Parker 99 points: 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.
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.
The wait for this Grange has indeed been worthwhile, arguably the finest vintage since mother nature's endowment of a number of stellar 1990s vintages. Just how good a vintage only time will tell, but all current indicators auger (very) well. Certainly stylistically in the mould of wonderful vintages.
Shiraz 96% with the balance of Cabernet Sauvignon, grown to very special vineyards in the Barossa and McLaren Vale, with a component from the distinguished Magill Estate site in the Adealide Hills. Grange remains as Australia's most famous wine, a peerless wine of historical significance, officially listed as a Heritage Icon of South Australia. Above-average winter rainfall led into a promising vintage, characterised by mild conditions up until February, followed by warmer weather conditions throughout March and April. Penfolds South Australian vineyards fared well, producing wines of elegance and intensity. Matured for sixteen months in exclusively new American oak hogsheads. Alcohol 14.3%
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. Seamless redefined. Classic Grange structure – tight, defined and 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, enviable counter-balance.