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|Community Tasting History|
Community Tasting Notes (average 185 notes) - and median of 96 pts. in hiding notes with no text
| ||Tasted by larker900 on 6/7/2015 & rated 98 points: Close to a perfect drinking wine. The integration with oak was superb, velvety finish, loads of wonderfully balanced fruit and alcohol. Seamless wine. We drank this with a '98 baby grange and a '98 basket press. Grange in a league of its own. Now I understand what all the fuss is about (1113 views)|
| ||Tasted by Shoebox on 5/4/2015 & rated 100 points: Bluey purple colour; complex multi layered nose.|
The tiniest sip completely fills the mouth. Velvety unctuous texture.
Blueberries definitely the strongest fruit note but very complex. Elegant.
Lasts on and on and on.
Utterly beautiful. The best wine I have ever tasted. (2108 views)
| ||Tasted by Yiannis on 4/16/2015 & rated 96 points: Penfolds Grange Wine Dinner at Botrini's (Botrini Restaurant, Athens, Greece): This is the third time I had this wine and it seemed to me somewhat tighter aromatically than when previously drank. Darker fruit and coffee with less botanical notes compared to the 1996 and 1997. Much more impressive on the palate than on the nose with an almost endless aftertaste. (3016 views)|
| ||Tasted by Stefanos T. on 4/16/2015 & rated 94 points: Penfolds Grange Wine Dinner at Botrini's (Botrini's Restaurant Athens): Second flight, wine no. 2.|
Sweet and velvety with typical Grange aromas
and a pronounced toffee/oak element.
A very good wine. (2295 views)
| ||Tasted by RayOB on 2/28/2015 & rated 97 points: A Matter of Taste: London Edition (Saatchi Gallery, Chelsea): The joys of tasting this again. Deep crimson. Nose of blackberry, liquorice, leather and spice. Rich mouth filling luscious palate. Yum Yum (3818 views)|
| ||Tasted by dharrison93 on 2/7/2015 & rated 97 points: Deep ruby approaching black in color, this tasting likely suffered by comparison to the brilliant 1986 Mouton Rothschild which preceded it. The nose was a complex mosaic of cherry, dates and plum, with a shadow of spice.|
Tasting confirmed this brilliant assembly of dynamics and left me pining for the next opportunity to open another bottle. Fantastic juice! (5750 views)
| ||Tasted by europat55 on 2/6/2015 & rated 93 points: Syrahs: Fairly dark color. Outstanding, somewhat sweet nose with a good concentration (A-). Gorgeous, very rich palate (A). Feels young with the best for this wine still to come.|
My #2, Group's #5 (80 pts). Tasted Blind. (4895 views)
| ||Tasted by RayOB on 1/22/2015 & rated 96 points: Drank in Hong Kong|
Complex nose of red fruit, mint, earth with hints of eucalyptus. Lovely stuff. (4877 views)
| ||Tasted by Uglypinga on 11/22/2014: A bit tight but with vigorous swirling some mushrooms, chocolate and raspberries come out to play. The palate is full of luscious berries, a hint of mint and a tannic finish. Young but delicious wine. I've had this a few times and always loved it but the 82 makes it just seem so young. (6777 views)|
| ||Tasted by Loren Sonkin on 11/21/2014 & rated 96 points: Penfolds Tasting with 5 vintages of Grange and a bunch more (Downtown Cleveland): Opened at 7 am, so it had about 14 hours to slow-ox. This is still a monster wine showing very young. I would hold off for another decade at least on opening another bottle. The nose has black raspberries, leather, bacon fat, black olives and cedar. Gorgeous texture. complex but it is huge and deep and tightly layered. it unwinds in the glass to show a beautiful wine. Concentrated, complex and delicious. Its best days are ahead though. (6006 views)|
| ||Tasted by robertek on 10/31/2014 & rated 95 points: Still a bit tightly knit and far from mature. Give it a very good decant if consumed now. Or wait Another 10+ years. (4545 views)|
| ||Tasted by Chainthroer on 10/25/2014 & rated 95 points: SAFW Reunion tasting. Blackberry, sweet cassis, black cherry,a slight hint of bacon fat, roasted meat, leather, spices, black pepper, vanillin oak. Big, intense and rich fruit. Tannins are somewhat resolved, but not totally so. Good structure. A long finish. (4809 views)|
| ||Tasted by Wine Canuck on 10/18/2014 & rated 93 points: A Nice Saturday Dinner in Oakville with Family Friends: This is still pretty early in it's development, pouring inky dark. The nose blasts eucalyptus, menthol, medium roast coffee, espresso, soil, blackberry, cassis and dark chocolate. The palate is creamy in texture with good acid and just slightly elevated alcohol. The finish is medium plus in length. It shows great potential with excellent complexity and balance. Could pick up a few more points as it ages. (2546 views)|
| ||Tasted by Ex-Ray on 9/25/2014 & rated 89 points: Tasted alongside an '01 Grange, which I liked better. This was dark and opaque. The nose was a bit musty but otherwise closed. Medium-full bodied flavor, but the fruit in the background and tannin too prominent. Dry tannic aftertaste. Fruit faded further over several hours. A nice wine, but not what I would have expected. I'll try another soon.|
