot/prune fruit and
truffly, earthy, demi-glace undertones balanced
by fine, sweet tannins and an extremely long
finish. A superb wine.

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Latest Pro-tasting notes

31 tasting notes

Tasting note

color

Deep, Ruby red and Dark

ending

Long, Flavorful, Round and Sharp

flavors

Blackberry, Blackcurrant, Blueberry, Mint, Toasty and Licorice

nose

Intense, Generous, Ripe and Refined

recommend

Yes

taste

High in Acidity, Warming, Medium tannin, Perfectly balanced, Concentrated, Well-structured, Youthful, Full-bodied, Focused, Refined, Powerful, Dry and Silky tannins

Verdict

Masterpiece and Transparent

Written Notes

This vintage of Grange Bin 95 Shiraz has been highly rated for almost 30 years now after beating the best Rhône wines at the Gault-Millau Wine Olympiad in Paris in 1979. The inventor of Grange and a legendary winemaker, Max Schubert, has said that this is the Grange of his lifetime, a wine, which fulfils the ambitions of Grange. The blend is 87 percent Shiraz and 13 percent Cabernet Sauvignon.

The colour is moderately deep with brick red tones. Very intense nose with ripe dark fruit aromas and vanilla flavours mixed attractively with smoke, bacon and cedar aromas. Full-bodied and intense with refreshing acidity, rich set of ripe meaty tannins and fleshy ripe fruitiness of dark fruits. Mid-palate shows elegance of oak with chocolaty and mocha flavours. Long intense finish. Truly breathtaking wine drinking well now but keeping for a few more years.

  • 98p
The following wine was even greater, but a noticeable left turn to the Delphine. It showed incredibly Rhone-ish-ly this night despite the fact that it was a 1971 Penfolds Grange and got very chocolaty in the glass
  • 96p

The UK changed to decimal currency, the Concorde flew across the atlantic for the first time, and John Newcombe won Wimbledon for the third time. And this is the second last vintage of Max Schubert, Australia's greatest winemaker.

When you drink a 45 year old wine under cork, you have to expect bottle variation. The damaged label is not a sign of what is to come: this is a great bottle, luckily. The wine still has amazingly vibrant colour.

he flavours are intriguing: violets, crisp boscop apple, but then: almond, dates, and sultana. The wine is still quite dense, with the structure firmly in tact. Take note: the alcohol level is a measly 12.3%. The overall impression is of the velvety texture and the long, long smooth finish. 

This wine is elegant, mesmerizing, majestic. The flavour is equally on the front, mid and back palate, seamless.

Tasted with ham of the bone, duck and orange paté, and soft cheeses and dates.

My first ever

 

