Tag: Penfolds Grange

Sep 09 2015

1971 Penfolds Grange named best wine of the 1970s

Posted on September 09, 2015 | By merrill@cellarit.com

Have you noticed how many of the things we used to hate about the 1970s are making a comeback? Flared jeans, checked shirts and bright orange kitchens (yes, we had one of those!) no longer seem uncool!

And if you thought people only drank cheap cask wine back in the 1970s, a recent international competition has reminded everyone that some very fine wines of exceptional longevity were also made back then!

European luxury magazine publisher FINE and website tastingbook.com assembled wine judges from nine different countries to blind taste the top drops of the 1970s. As one would expect, French wines dominated, taking out eight of the top 10 positions. But the Penfolds Grange 1971 (98.5 points) snagged the top spot and three other Grange vintages from the 1970s made it into the top 40: the 1976 Grange came 14th (96.5 points), the 1972 Grange 25th (95.5 points) and the 1970 Grange came 36th (94.5 points)

Some of the greatest vintages for Bordeaux and Champagne were in the ’70s, so the fact that the 1971 Grange just beat the 1975 Chateau d’ Y’quem from Sauternes (98 points) is perhaps even more remarkable. The Guigal Côtes Rotie La Mouline 1976 came in third with a score of 97.5 points.

The late Max Schubert, the architect of Grange, confidently predicted that the 1971 vintage would prove to be his greatest. “If you had to point to a wine which fulfilled the ambitions of Grange it would have to be the 1971,” Schubert remarked in 1993, just months before he passed away.

This most recent competition is not the first time that top accolades have been awarded to the 1971 vintage. The AFR’s Mark Hawthorne reminded readers that “in 1979 Penfolds caused a sensation in France when the upstart Australian winery topped the Gault-Millau Wine Olympiad in Paris. It beat some of the best Rhone wines ever made.” (Penfolds Grange tops global challenge to find greatest wine of the 1970s by Mark Hawthorne, AFR Weekend,.. [Read More]

Aug 08 2015

Long Live Penfolds Bin 389: Notes from a Vertical Tasting

Posted on August 08, 2015 | By merrill@cellarit.com

Penfolds Bin 389 is sometimes referred to as ‘Baby Grange’ or ‘Poor Man’s Grange’. Like the iconic Penfolds Grange, Bin 389 shares the same legendary creator, Max Schubert, who first produced the wine in 1960, nine years after unveiling his experimental 1951 Grange.

In fact, a significant portion of the wine that goes into the Bin 389 is aged in the same American oak hogsheads used for the previous vintage of Grange. Twenty to 30 percent of the wine sees new oak treatment.

The fruit for both wines is sourced from different vineyards and regions –.. [Read More]

Feb 02 2015

The delights of drinking aged Penfolds Grange

Posted on February 02, 2015 | By merrill@cellarit.com

Over the past couple of months I’ve had the good fortune to try two bottles of aged Penfolds Grange, the 2003 and the 1982. Both were opened (as they should be!) to celebrate two very special occasions – first a memorable birthday and then a farewell retirement party for our warehouseman Joe.

The 2003 had an absolutely beguiling bouquet. Cedar, Asian spices, and an assortment of dark berries – the fruit was so fresh!

If I find the aroma of a wine really enticing,.. [Read More]

May 05 2014

Penfolds Grange 2009: Reviews are Impressive!

Posted on May 05, 2014 | By merrill@cellarit.com

Today the Penfolds Grange 2009 was officially released to the public. Most of the reviews have already been written and after last year’s fanfare over the 2008, response to 2009 has been pretty muted. You may recall that the 2008 Grange garnered a 100 point review from the Wine Advocate’s Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, precipitating a controversial, hefty price hike! (Penfolds Grange 2008 and the 100 point review, Cellarit Wine Blog, 2 June 2013)

Not that reviews for the 2009 aren’t generally impressive. Perrotti-Brown scored the 2009 97 points:

The 2009 Grange Shiraz is a comprised of 84% Barossa,.. [Read More]

Jun 06 2013

Penfolds Grange 2008 and the 100 point review!

