Ranked #1 of 187 2011 Shiraz from South Australia
Deep, rich red colour with purple tints. The bouquet starts off very oaky, and with a lot of swirling becomes richly mocha-like, peppery and dark chocolaty. Lindt dark chocolate with raspberries, to be precise. The wine is dense and fleshy in the mouth, with plenty of extract. It seems a shade lighter in body than usual, but still powerful. It's nicely balanced and smoothly-textured. The richness, density and harmony are very good indeed. Not a great Grange but superb, and surprisingly so for the disastrously wet year. And it can be enjoyed already. (Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale & Magill. No cabernet this year; it's 100% shiraz)
Drink: 2018 to 2038
93 Points Robert Parker
2011 was of course a difficult, uncharacteristically rainy vintage in South Australia and particularly Barossa, but thanks to Penfolds’ privileged position with access to some of the region’s best fruit, they have nonetheless been able to blend an impressive Grange. Still sourced mainly from Barossa Valley, there’s a good dollop of McLaren Vale fruit (21%) – a region less affected by the rains in 2011 - contributing to this vintage. Interestingly, it is the 6th vintage ever to consist of 100% Shiraz, mainly because the Cabernet Sauvignon didn't make the grade this year. (Note that no Bin 707 Cabernet Sauvignon was produced in 2011.) Deep purple colored, in typical fashion the nose of the 2011 Grange is still closed at this youthful stage with broody tar and pepper laced notes over a core of blackberries, black plums, licorice and loam. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is taut and muscular with pepper and baking spice flavors supported by firm, grainy tannins. The finish has great length, contributing a refreshing lift.
Source: Robert Parker (Robert Parker Wine Advocate) by Lisa Perrotti-Brown. September, 2015
93 Points James Halliday
From the Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale and Magill Estate; 17 months in 100% new American hogsheads. It is balanced, supple and pretty, against all odds at peace with its oak. But Penfolds' suggested drinking span of 2018-2045? Not in my book. Drink to 2026.
Source: James Halliday.
95 Points Tyson Stelzer
Grange is made every year, in spite of the season, and while the price went up for the great vintage of 2008, it''s not coming down for the lesser 2011. This is the sixth Grange in as many decades to be 100% shiraz, and the focus is on warmer regions in this cool, wet season, with a core of Barossa (though only 75%, less than the 85% of 2009 and 2010) and the balance made up of McLaren Vale and a little Magill. Production is around half of the usual Grange volume of 8,000-10,000 cases. True to the vintage, this is a savoury Grange with a tangy acid profile, though it upholds an impressively full purple hue. Toasty oak is prominent (17 months in 100% new American oak hogsheads, as always, though it doesn''t call for so much new oak this year). Its black fruit depth is admirable, layered with dark berry fruits and liquorice and a classic Grange hint of coal steam and crushed ants. Length is impressive and tannins are firm and fine. This is unmistakably Grange, albeit against the backdrop of a lesser season, and one to drink before 2008, 2009 and 2010. It may be the least Grange since 2003, but it''s undeniably an admirable result for 2011. 15 October 2015 release. Drink 2021 - 2031.
Source: Tyson Stelzer.