Ric (4109 views)
| ||Tasted by jlgnml on 8/3/2014 & rated 98 points: Dinner at our house with 1998 Auusie Wines (Our home Northfield IL): Big, dark, concentrated nose, decanted 2 hours before serving, developed nicely over time in the glass, gained depth and strength. This was simply marvelous and a great contrast to the Hill of Grace. (4702 views)|
| ||Tasted by walkerjfw on 6/17/2014 & rated 95 points: With Paul and Stephanie on the patio with pizza - drank next to an 01 Greenock Creek Apricot Block, great comparison of two premiere Aussie wines.|
Dark garnet color. Decanted for about 30 minutes, drank over 2 hours. Its been several years since I have had this vintage, still very young. has the signture grange nose of oak/cedar black fruits. Dark fruits, blackberry compote, savory meats, cedar, cinnamon, mint. Long and layered finish.
Stylistically, this was acutally more refined than the Greenock, even as a "big" wine on its own. As noted, this is very young and will no doubt add complexity as it ages. Will be good for a couple decades from this point....really special wine (5266 views)
| ||Tasted by MC2 Wines on 4/26/2014 & rated 97 points: Birthday bash @ Bern's (Bern's Steakhouse (Tampa)): I should preface this by saying that a '98 Grange is one of my bucket wines and the expectations were pretty high. I'm happy to say this one really delivered. It's still a baby (funny that a 16 year old wine is, but that was clear). Drank over the course of a few hours and wish we'd thought to give it more time since it evolved quite a bit. An intense wine without being overpowering, it had all flavors. Deep dark black fruit, cinnamon, pepper, earth, meat.... This wine overshadowed everything else we had at dinner (either on the plate or in the glass). Just stunning. Can't wait to try ours, but given this experience will prob need to wait ten more years. (5378 views)|
| ||Tasted by WinoRick on 3/15/2014 & rated 94 points: Brought by my friend, Cork, enjoyed with osso bucco. This wine is big, packed with dark fruit, perfectly balanced and would blow away any other wines in a blind tasting. In fact, Grange will do that every time. Always a crowd pleaser. (5872 views)|
| ||Tasted by pjaines on 2/28/2014: Big, ripe and swamps the palate. This will need a lot of time - right now it is too primary and brutal. Lots of mint and black fruit - lacks nuance for me, but no doubt in about 20 years this will unfurl. (6023 views)|
| ||Tasted by Wine_lvr on 1/17/2014 & rated 95 points: "Best of the Best" Tasting (Switzerland): Tasted blind 0.75 bottle, decanted 4 hrs back into original bottle:|
Dark garnet in color. Nose of black currant, cooked mixed berries and black pepper. The wine has a nice length, smooth tannins and lots of sweetness (ripe/cooked berries). A true beauty to drink. Drink - 2030. (9914 views)
| ||Tasted by psmith on 11/15/2013 & rated 94 points: Dark fruits. Has rounded out considerably with time. Earthy blackberry and bramble notes. Full flavored but subdued structural elements. Youthful, but not young. Very nice. (17410 views)|
| ||Tasted by KVM on 10/9/2013 & rated 96 points: Grange tasting at Divino, Calgary; 10/8/2013-10/9/2013 (Divino Bistro, Calgary): Dark red, pink edge. Black fruit, smoke, charcoal, mint. Very concentrated black fruit, juicy, chalky minerality, oregano. Layered and exquisite. Sixty seconds+ finish. (21828 views)|
| ||Tasted by Papies on 10/7/2013 & rated 91 points: Fine Syrah/Shiraz wutg Michael Schuster (Bordeaux Index, London): We fail to understand the hype before this wine. We have tried a few vintages of these including the indestructible 78 and we fail to see the hype. Granted this is a baby still (again having trying the 78 and that was very young we dont know when this will ever come to maturity). Oaky, sweet feel attacks the nose and continues to dominate to the palate and to the finish. Light lactic feel. Full of ripe sweet fruit. We fail to understand this and cant see any elegance or complexity at all. 91 at best. (21386 views)|
| ||Tasted by Button Yang on 9/26/2013 & rated 96 points: Always good, never disappoints me. Fruit bomb with kneaded flower, eucalyptus, and a loooooooooot of licorice and black pepper. The finish is long. To drink or to keep another 30 years (21683 views)|
| ||Tasted by RussK on 9/22/2013 & rated 93 points: Pablo's WW tasting at Council Oak. One of my WOTN. Cedar and Old Bx nose, with a touch vanilla. Plenty of grit and sediment. A beatiful crossroads between old world and new. 93- (9901 views)|
| ||Only displaying the 25 most recent notes - click to see all notes for this wine...|
NOTE: Scores and reviews are the property of JancisRobinson.com and The World of Fine Wine and James Halliday Australian Wine Companion and Vinous and RJonWine.com. (manage subscription channels)
|By Richard Hemming|
(Penfolds, Grange South Australia Red) Subscribe to see review text.