  • 100p

Information

Origin

Magill, South Australia

Grapes

13% Cabernet Sauvignon
87% Shiraz

Vintage Quality

Excellent

Value For Money

Very good

Investment potential

Average

Fake factory

None

Glass time

1h

Drinking temperature

16

Other wines from this producer

Bin 128 Shiraz

Bin 150 Marananga Shiraz

Bin 23 Pinot Noir

Bin 2 Shiraz Mourvedre

Bin 389 Cabernet Shiraz

Bin 407 Cabernet Sauvignon

Bin 62

Bin 620

Bin 798 RWT Shiraz

Bin 7 Coonawarra Cabernet Kalimna Shiraz

Bin 8 Cabernet Shiraz

Bin 90 A

Bin 920 Coonawarra Cabernet Shiraz

Bin 9 Cabernet Sauvignon

Block 42 Kalimna Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

Cellar Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz

Cellar Reserve Pinot Noir

Cellar Reserve Sangiovese

Cellar Reserve Tempranillo

Koonunga Hill Cabernet Shiraz

Koonunga Hill Chardonnay

Magill Estate Shiraz

Penfolds Bin 138 GMS

Penfolds Bin 138 Grenache Mourvèdre Shiraz

Penfolds Bin 169

Penfolds Bin 23 Pinot Noir

Penfolds Bin 28 Kalimna Shiraz

Penfolds Bin 311

Penfolds Bin 407

Penfolds Bin 51 Riesling

Penfolds Bin 60A Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz

Penfolds Bin 707 Cabernet Sauvignon

Penfolds Bluestone Grand Tawny

Penfolds Grandfather's Tawny

Penfolds Great Grandfather's Tawny

Penfolds Koonunga Hill Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon

Penfolds Reserve Bin 09A Chardonnay

Penfolds RWT

QoN

Rawson's Retreat

Rawson's Retreat Bin 202 Riesling

Rawson's Retreat Riesling

Rawson's Retreat Shiraz Cabernet

Reserve Bin A Adelaide Hills Chardonnay

RWT Shiraz

St Henri Shiraz

Thomas Hyland Adelaide Hills Chardonnay

Thomas Hyland Sauvignon Blanc

Yattarna Chardonnay

Inside Information

Parher 96 points:  have had this wine on five separate occasions and on each occasion it has been a prodigious example of Grange Hermitage. The wine has consistently revealed the fruit levels, intensity, and complexity that are the hallmarks of a classic Grange. In fact, it is the first great Grange Hermitage since the debut vintage of 1955. The color is a mature garnet with considerable amber/orange at the edge. The magnificent aromatic profile includes scents of cedar, caramel, coffee, toffee, chocolate, and gobs of jammy black-cherry and currant fruit. It could easily be mistaken for an old, magnificent Pomerol given its voluptuous texture, glorious richness, unctuosity, and phenomenal concentration, fat, and length. The wine has been fully mature since I first tasted it in 1990, yet it is capable of lasting for another decade. This is the real thing!

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Highlights

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Wine Moments

Here you can see wine moments from tastingbook users. or to see wine moments from your world.

98p
 Pekka Nuikki / Founder of the Fine Wine Magazines, Pro (Finland)  tasted  Grange Hermitage 1971  ( Penfolds  )

This vintage of Grange Bin 95 Shiraz has been highly rated for almost 30 years now after beating the best Rhône wines at the Gault-Millau Wine Olympiad in Paris in 1979. The inventor of Grange and a legendary winemaker, Max Schubert, has said that this is the Grange of his lifetime, a wine, which fulfils the ambitions of Grange. The blend is 87 percent Shiraz and 13 percent Cabernet Sauvignon.

The colour is moderately deep with brick red tones. Very intense nose with ripe dark fruit aromas and vanilla flavours mixed attractively with smoke, bacon and cedar aromas. Full-bodied and intense with refreshing acidity, rich set of ripe meaty tannins and fleshy ripe fruitiness of dark fruits. Mid-palate shows elegance of oak with chocolaty and mocha flavours. Long intense finish. Truly breathtaking wine drinking well now but keeping for a few more years.

1m 23d ago

100p
 Thomas Girgensohn, Wine Blogger (Australia)  tasted  Grange Hermitage 1971  ( Penfolds  )

The UK changed to decimal currency, the Concorde flew across the atlantic for the first time, and John Newcombe won Wimbledon for the third time. And this is the second last vintage of Max Schubert, Australia's greatest winemaker.

When you drink a 45 year old wine under cork, you have to expect bottle variation. The damaged label is not a sign of what is to come: this is a great bottle, luckily. The wine still has amazingly vibrant colour.

he flavours are intriguing: violets, crisp boscop apple, but then: almond, dates, and sultana. The wine is still quite dense, with the structure firmly in tact. Take note: the alcohol level is a measly 12.3%. The overall impression is of the velvety texture and the long, long smooth finish. 

This wine is elegant, mesmerizing, majestic. The flavour is equally on the front, mid and back palate, seamless.

Tasted with ham of the bone, duck and orange paté, and soft cheeses and dates.

My first ever

 

7m 27d ago

95p
 Andrew Caillard MW, Wine Writer (Australia)  tasted  Grange Hermitage 1971  ( Penfolds  )

"Medium deep brick red. A classic Penfolds year with an unusually low alcohol of around 12.3%*. An immensely complex and mature wine with lifted smoked meat/ dark chocolate/ mocha/ liquorice aromas. A silky smooth wine with rich dark chocolate/ espresso coffee/ tobacco/ cedar flavours, underlying vanillin nuances and fine lacy satin tannins. Finishes sinuous, long and bitter sweet. 87% Shiraz 13% Cabernet Sauvignon.
Kalimna Vineyard (Barossa Valley), Barossa Valley, Magill Estate (Adelaide) Clare Valley, Coonawarra Blend. “If you had to point to a wine which fulfilled the ambitions of Grange it would have to be the 1971.” – Max Schubert, 1993. Topped the Gault-Millau Wine Olympiad in Paris in 1979 – beating some of the best Rhone wines and creating a sensation. A great South Australian vintage; ideal, generally warm conditions throughout the growing season and vintage. * alcohol originally stated 11.5% but records and analysis reveal 12.3% “A Grange that doesn’t seem to tolerate poor storage or travel.”- Peter Gago
"

1y 3m ago

96p
 John Kapon / CEO / Ackerr Merrall & Condit, Pro (United States)  tasted  Grange Hermitage 1971  ( Penfolds  )

"The following wine was even greater, but a noticeable left turn to the Delphine. It showed incredibly Rhone-ish-ly this night despite the fact that it was a 1971 Penfolds Grange and got very chocolaty in the glass "

1y 11m ago

 Grange Hermitage 1971  has news

Penfolds Grange 1971 best wine in world award will turn world on to Australia’s finest wines more ...

2y 9d ago

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