Robert Parker 95+
The 2019 Grange is 97% Shiraz and 3% Cabernet Sauvignon. It’s the pinnacle of the Penfolds release (although if you ask me, the Chardonnays are my favorite part) and a wine that takes some understanding prior to scoring. The key to Grange is the old wines; it is a style of wine heavily fortified with oak (100% new, AP Johns American oak), tannin, fruit (multi-regional) and everything else. In the mouth it can be an almost impossible constellation of flavor and texture to wrap the mind around. But in time, yes, in time, this wine shows its capacity for grace and majesty. Ten years is too young to open a bottle. 20 years is about right. 30 and beyond, not a problem. It is a cellaring proposition of the highest order, but in youth it can feel impenetrable. So, this wine in front of me now has toasted coconut, dusted licorice, roasted meat, violets, burnt toffee, pastrami, coffee grounds, crushed ants/formic, roasted pecans … all of these dark and broody (and chunky) things. 2019 was a hot year and one marred by low yields due to some inclement weather during flowering. This has meant that, as a whole, the wines have felt big, dark and compressed. This is no exception. It’s a product of the year and the state from whence it has come and in the mold and style of Grange, typical. It will be even better. For now, ne touche pas. 14.5% alcohol sealed under natural cork.
Anticipated maturity: 2033-2059