Parker 98+ points: Made from fruit coming predominantly from the Barossa Valley this year (97%) and containing 2% Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2006 Grange has been added to my list of favorite recent vintages. Deep garnet-purple colored, it’s still a little youthfully mute, offering notes of warm cherries, black currants, anise, coffee and toast with underlying hints of soy, yeast extract, black olives and Indian spices. Tight-knit and solidly structured on the medium to full bodied palate, the concentrated fruit is densely coiled around the firm grainy tannins and very crisp acidity at this stage, but promises something very special in the years to come. It finishes very long, complex and layered with the cedar poking though the fruit purity. Patience is required for this vintage; it should begin opening out around 2016 and drink to 2030+.
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.
2006 was a relatively early vintage, with low rainfall and warm weather contributing to an early budburst and flowering. Mild to warm weather throughout summer helped the fruit to mature well and assisting rains prior to harvest allowed fruit to ripen with good varietal character.