99 Points Robert Parker
The 2012 Grange comes from just two sub-regions of South Australia this year: Barossa Valley (the majority) and McLaren Vale. This makes a lot of sense since 2012 was a cracking year in both of these areas, producing a number of extraordinary wines. As usual, this Grange contains a splash of Cabernet Sauvignon, just 2%. Very deep purple-black in color, it opens on the nose with complex earthy/meaty/savory notes, soon giving way to baked blackberries, plum preserves, hoisin and Chinese five spice with dabs of sandalwood, licorice, menthol and vanilla. The palate reveals a surprisingly open, rich, full-bodied expression exuding a powerhouse of velvet-lined decadence. Still, it characteristically possesses that rock-solid “Grange” backbone of firm tannins and great freshness expressed in a real lively lift to the finish. And the finish is epically long. There are some stylistic similarities here to the opulent, gregarious 2008 vintage, perhaps just lacking ever so slightly in the same exhilarating abandonment of winemaking protocols for the celebration of the fruit and sites. That said, this is unquestionably a stonking great Grange!
Source: Robert Parker (Robert Parker Wine Advocate) by Lisa Perrotti-Brown. October, 2016
98 Points Tyson Stelzer
Grange is Australia’s Grand Cru, First Growth and Prestige Cuvée all in one. Is it worth all the hype and yet another price rise? Too right it is. 2012 represents an iteration that unites brooding presence with an epic core of structure. The signature crushed ant and coal dust complexity that define Grange ride over a deep core of black plum and blackberry fruit heralded by a dark, vibrant purple hue. Dark chocolate American oak (18 months in 100% new oak, as always) declares its presence but quickly tucks in behind the fruit, to form a palate of impeccable polish and remarkable line and persistence, albeit without quite the structural polish of 2010. This year it’s a blend of 98% Barossa and McLaren Vale shiraz with 2% Barossa cabernet sauvignon. The Penfolds ‘Tribal Elders’ reportedly compare the 2012 Grange with the 1963, while Peter Gago says it channels the 2010, and rates both ahead of 2008, though admits it will take 20 years to know for certain. Drink 2027 - 2052.