x
  • Country ranking ?

    209
  • Producer ranking ?

    92
  • Decanting time

    2h
  • When to drink

    2020-2035
  • Food Pairing

    Lamb

The Tb points given to this wine are the world’s most valid and most up-to-date evaluation of the quality of the wine. Tastingbook points are formed by the Tastingbook algorithm which takes into account the wine ratings of the world's 50 best-known professional wine critics, wine ratings by thousands of tastingbook’s professionals and users, the generally recognised vintage quality and reputation of the vineyard and winery. Wine needs at least five professional ratings to get the Tb score. Tastingbook.com is the world's largest wine information service which is an unbiased, non-commercial and free for everyone.

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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

Penfolds Grange Hermitage


It took 10 years from the time the first experimental Grange was made before the wine gained general acceptance and the prejudices were overcome.

In 1949 a young Australian wine maker from Penfolds, Max Schubert, was sent to Jerez, Spain to learn the art of making sherry. At the time the voyage between continents was made without haste by ocean liners. On his way back home, as the ship stopped in the harbor of Bordeaux, Max decided to take advantage of the opportunity and take a short holiday in the most famous wine area of France. With the help of his recommendations and eagerness the young man got a chance to acquaint with the local wine production through the mighty Cruse wine family. Christian Cruse took Max under his wings and presented him with the secrets of wine production by means of the splendid vintage 1949.
Max Schubert returned to Australia and Penfolds favorably impressed and determined to produce an Australian red wine that would last for decades and would in quality be comparable to the famous Bordeaux wines.
The task was not easy since the classic Bordeaux was in France produced by mixing Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. In Australia those refined grapes did not exist, so Max had to settle for the local Shiraz which was usually used only in the production of the regional, fortified port wine. There were also no French oak casks at hand, but having managed to purchase some American ones Max Schubert decided to use them. In them he matured the first, experimental 1951 vintage of Grange for 18 months before bottling.
In 1959 came the time to introduce that first vintage of Grange into the market. To honor the occasion Penfolds arranged a tasting where authoritative local wine connoisseurs had the opportunity to taste all five first vintages (1951-1956). The event ended in disaster; no one liked the wine nor was willing to pay for it. The criticism was mordant and one of the best known and appreciated wine experts present came to congratulate Max sarcastically: “Schubert, I congratulate you. This is very good, dry port that nobody in his right mind will not buy, let alone drink."
Although public opinion did not differ much from that singular one, Max did not lose his courage and arranged several tastings with Grange around the country. Though the results were somewhat better, they were still quite depressing. The Penfolds management decided to shut down the rather costly production of Grange the next year. Luckily one of the owners still saw some possibilities with Grange and gave Max permission to continue the production in small scale, and in secret from the others.
After many years of silence in 1962 Penfolds took part in the grand wine show in Sydney with the 1955 Grange and won the gold medal. From that moment started the rewriting of Australian wine history.

Grange has won over 120 gold medals in wine shows, a fact that has made it the most awarded in the whole wine world, and in 1995 for example Wine Spectator chose it as the best wine of the world. A few years later in the same publication Grange 1955 was picked as one of the best wines of all time. Parker has stated that “Penfolds Grange takes opulence and decadence to the limits, and for that reason it has replaced Bordeaux´s Pétrus as the world´s most exotic and concentrated wine", so the triumphal march has but continued.

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Latest Pro-tasting notes

<10 tasting notes

Tasting note

color

Ruby red and Clear

ending

Long, Extensive and Flavorful

flavors

Blackberry, Blackcurrant, Blueberry, Licorice, Tar and Toasty

nose

Youthful, Complex and Opulent

taste

Average in Acidity, Medium tannin, Concentrated, Youthful, Full-bodied, Firm, Rich, Fresh and Dry

Written Notes

Protocol prevented me retasting this wine prior to its release date of 1 May '10, notwithstanding that no one will have read these words prior to the release of this book in late July '10. So this is my tasting note from the Rewards of Patience Tasting held in Sept '07. Colour little different to the '04; tighter, more compact than the '04, yet the fruit line is glossy and smooth, the tannins (and acidity) acting as the brake and giving tightness. These are a different pair, and it will be fascinating to watch their development.