|By Julia Harding, MW|
(Penfolds, Grange South Eastern Australia Red) Subscribe to see review text.
|The World of Fine Wine, December 2008, Issue #22|
(Bin 95 Grange Shiraz) Login and sign up and see review text.
|By Jancis Robinson, MW|
(Penfolds, Grange South Australia Red) Subscribe to see review text.
|By James Halliday|
James Halliday Australian Wine Companion (10/12/2003)
(Penfolds Grange) Subscribe to see review text.
|By Jancis Robinson, MW|
(Penfolds, Grange South Australia Red) Subscribe to see review text.
|By Jeremy Oliver|
Vinous, July/August 2003, IWC Issue #109
(Penfolds Wines Grange South Australia) Subscribe to see review text.
|By Richard Jennings|
(Penfolds Grange) Beautiful blackberry nose; seamless, blackberry, boysenberry ripple, vanilla and caramel palate; long finish 98 points
|By Richard Jennings|
(Penfolds Grange) Beautiful, pure, blackberry liqueur nose; wow, tasty, deep and layered blackberry palate with well integrated vanilla oak and big, sweet tannins; long finish 98 points
Penfolds Producer website
Producer Location - Barossa (Google Maps)
Australia's winemaking history of less than two hundred years is brief by European measures though, like Europe, punctuated by periods of extreme success and difficult times. From the earliest winemaking days Penfolds has figured prominently and few would argue the importance of Penfolds’ influence on Australia’s winemaking psyche.
Without the influence of Penfolds the modern Australian wine industry would look very different indeed. Sitting comfortably outside of fad and fashion, Penfolds has taken Australian wine to the world on a grand stage and forged a reputation for quality that is without peer.
Penfolds’ reputation for making wines of provenance and cellaring potential might suggest a mantle of tradition and formality is the preferred attire of a company with so much history to defend. But to label Penfolds as simply an established and conventional winemaker, would be to confuse tradition with consideration and to overlook the innovative spirit that has driven Penfolds since its foundation, and continues to find expression in modern times.
If there is anything traditional about Penfolds, it is the practice of constantly reviewing the wines it already does well, and continuously evolving and refining styles as vineyards mature and access to ever older and more varied vineyard sites improves.
Making The Best Possible Wine
At Penfolds, the role of the winemaker is to make the best possible wine within the constraints of each vintage. Penfolds’ house style emerged from a fortified-wine producing culture and evolved as a winemaking philosophy – a way of making wine – which has had a profound effect on the entire Australian wine industry.
The concept of multi-regional and vineyard blending, a feature of the Penfolds house style, is an amplification of the ‘all-round wine’. Without the constraints of a single vineyard, winemakers could choose the best possible fruit with the outstanding characteristics of each vineyard.
While American oak has played a central role in the development of Penfolds red wines, French oak has been increasingly used in the evolution of new wines – particularly RWT and Yattarna. Maturation in oak, which follows fermentation, is also key to the Penfolds house style.
The Penfolds approach to winemaking has percolated through the entire Australian wine industry over the last 50 years. The techniques employed in research and development of Penfolds wines are remarkable and many of the discoveries and innovations have had a lasting impact on winemaking thinking.
In Max Schubert, Don Ditter, John Duval and Peter Gago, Penfolds has nurtured four of Australia's great winemakers. They have passed the Chief Winemaker’s baton of responsibility for crafting some of Australia's most iconic wines, down through the past six decades.
