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Professional Ratings: 97 Wine Spectator, 97 International Wine Cellar, 97 Australian Wine Companion, 96 The Wine Advocate, 95 Wine Enthusiast
Region: Barossa Valley, Australia
Other Info: Collectible Wines, Great Wine Gift
Alcohol By Volume: 14.5%
Item no. 56615
Grange is an icon, being both Australia's and Penfolds' flagship wine. Grange boasts an unbroken line of vintages from the experimental 1951 and clearly demonstrates the synergy between Shiraz and the soils and climate of South Australia
Penfolds Grange displays fully ripe, intensely flavoured and textured Shiraz grapes in combination with new American oak. The result is a unique Australian style that is now recognized as the most consistent of the world's great wines. The Grange style is the original and most powerful expression of Penfolds' multi-vineyard, multi-district blending philosphy.
A wine of surprising subtlety for the vintage, playing its ripe cherry, red plum and herb flavors against firm tannins that have a bit of grit to them. But those lively cherry and raspberry flavors burst through, and there's a nice hint of green herbs lingering around the finish, which doesn't subside easily.
Very deep red-ruby. Smoky, deeply concentrated fruit bomb of a nose: blackberry, dark plum, cassis; creamy vanilla and lightly toasty coconutty oak; and ethereal background notes of white pepper, smoked meats, musky spices, tar and licorice. Profoundly concentrated but velvety-smooth and seamless; impressively muscular and thickly coated with oak, and bound by drying, astringent tannins. Without question the most concentrated Grange of all time, utterly steeped in blackberry flavors; a real show pony. It's also the most alcoholic Grange ever made, and at a declared 14.5% does taste warm and spirity - the first Grange to do so. It also ventures to some degree into the realm of currant and prune. No doubt a brilliant wine, but only time will tell if, with its elevated alcohol and its superripe flavors, this 1998 version ranks with the very best Grange vintages.
Deep purple-red, it oozes blackberry, blackcurrant and licorice from every pore, the palate a sumptuously smooth velvet cushion of small black fruits. It will outlive anyone who can afford to buy it.
Very deep garnet in color, the 1998 Penfolds Grange has shut itself away into a closed stage at this time, offering a subdued core of blackberry preserves and blackcurrant cordial with nuances of smoked bacon, black olives, sandalwood and sweaty leather. The full bodied, taut, muscular palate is firmly structured with chewy tannins and enlivening acidity, finishing long and savory. Consider drinking it 2016 to 2030+.
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 big but soft tannins. We can’t wait to revisit it in 10–15 years, when the gems that are locked up tight now will sparkle.