  • 96p

A blend of 96% Shiraz and 4% Cabernet Sauvignon. From first whiff this is quintessential Grange. A little VA and then a cavalcade of very rich fruit and very sweet oak. This 2005 sits somewhere between caricature and classic I think, with the caramel American oak so dominant (still!) and everything else dialled up to 11. You get the feeling that the warm, ripe year fruit is going to struggle more and more to keep up in the future too. Still, you can’t hide the silky, coffeed pleasure. It’s a lovely cosseting, mouthfilling richness, a sensation that you really are drinking expensive red wine, all lavishness at every corner. In good shape at 12 years old, though on the cusp of secondary flavours. The length is absolutely notable; this is serious red wine, though more about fruit impact than tannins. Ultimately, this has a place and deserves acclaim based on length of flavour and hedonism alone (which is reflected in the score). But as a drink? I couldn’t finish a glass. Drink: 2017-2030. 18.5/20, 94/100. 14.5%, $700. Would I buy it?  No.

  • 94p

Deep ruby. Dark fruits, intense, ripe, rich, liquorice, blackberries, blueberries, spices, some cinnamon, black pepper, has a depth that is difficult to describe. Fresh acidity, ripe tannins, ripe, rich, intense, deep, blueberries, detailed and layered, juicy, spices, masses of fruits but freshness to follow up, beautiful. Long. 97

  • 97p
Deep purple crimson. Cranberry/ rhubarb/ herb garden aromas with plenty of nut meg/ malty seasoned new American oak. A very elemental wine with ripe cranberry/ blackberry pastille/ fruit sweet flavours, dense touch grippy tannins and plenty of malty new oak characters. Finishes long and sweet. Released in 2010. Will need time to unfold. 95.9% Shiraz 4.1% Cabernet Sauvignon Barossa Valley (including substantial proportion of Kalimna Shiraz), McLaren Vale and Coonawarra. A good even vintage. Regular rainfall fell through winter into early Spring establishing good soil moistures and dam levels. Mild conditions followed by a dry late summer and autumn lead to optimum fruit ripeness.
  • 90p
At once Grange - a tightly wrapped projection from the glass of dark-berried Barossa fruits coupled with a myriad of barrel ferment complexities. Thereafter, a burst of honey-cured jamon / pancetta aromatically thrust above, with a rich mix of generously basted roasted meats, peat & nutmeg anchored beneath.Upon sitting / air these characters descend, revealing beguiling elements of freshly turned volcanic earth and an innocent suggestion of old- growth forest floor underlay. The flavour pool primarily highlights Satsuma plum conserve alongside rhubarb / aniseed / fennel, with liqueur chocolate shyly awaiting mid-palate. Oak absorbed and hidden, not so the muscular tannins, power / extract. Nevertheless balanced, firm, polished. The first sip welcomes, the second sip asserts, the third... submission!
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Information

Origin

Magill, South Australia

Other wines from this producer

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Bin 407 Cabernet Sauvignon

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Bin 620

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Bin 90 A

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Cellar Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

Cellar Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz

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Cellar Reserve Pinot Noir

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g3

g4

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Penfolds RWT

QoN

Rawson's Retreat

Rawson's Retreat Bin 202 Riesling

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Rawson's Retreat Riesling

Rawson's Retreat Shiraz Cabernet

Reserve Bin 17A Chardonnay

Reserve Bin 5A

Reserve Bin A

Reserve Bin A Adelaide Hills Chardonnay

RWT Shiraz

Series One 50 Year Old Port

Special BIN 111A Shiraz

St Henri Shiraz

Thienot x Penfolds Blanc de Blancs Champagne

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