As a true believer of the remedial qualities of wine, Dr. Christopher Rawson Penfold, an English physician, founded Penfolds in 1844 after immigrating to Australia. Early accounts state that it was Penfold’s wife, Mary, who was responsible for the management and early winemaking duties of the estate. In recent times, winemakers Max Schubert, John Ditter, John Duval and Peter Gago have helped to elevate the status of this winery. Today, Penfolds’s Grange has become one of the industry’s most highly regarded wines, according to our Penfolds Reviews. Aside from the Grange bottling, Penfolds produces multiple other luxury cuvées, including Bin 707Cabernet Sauvignon, St. Henri Shiraz and the RWT Shiraz. Bottlings from the Koonunga Hill line provide value-driven expressions of Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Shiraz as well as several red blends.
This is incredibly dark, concentrated stuff from what may be the oldest (planted in 1886) continuously producing Cabernet vineyard in the world. Minty, herbal notes combine with chocolate and cassis to yield a complex, balanced whole. Despite the density of the fruit, there’s absolutely no sense of heaviness or excessive weight, and while the tannins appear creamy…
A throwback to the monster Shiraz style of old, with loads of toasty, vanilla-laden oak, meaty nuances and driving, intense boysenberry fruit, the 2004 Grange should prove tremendously long-lived. Its massive concentration and firm tannins suggest cellaring through 2020, after which it should drink well for at least another decade or two.
There are approximately 1,000 cases of this wine, which blends 56% Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon with 44% Barossa Shiraz into a stunning combination of cassis and blackberries. Lifted bits of flowers on the nose resemble fine teas and dried herbs, adding the requisite complexity, while the mouthfeel artfully balances the weight of Shiraz with the structure of…
As unevolved as they are, the dense and multilayered aromas and flavors are truly impressive here. Black currant, herb, tea, oak, vanilla, maple, anise, blueberries and more--it could be an excercise in overkill, if all the parts weren't in such fine harmony. Really big, but with excellent balance, this reveals much less now than the RWT. It is everything a…
This wine, Australia’s most famous, is literally black. Aroma of sweet charred American oak dominates, with associated vanilla. Underneath is pepper, tobacco, spice and blackberry; complex and beautiful. Tremendous extract, marvelously thick like fruit purée, enormous and bone dry. The finish lasts forever. A huge, effusive wine that needs 15 years to settle down…
The bulk of this year’s Grange (77.5%) is from Barossa, with the remainder coming from McLaren Vale. It starts off with scents of maple syrup and lightly caramelized blackberries, plums and a hint of mocha, while on the palate it turns rich and creamy in texture with the bold fruit underscored by vanilla. There’s plenty of power here, but it’s restrained and tight…
Thought to be a blend of Shiraz, Grenache and Mourvèdre, although some of the older components could conceivably contain traces of other varieties. The average age of the components is 40 or 45 years, and the wine’s color reflects that age, being amber at the center and fading to a greenish tinge at the rim. Toffee and coffee notes permeate the wine, which boasts…
Though the nose on this wine is still somewhat closed, it’s still remarkable. Individual notes (apart from eucalyptus and toast) aren’t discernible; instead, it’s an intense, penetrating sensation that fills the nose. Vanilla and coffee flavors are sumptuous foils to rich blackberries on the palate, which is muscular and plush as all get-out. Finishes long, with…