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    Lamb

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Written Notes

There are 2,200 bottles at a price of AUD$3,500 each. This time, the blend constitutes 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2018 Granges with both 2016 and 2018 in barrel when selected and the others transversage (taking the wine from full bottles of Grange for blending). 

What I found interesting was that over the three G wines, eight different vintages of Grange were used, with four vintages – 2008, 2012, 2014, and 2016 – appearing twice. And yet, not a single odd year made the cut. It may mean nothing or it might suggest that buying your Penfolds from even years is the go. 

Grange is always heavily dominant Shiraz but usually with a little Cabernet. G5 has three percent Cabernet Sauvignon. Grange is also a multiregional blend with Barossa crucial. G5 is 70 percent Barossa, the rest McLaren Vale and Clare Valley with a splash of Wrattonbully thanks to the 2014. To create G5, many combinations were tried on the tasting bench before Gago’s team settled on the blend (note that we are never told exact percentages as Penfolds is not keen to have someone attempting to recreate the wine on the kitchen table, but each vintage does contribute at least 10 percent). It then spent 12 months in neutral American oak hogsheads originally used for the 2016 and 2018 Granges. G5 was bottled in April 2020. 

The wine is dark maroon, but it really does demand time to open up. Then expect a cornucopia of flavors on the wonderfully complex nose – dark berries, cocoa powder, sage, a slightly dusty sawdust note, cloves, chocolate cake, florals, and cassis. Seamless and powerful, immaculately balanced, this is refined and offering extraordinary length. A new array of flavors emerge on the palate: coffee bean, new leather, beef stock, soy, black fruits, and aniseed. 100. It deserves no less.

  • 100p

Penfolds G5 / Retaining 100% Grange DNA”, Penfolds G5 takes Max Schubert’s ethereal and buoyant masterpiece into another world of expression. It is not only a multi-district blend, but a composite of multi-district blends from five different vintages (2018,2016, 2014, 2012 & 2010). Although the concept is straightforward, the sequence of numbers and possibilities are infinitesimal. Paraphrasing the Oxford don and mathematician GH Hardy - a winemaker, like a painter or a poet, is a maker of patterns. With exquisite material, the blending process can stretch a wine towards infinity. Few winemakers ever get the chance to make a wine of this type. Only back-blending of reserve vintages and the solera system, used for fortified winemaking, are widely practiced to achieve similar results. But G5 is a blend of extraordinarily high calibre Grange vintages, some already released. For instance, 2010 Grange was described as “the Grange of the Millennium, but 10 years too late”. The 2018 Grange, on the other hand was drawn from barrel. Rather than being the sum of its parts, G5 evokes a rare experience of completeness. It is the full tote odds Grange style with a magical cloak that defies and embraces age. This leads to remarkable freshness, complexity and maturity.

The G5 is released on the 70th anniversary of Penfolds Grange. By coincidence it also comprises 70% Barossa fruit. The addition of 18,16,14, 12 and 10 also make up 70. Chief winemaker Peter Gago AC, a former mathematics teacher, delights in these disappearing numbers and the risks in making a composite Grange. This is the last of a series (G3, G4 & G5) but highlights the remarkable resources and skills of the Penfolds winemaking team.Asides from the technical challenges, G5 tilts at history and invokes reaction. The AUD $3500 price tag may seem steep to many, including myself, but First Growth Bordeaux and Grand Cru Burgundy command hefty outlays as well. G5 is polarising but extraordinary.

Deep crimson. Intense dark chocolate, liquorice, marzipan, blackberry, blackcurrant, grilled-nut aromas with shellac, waxy notes. Extraordinarily smooth, polished and velvety with inky deep blackberry, dark chocolate, espresso flavours, plentiful fine supple/ chocolaty tannins, attractive mid-palate richness, underlying roasted chestnut, marzipan, spicy notes and beautiful mineral length. Everything is perfectly balanced and integrated. Amazingly ready to drink showing “grand reserve” maturity, superb generosity and exuberant freshness. A curiosity, a classic and a conundrum all wrapped in the Grange aesthetic. The Art of the Blend. Drink now until another fifty years at least. Remarkable. 14.5% alc 100 points

  • 100p
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Information

Origin

Magill, South Australia

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