|Wine||Penfolds Bin 95 “Grange”|
|Variety||Shiraz 98% Cabernet Sauvignon 2%|
|Region||Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale|
|Maturation||18 Months in New American Oak Hogsheads|
|Wine Maker||Peter Gago|
Wine lovers of the world, drop what you’re doing. It is time to sit up and look at what I have pulled out of the box. Yes. It is time to review the most Iconic wine in Australia. The Bin 95 Shiraz Cabernet Blend. We better know it as the “Grange.” Since Max Schubert brought this wine to us all the way back in 1951, Penfolds Grange has been the most Iconic wine in not only this country, but the world.
For those of you who have been following me since the beginning; you might recall, my first ever blog post was on this Iconic label. The 2010 Grange, which was critically well received and was the first time I had ever tried Grange, introduced me to the powerhouse and wine style that is encompassed under this label.
I could talk about the history of Grange for the next two hours, but that is not what I am here for tonight. I am here to tell you all about the greatly anticipated 2012 Vintage.
Colour: Deep dense dark ruby red. Almost like the colour of Guinness. When I did the tasting, I referred to the colour as “Black Beauty”
Aroma: (This could take a while.) From the time the wine left the decanter and was poured into my glass I knew I was in for a ride. This wine is a complex labyrinth of character. Aside from the usual theme of black fruit, there is just so much more to this wine than simple aromas alone. I was getting nuances of soy, salted caramel, liquorice, chocolate and mocha. Every time I went back to the glass there was something new I picked up. Charcoal, jarrah timber, charred game meat, barbecue marinade (paprika). Seriously, how long is a piece of string?
Palate: Full bodied (No surprises there), dark rich and plump full of flavour and impact. Unlike its 2010 Brother, this wine was quite more approachable now and wasn’t upset I rattled its cage. Tannin is still tight, but there is an elegance to this wine that I did not find in the 2010. I get liquorice, black berry and olive up front. But like the nose every time I returned for the next mouthful I got introduced to just as many characteristics as I did on the nose. Mocha, grounded coffee, charcoal all brought around from the oak. The wine takes on a “meaty” quality and I was starting to find that this wine tasted like the bottom of a roasting pan after cooking a lamb leg. Add in the deglazing agent which sweetens out these pan juices and that came out in this wine. The finish still displays a tight tannin and as we know Grange is made to last. (No exceptions here), but there is an underlying sweetness that plays along throughout this wine best way to describe it as a barbecue soy and honey glaze combined with spices, the kind you put over pork ribs. This wine displays all these elements. I spent 40 minutes with this wine. However, I feel that if I spent longer with this wine there would have been other things I would have picked out of the palate too. It is nothing short of phenomenal. The Length of this wine just goes on and on and on…
Personal Thoughts: I think the main body of my review has covered it. This is what wine is all about. I think I can personally say this is by far one of the greatest wines I have ever come across in my life. And I don’t think it would come at a stretch to say, that this could even be possibly the best wine that Australia has ever produced. It is a perfect example of Australian terroir from the brilliant 2012 Vintage. I was surprised to see only a small percentage of this wine was Cabernet Sauvignon, but somehow, this wine displays so many characters and complexity, that the balance of the 2 varieties is spot-on perfect. I could ramble on for ages about this wine, but rather than do that, I suggest you get out and try what is possibly one of the country’s best wines ever made.
Drink: 2021 – 2056
The SA Wine Guy