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Every May, the wine world goes into a frenzy when the new Penfolds Grange and other luxury Penfolds cuvees are released. With the Penfolds Grange 2008 there was more excitement than usual due to the 100 point score bestowed by Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate. Whether or not your a fan of Parker's publication there's no doubt that a glowing Wine Advocate review "moves markets". Add to that the reported extra marketing and allocation to the Asian region - plus there's a lucky "8" in the vintage year - and it's no wonder this wine was snapped up in record time upon release.
THE latest vintage of Penfold's Grange has been given a perfect score from influential US wine magazine Wine Advocate, the first Grange to achieve this in almost 40 years.
THE latest vintage of Penfold's Grange has been given a perfect score from influential US wine magazine Wine Advocate, the first Grange to achieve this in almost 40 years. The accolade will further fuel demand for the 2008 Grange when it is released on May 2, despite the $685 a bottle recommended retail price - an increase of almost 10 per cent from last year's release. Wine Advocate editor Lisa Perrotti-Brown described the wine as having "a very complex nose packed with aromas of mulberries, layers of baking spices, cloves and cinnamon with nuances of minced meat, anise, potpourri and whiffs of dried mint and chocolate". "This is clearly a wonderfully opulent and a magic vintage for this label," she said, adding that it should be cellared for at least five and as many as 22 years. Penfolds chief winemaker Peter Gago described the wine as "somewhat intimidating", and one to rival the landmark vintages of 1976 - the last Grange to be awarded 100 points - as well as the 1990. It was the 1990 vintage that made Grange an international icon after Wine Advocate founder and then editor Robert Parker described it as the greatest red in the world - although he awarded it only 94 points. Mr Gago said the 100-point score was an enormous accolade for Australian winemaking, demonstrating that our wines were equal to the best in the world. "Other wines that get scores like this are tiny in production, they're almost impossible to find, but we make 7000 to 9000 cases of Grange; it's really a commercial wine," he said. Gago said in terms of wine ratings "it really doesn't come any better than such a score in The Wine Advocate”. “It's a bit like the Academy Awards or the BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) awards.” Demand for Grange and other luxury Penfolds wines, including Bin 707 cabernet sauvignon, has risen sharply with the growth of Chinese wine consumption and a particular taste for the finest tipples.
by: Trevor Chappell
March 05, 2013 2:43PM
IS the 2008 Penfolds Grange shiraz the perfect wine? After the wine scored an unsurpassable 100 points in a review last week in one of the world's most influential wine journals, The Wine Advocate in the US, one might say yes. But Penfolds chief winemaker Peter Gago says no. "The subjective nature of scoring and accolades is exactly that," Mr Gago said on Tuesday. "But in terms of ratings in the world of wine it really doesn't come any better than such a score (100) in The Wine Advocate. "It's a bit like the Academy Awards or the BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) awards." The last time a bottle of Grange scored 100 points in The Wine Advocate was in 1981, when the 1976 vintage was released. Mr Gago said there had been wines over the years from Australia and overseas that had scored 100 in The Wine Advocate, but such a score was rare, especially recently. "If critics give high scores willy-nilly, they lose their credibility," he said. Wine enthusiasts around the world would take note of The Wine Advocate's score for the 2008 Grange. Mr Gago had received congratulations from people in Canada, Japan the United Kingdom and elsewhere within an hour of the review in The Wine Advocate being published. The latest vintage of Grange will be released to the public in May, selling at around $685 per bottle. But an "Imperial", the equivalent of eight bottles and one of only six Imperials to be released, will be auctioned at the Barossa Valley Vintage Festival in April. Mr Gago said the 2008 Grange shiraz was created mostly from grapes picked from low-yielding old vines in the Barossa Valley, ahead of a heatwave that hit South Australia in early March 2008. The 1976 vintage of Grange can still be bought at auction for around $1,000 a bottle. Mr Gago said the 1976 vintage had improved with age. A great test for highly-scored wines was to have them re-assessed decades after their release. "Wines are living things," Mr Gago said.
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