Joining Peter Gago in the Penfolds winemaking team are Senior Red Winemaker Steve Lienert, Senior White Winemaker Kym Schroeter, and Red Winemakers Andrew Baldwin, Adam Clay, Stephanie Dutton and Matt Woo - also the Penfolds Fortified Winemaker. All members of the Penfolds winemaking team ensure that Penfolds’ reputation for outstanding quality is upheld.
Penfolds draws fruit from a combined vineyard area of 618 hectares in the Barossa region of South Australia. The Barossa is about 70 kilometres north of Adelaide and in 1911 Penfolds established a winery at Nuriootpa, completed in time for the 1913 vintage. The Barossa region is known for its relatively low rainfall with many vineyards dry grown on single wire trellising.
The historic and heritage-protected Magill Estate Vineyard was established in 1844 by Dr Christopher Rawson and Mary Penfold—just eight years after the foundation of Adelaide. It was originally known as the Grange Vineyard, named after their new homestead ‘The Grange’, a cottage which still stands intact amongst the vines.
Joseph Gilbert planted the first vines in the Eden Valley in 1842 and since that time the region has become synonymous with producing elegant riesling and complex shiraz. While its name suggests a concave nature, Eden Valley is actually a wide ridge, situated east of the Barossa Valley with an altitude ranging from 440 – 550 metres.
McLaren Vale is located approximately 40km to the south of Adelaide, with the vineyards in the region located between 6 and 15 kilometres from the Gulf of St Vincent. The elevation ranges from 50 to 350 metres above sea level. Penfolds has company owned vineyards throughout the region, using the fruit as blending components for premium red wines such as Grange and Bin 389.
Penfolds has had a long history with the Coonawarra region, dating back to their first vineyard purchase in 1960. It is one of the most famous red wine regions in Australia with weathered limestone terra rossa soils, relatively cool climate and overall water availability. Coonawarra has played a significant role in many of Penfolds' multi-regional wines as well as the single region wines such as Bin 128.
James Halliday Australian Wine Companion Winery Of The Year 2014: Penfolds
Penfolds is Australia’s foremost winemaker, with an unbroken line dating back to its establishment in 1844 when medical practitioner Dr Christopher Rawson Penfold and wife Mary purchased ‘the delightfully situated and truly valuable of Mackgill … Comprising 500 acres (202 hectares) of the choicest land’. Here they built the house that still stands today, and within a few years had begun the winery and cellar on the site of today’s buildings at Magill Estate.
Mary took charge of winemaking, initially producing grenache prescribed by her husband as a tonic for anaemic patients. By 1870 she, son-in-law Thomas Hyland and cellar manager/winemaker Joseph Gillard had formed Penfolds & Co. With markets in South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales, their wine production was over one-third of South Australia’s total.
Growth continued unabated, and in 1945 Penfolds acquired the jewel of the Magill Vineyard, at that time the largest vineyard in South Australia. It now has 2100 hectares of vineyards, the largest share of Australia’s total. Two men came together in the 1950s to lay the foundation of Penfolds today: winemaker Max Schubert, and research chemist Ray Beckwith (who died shortly after his 100th birthday in 2012); indeed, their contribution transcended Penfolds to the entire Australian wine industry.
The architecture for the Penfolds wine portfolio of the twenty-first century was established in the 1960s, half a century ago. There has been growth, both in the range of labels and their price points, but it has been cleverly – indeed sensitively – managed; demand-driven growth has been achieved without any quality compromise whatsoever.
There is no possibility that the pre-eminence of Penfolds will ever be challenged by any other Australian wine business. Equally certain is that the Penfolds brand value will continue to gain ground on the world stage of all consumable products. If proof be needed, the overall quality of the wines in this Wine Companion is the best Penfolds has ever presented to the markets of the globe.
