Tag: Penfolds Grange 1976

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. Subsequently, Penfolds took the controversial step of raising the price by another $100 to $785.

So why all the fuss?

Certainly, the highly respected Sydney Morning Herald Wine Critic Huon Hooke wasn’t overly impressed with the 100 point score, calling it absurd and wondering how a wine that takes at least 15 to 20 years to fully mature could be perfect now:

I say absurd, because I don’t believe in ‘perfect’ wines, or perfect scores; I have never rated any wine 100 points myself, and I simply ask what score these reviewers would give the wine when it’s fully mature and singing at its best – in about 15 to 20 years. It will be a far better wine then. It’s too young to drink now, and while it looks to have the potential to rank alongside the greatest Granges, it’s very difficult to say at this early stage just how good it will eventually be. (So how good is the latest Grange, Huon Hooke, Corkscore News, 7 May 2013)

Good point! But with respect to the Wine Advocate’s history of reviewing Penfolds Grange, the 100 point score is in fact a rarity. The first and only vintage to be rated as highly as … Read the rest

Jul 07 2012

The 20 Australian Wines with a Perfect 100 point Robert Parker score

Posted on July 07, 2012 | By merrill@cellarit.com

After writing my last post, Can you guess how many wines have received a 100 ‘Parker Points’, I was thinking a lot about the usefulness of wine scores.

I came across a really interesting quote from Decanter critic Andrew Jefford about how “the language of wine is, of necessity, highly metaphorical and hence puzzling: these are not plain words.” He was speaking to the Wine Communicators of Australia, and he urged his audience to “not just think about wine with passionate intensity, but about language too.” (Wine and Astonishment by Andrew Jefford, andrewjefford.com, May 2012)

As an ex-smoker from way back, I can still remember the delicious smell of tobacco – a descriptor often used to describe an element of the bouquet of some mature reds – but I wonder whether young people today are still familiar with it? Ditto for eucalypt, which is used to describe a distinct aroma of some Australian cabernet sauvignon. I’ve seen American wine writers replace menthol for eucalypt, which makes sense because the vast majority of Americans have probably never seen, let alone experienced the smell of a eucalypt forest.

No wonder wine scores are so useful!  While most of us can differentiate over 1,000 aromas, not everyone has the same vocabulary or library of smells to draw on. Wine scores help us to cut-through the jargon. 90 points typically indicates that a wine is very good but 100 points signifies that it must be exceptional. And since wine is very much a sensuous experience, we can feel confident that imbibing a 100 point wine will in all likelihood be quite a remarkable and memorable experience. Perhaps you’ve been lucky enough to try one of the 100 ‘Parker Point’ wines listed below:

Read the rest