Grange in the 90s @ Mike J's

Wilton, CT
Tasted Sunday, July 19, 2009 by mdefreitas with 326 views

Introduction

Mike J, CJ, Howard C, Doug K, Jim B, Rick F, Victor H, Joe C, etc.

Flight 1 - STARTER WHITES (3 Notes)

Flight 2 - MYSTERY STARTER RED (1 Note)

Brought by Doug in honor of Joe Cz. This was The Wine Enthusiast "Wine of the Year" for 2008.

  • 2006 Failla Syrah Phoenix Ranch 92 Points

    USA, California, Napa Valley

    Very nice Syrah. Lots of dark cherry and plum fruit, tar, earth and minerality. Very much a cross between a Northern Rhone and a California Syrah. Beautiful intensity, but a bit more depth of fruit and length on the palate would have made this outrageously good.

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Flight 3 - GRANGE IN THE 90s (10 Notes)

All wines were acquired on release and professionally stored. Pristine bottles; fills were well into the neck. Wines were decanted off the sediment about 5 hours before the tasting; bottles were rinsed and wine poured back into the bottles.

  • 1990 Penfolds Grange 94 Points

    Australia, South Australia

    When first opened, this showed almost no nose; quite closed and tight. Good density on the palate. Very good fruit and mineral core. Nice old world attributes. Impressive and built for the long haul.

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  • 1991 Penfolds Grange 96 Points

    Australia, South Australia

    Faboulous wine and, for most people, the wine of the night. Interesting combination of fresh and dried fruit, along with complicating mineral and earth tones. Constantly evolving palate. Refined, with excellent energy and lift, for such a big wine.

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  • 1992 Penfolds Grange 91 Points

    Australia, South Australia

    Round and soft in the mouth. Still holding its fruit. Cassis, fruit cake, smoke. Somewhat short in the finish, but this is drinking quite nicely; very accessable.

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  • 1993 Penfolds Grange 90 Points

    Australia, South Australia

    Soft and advanced. Milk chocolate, dried cherries, brown sugar and prunes. Seems to lack the vigor I would expect, perhaps a bit oxidized? Still quite enjoyable.

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  • 1994 Penfolds Grange 97 Points

    Australia, South Australia

    It was a tough call between the 1991 and this wine, but for me, this was the wine of the night. This had all the power, structure and minerality of the 1991, but with perhaps a bit more flesh. It was really tough to shake this wine off, as it completely enveloped the palate. Power and elegance combined in a seamless way. Superb.

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  • 1995 Penfolds Grange

    Australia, South Australia

    When first opened, this showed nice, bright, spicy berries. Integrated oak and fine tannins. It later appears to take on a bit of mustiness, although better on the palate than the nose. Not sure if this was an off bottle; not rated.

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  • 1996 Penfolds Grange 92 Points

    Australia, South Australia

    Soft and round in the mouth, with chunky fruit and herbs on the palate. Nicely resolved structure. Another wine that is entering a very nice drinkability window.

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  • 1997 Penfolds Grange 90 Points

    Australia, South Australia

    When first opend, this displayed a lush, hedonistic, opulent profile. Drinking well, yet still holding a nice spine of tannins. With time, this appeared gain a bit of a "sweet" and slightly soft mouthfeel. Good, but not great.

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  • 1998 Penfolds Grange 94 Points

    Australia, South Australia

    Getting to the "young" wines. Either this is showing its burly youth or there is a change in winemaking style. This is so much more concentrated, with rich fruit compote and big doses of oak (which somehow is still balanced by the copious flesh of the fruit). Shows more of a black fruit profile than red, with hints of licorice and coffee. Impressive, but too young.

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  • 1999 Penfolds Grange 94 Points

    Australia, South Australia

    Like the 1998, this shows youthful vigor and stength. Bittersweet chocolate, cassis and blueberry. For all its size, this does not seem out of balance, just young. The rich texture and lively structure hints at a good future.

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Flight 4 - POST-TASTING (1 Note)

I think there was a 1998 E+E Black Pepper Shiraz poured as well?

  • 2001 Torbreck Descendant 90 Points

    Australia, South Australia, Barossa, Barossa Valley

    Consistent with my previous note; jammy and rich with violets, plums and vanilla. A bit "sweet", but extended decanting firmed it up slightly.

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Flight 5 - DESSERT (1 Note)

Served with a fruit tart.

  • 1996 Domaine des Baumard Quarts de Chaume 94 Points

    France, Loire Valley, Anjou-Saumur, Quarts de Chaume

    It's been about 10 years since I last tasted this. Not as intense and energetic as it was in its youth, but what this lost in intensity, it gained in complexity. Starting to show more evolved honey and dried fruit notes. Still showing great structure and concentration. This is probably in an adolescent stage; can't wait to try this in its adulthood... if I live that long.

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Closing

As expected, the overall quality level was quite high.

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