97 Points Robert Parker
The 1981 stood out as slightly superior. Winemaker John Duval always felt this was a tannic style of Grange, but the wine has shed its tannins, and this is one of the few vintages where the percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon was above 10%. Sweet notes of creme de cassis, cedarwood, charcoal, and barbecue spices are followed by a full-bodied, opulent wine displaying heady amounts of alcohol, glycerin, and density in its full-bodied, skyscraper-like texture. I was drinking this wine with great pleasure in the mid-nineties, yet here it is nearly 15 years later, and the wine does not appear to have budged much from its evolutionary state. This is a testament to how remarkably well these wines hold up, and age at such a glacial pace.
Source: Robert Parker (Robert Parker Wine Advocate) by Robert M. Parker, Jr. June, 2009
Winemaker John Duval called the 1981 a "big, tannic Grange." It is just that, a very powerful, inky, purple-colored wine that is still almost primary and unevolved in its surprising youthfulness. This formidably endowed, broodingly backward, thick, full-bodied, muscular wine has a boatload of chocolate-infused plum, caramel, and cassis flavors. With high tannin, huge grip, and some propensity toward austerity, this is a monster Grange that may not totally assimilate the high levels of tannin, but there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic about its future. Anticipated maturity: 2005-2025.
eRobertParker.com # E2002 Feb 2002