Posted on June 06, 2013 | By merrill@cellarit.com

The 2008 vintage of the iconic Penfolds Grange was anticipated with great excitement by the media and public alike. 2008 was hailed as an exceptional vintage, especially in the Barossa where 89 percent of the grapes for the 2008 Grange were sourced. But few expected the frenzy created by the 100 point review by Lisa Perrotti-Brown of Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate.

Penfolds first launched the 2008 Grange to trade and media in early March with a hefty price tag of $685, but after the Wine Advocate’s review was published in April demand for the wine soared… [Read More]

Jun 06 2012

Are Australia’s Top Cabernets Undervalued?

Posted on June 06, 2012 | By merrill@cellarit.com

In its promotional material for its Bin 707, Penfolds states that “Bin 707 is Penfolds’ Cabernet Sauvignon version of Grange: ripe, intensely-flavoured fruit; completing fermentation and maturation in new oak; fully expressing a Penfolds understanding of multi-vineyard, multi-region fruit sourcing.”

No-one can doubt the pedigree of Bin 707 or its status as one of the Australia’s benchmark wines. It is up there with Grange in the pantheon of Australia’s 17 most exceptional wines, as ranked by the Langton’s Classification of Australian Wine V –.. [Read More]

Apr 04 2012

Penfolds St. Henri Shiraz: A Wine that Rewards Cellaring!

Posted on April 04, 2012 | By merrill@cellarit.com

After tasting 19 vintages of Penfolds St. Henri Shiraz with Chief Winemaker Peter Gago, the Wine Spectator’s Harvey Steiman remarked, “The sneaky little secret that so many savvy Australian wine collectors know is that, yes, St. Henri can age as long as Grange does.” (Penfolds St. Henri Shiraz: Old School by Harvey Steiman, Wine Spectator, 12 May 2008)

Well, I certainly hope that you are one of the savvy ones. At around $75 on release St. Henri is a real bargain compared to its fabled sibling Grange!.. [Read More]

Jul 07 2011

Wine of the Week: Henschke Hill of Grace 2006

Posted on July 07, 2011 | By merrill@cellarit.com

If any wine could potentially knock Penfolds Grange off its mantle as Australia’s most iconic wine, it would undoubtedly be the Henschke Hill of Grace Shiraz. These two wines share the stage as Australia’s preeminent expressions of shiraz. Together they perennially deliver almost unbeatable quality, and command equally impressive prices upon release.

But whereas Grange is a multi-regional blend sourced from Penfolds very best vineyards, the Eden Valley Henschke Hill of Grace comes from a single, eight hectare vineyard that was planted in the 1860s with pre-phylloxera material brought from Europe by the early settlers… [Read More]

Jul 07 2011

Aussie Wine Icons: Clarendon Hills Astralis Syrah

Posted on July 07, 2011 | By merrill@cellarit.com

You don’t usually hear “big” and “graceful” in the same sentence when reading a review of a McLaren Vale shiraz, but here’s the Wine Spectator’s opinion of the 2006 Clarendon Hills Astralis Syrah:

A big wine, but amazingly supple, graceful and pure, offering cascades of wild blueberry, black cherry and plum fruit that play against spices such as cardamom, clove and black pepper. It’s all seamlessly integrated with fine tannins and enough creamy oak to complete the picture. Syrah. Drink now through 2020. (Harvey Steiman, The Wine Spectator,.. [Read More]

Nov 11 2010

Terroir: What does it mean and how is best expressed?

Posted on November 11, 2010 | By merrill@cellarit.com

On Wednesday, The Sydney Morning Herald/Age inaugural Good Wine Guide’s Winery of the Year was awarded to Henschke, the South Australian winery internationally renowned for its single vineyard Hill of Grace Shiraz. Henschke first produced Hill of Grace in 1958, and the wine is one of Australia’s earliest examples of a single-vineyard wine. Today Hill of Grace has distinguished company in the single-vineyard category. Two thirds of the 94 wines in the Good Food Wine Guide’s highest “three glass”  category are single-vineyard wines. (Singled out for greatness by Helen Pitt,.. [Read More]