Author: James Halliday Jul 2013
1998 Penfolds GrangeBin 95 Grange
Penfolds GrangeLangton's The Definitive Grange Guide (includes 2006 vintage)
The Rewards of Patience (7th Edition)
Vintage Label Shiraz Cabernet
2010 Bin 95 Grange 96% 4%
2009 Bin 95 Grange 98% 2%
2008 Bin 95 Grange 98% 2%
2007 Bin 95 Grange 98% 2%
2006 Bin 95 Grange 98% 2%
2005 Bin 95 Grange 96% 4%
2004 Bin 95 Grange 96% 4%
2003 Bin 95 Grange 97% 3%
2002 Bin 95 Grange 98.5% 1.5%
2001 Bin 95 Grange 99% 1%
2000 Bin 95 Grange 100%
1999 Bin 95 Grange 100%
1998 Bin 95 Grange 97% 3%
1997 Bin 95 Grange 96% 4%
1996 Bin 95 Grange 94% 6%
1995 Bin 95 Grange 94% 6%
1994 Bin 95 Grange 89% 11%
1993 Bin 95 Grange 86% 14%
1992 Bin 95 Grange 90% 10%
1991 Bin 95 Grange 95% 5%
1990 Bin 95 Grange 95% 5%
1989 Bin 95 Grange Hermitage 91% 9%
1988 Bin 95 Grange Hermitage 94% 6%
1987 Bin 95 Grange Hermitage 90% 10%
1986 Bin 95 Grange Hermitage 87% 13%
1985 Bin 95 Grange Hermitage 99% 1%
1984 Bin 95 Grange Hermitage 95% 5%
1983 Bin 95 Grange Hermitage 94% 6%
1982 Bin 95 Grange Hermitage 94% 6%
1981 Bin 95 Grange Hermitage 89% 11%
1980 Bin 95 Grange Hermitage 96% 4%
1979 Bin 95 Grange Hermitage 87% 13%
1978 Bin 95 Grange Hermitage 90% 10%
1977 Bin 95 Grange Hermitage 91% 9%
1976 Bin 95 Grange Hermitage 89% 11%
1975 Bin 95 Grange Hermitage 90% 10%
1974 Bin 95 Grange Hermitage 93% 7%
1973 Bin 95 Grange Hermitage 98% 2%
1972 Bin 95 Grange Hermitage 90% 10%
1971 Bin 95 Grange Hermitage 87% 13%
1970 Bin 95 Grange Hermitage 90% 10%
1969 Bin 95 Grange Hermitage 95% 5%
1969 Bin 826 Grange Hermitage
1968 Bin 95 Grange Hermitage 94% 6%
1968 Bin 826 Grange Hermitage
1967 Bin 95 Grange Hermitage 94% 6%
1967 Bin 74 Grange Hermitage
1966 Bin 95 Grange Hermitage 88% 12%
1966 Bin 72 Grange Hermitage
1966 Bin 71 Grange Hermitage
1965 Bin 95 Grange Hermitage 95% 5%
1965 Bin 71 Grange Hermitage
1965 Bin 70 Grange Hermitage
1965 Bin 69 Grange Hermitage
1964 Bin 95 Grange Hermitage 90% 10%
1964 Bin 68 Grange Hermitage
1964 Bin 67 Grange Hermitage
1964 Bin 66 Grange Hermitage
1964 Bin 395 Grange Hermitage
1963 Bin 95 Grange Hermitage 100%
1963 Bin 65 Grange Hermitage
1962 Bin 95 Grange Hermitage 87% 13%
1962 Bin 456 Grange Hermitage
1962 Bin 59A Grange Hermitage
1962 Bin 59 Grange Hermitage
1961 Bin 395 Grange Hermitage 88% 12%
1961 Bin 395 Grange Hermitage
1960 Bin 95 Grange Hermitage 92% 8%
1960 Bin 45 Grange Hermitage
1959 Bin 46 Grange Hermitage 90% 10%
1959 Bin 49 Grange Hermitage
1959 Bin 95 Grange Hermitage
1958 Bin 46 Grange Hermitage 94% 6%
1957 Bin 50 Grange Hermitage 88% 12%
1956 Bin 14 Grange Hermitage 96% 4%
1955 Bin 95 Grange Hermitage 90% 10%
1955 Bin 148A Grange Hermitage
1955 Bin 54 Grange Hermitage
1955 Bin 53 Grange Hermitage
1955 Bin 14 Grange Hermitage
1955 Bin 13 Grange Hermitage
1954 Bin 12 Grange Hermitage 98% 2%
1954 Bin 11 Grange Hermitage
1953 Bin 2 Grange Hermitage 87% 13%
1953 Bin 145 Grange Hermitage
1953 Bin 86C Grange Hermitage
1953 Bin 10 Grange Hermitage
1953 Bin 9 Grange Cabernet Sauvignon (Block 42) 100%
1952 Bin 4 Grange Hermitage 100%
1952 Bin 4A Grange Hermitage
1951 Bin 1 Grange Hermitage 100%
GrangePenfold's Rewards Of Patience
Australia Wine Australia (Australian Wine and Brandy Corporation) | Australian Wines (Wikipedia)
South Australia South Australian Wine Industry Association | South Australian Wines (Wikipedia)