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  • Country ranking ?

    85
  • Producer ranking ?

    54
  • Decanting time

    2h
  • When to drink

    now to 2035
  • Food Pairing

    Lamb Loin with Carrot Risotto

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Robert Parker's Wine Advocate / A very hedonistic, almost decadent style of Grange, this blend of 91% Shiraz and 9% Cabernet Sauvignon from three grape sources - Kalimna in the Barossa, Penfolds' other sources in the Barossa, and McLaren Vale - is a gorgeously opulent, almost Pomerol-like Grange with an over-ripe characteristic to the fruit. Cherry liqueur intermixed with cranberry and cassis presented in a seductive, full-bodied, very soft, forward style is truly not the classic Grange in the sense of having huge structure and massive concentration, but this wine is loaded, very corpulent, and fleshy. The wine is going to last for up to two decades, but it will be uncommonly succulent and delicious to drink young, as it was several months ago. Among the young vintages of Grange, this is perhaps the most flattering wine that they have produced over the last 20 years, at least for such a relatively young wine. Anticipated maturity: now-2018.

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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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Wine Information

The 1989 Grange Hermitage is already beginning to show some attractive maturation characters and is developing a little sooner by comparison to its more robust 1988 and 1990 counterparts.

Medium crimson. Fresh aromatic redcurrant, musky, tea leaf aromas with some liquorice on the nose. Lovely early drinking Grange with redcurrant confit, blackcurrant pastille flavors, plenty of fruit sweetness, underlying vanillin oak and chocolaty, dense, dry tannins.

Sourced from premium vineyards in South Australia, the 1989 Penfolds Grange is predominantly Shiraz with a small percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon. It has the typical solid structure and strength of character to age gracefully over the next decade or so, with correct cellaring, to produce another classic Grange.

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Latest Pro-tasting notes

14 tasting notes

Tasting note

color

Brick red

ending

Long, Lingering and Sharp

flavors

Cranberry and Cherry

nose

Open, Pure, Complex and Fresh

taste

Warming, High tannin, Developing, Full-bodied, Firm, Focused and Dry

Written Notes

I went into the vault a few days ago to get a special bottle out. I had reason to celebrate. My book Barossa Shiraz - Discovering The Tastes Of The Barossa's Regions has made the shortlist of best wine book of the year by Wine Communicators of Australia. The wine oscars are on 19 November. My chances to win are low, but being in the top three, next to Tyson Stelzer's Champagne Guide, is pretty good, I reckon.

So a 1989 Penfolds Grange Hermitage was called for. The start wasn't so good. The wine had a very high shoulder, but the cork crumbled into 1000 pieces. However, a good sieve kept the glasses fairly cork free. 1989 is not regarded as a particularly strong year, but I found the wine very solid and displaying an intriguing flavour profile.

The colour of the wine was garnet, as you would expect, the aromas were lively, and on the palate, there was an unusual combination of elder-flower and lifted alcohol, a bit like a cognac. So, a fair bit of the fruit was gone, but there was enough left to keep the wine together. The wine still had some depth and intensity. This is the amazing thing about Grange: its ability to age and maintain the structure, even in an average year. As an aside, at the time, the bottle was less than $100.

  • 95p
Medium crimson. Fresh aromatic redcurrant/ musky/ tea leaf aromas with some liquorice. Sweet redcurrant confit/ blackcurrant pastille flavours, plenty of fruit sweetness, underlying vanillin oak and chocolaty dense dry tannins. 91% Shiraz 9% Cabernet Sauvignon Kalimna Vineyard (Barossa Valley), Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale Blend. Extreme heat and heavy March rains followed an ideal warm growing season.
  • 89p
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Information

Origin

Magill, South Australia

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