1998 Penfolds Grange

Community Tasting Notes

Community Tasting Notes (160) Avg Score: 95.4 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

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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

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  • 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!

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  • 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.

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  • Drank in Hong Kong
    Complex nose of red fruit, mint, earth with hints of eucalyptus. Lovely stuff.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • Still a bit tightly knit and far from mature. Give it a very good decant if consumed now. Or wait Another 10+ years.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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

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  • 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.

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  • 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

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • "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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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

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  • A small gathering at Mark's duck house - Grange, A shot in the dark, Rousseau, Yquem and more. (Marks duck house, Falls Church, Va): This is a big scale, extremely ripe wine. I get a bit of molasses in the nose and palate, ie extremely ripe expression of shiraz. Dry black fruits, blackberry jam, maple syrup, coffee, bitter chocolate, coconut, vanilla, mint and eucalyptus. With air, mint/eucalyptus notes become more intense. Exceptional concentration, a bit of molasses in the palate as well. Despite the extreme ripeness, the wine displays remarkable balance without being heavy and cloying. It’s ability to handle the extreme ripe fruit reminds me a SQN or Saxum. The coconut aspect and ripe note are also like a Unico. Although I appreciate the quality, my appreciation for extremely ripe wine lessens as I get older.

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  • 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-

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  • Perfect bottle. Top fill/A-stand.

    Dark and compact. Young.

    Sweet scent. Blueberries, blackberries, black pepper, american oak.
    After 8 h the wine offers salmiak/liqourice .

    Sweet, lots of tannins, nice balance ... but the wine is a bit shut down.
    Long taste, + 40 sec.
    The wine evolves well over 52 h.
    The day after the wine shows more of salmiak and liqourice even on the palate.

    This wine is a masterpiece, but it is a bit shut down at the moment and I will not touch this wine again until 2017/2018.
    I'm sure this wine will live for another 40 years ... at least.
    Today this wine perform 95 - 96 points.

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  • Wonderful.

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  • Delicious!

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  • 1998 Aussie Showdown dinner (Jade Palace Restaurant): Decanted before dinner for almost 2 hours and served as 6th wine. This flight is tasted blind (along with Hill of Grace and Tahbilk 1860).
    Darkest colour of tonight, black and opaque with purple-crimson hue, still very youthful and can't believe this is 15 years old.
    It is still tight when poured into the glass, so I let it continue to develop. Lots of black and dark dark fruit on the nose, with blackberry, blueberry and chocolate.
    Big and masculine on palate and yet balance with adequate structure. The oak influence is still quite prominent, suggesting that the wines is good now but will continue to improve and integrate better. Long and strong finishing with ripe and chewy tannins.
    Amazing wine making skill, still backward and has years to come. I really admire Max Schubert, for created Grange with secret recipe (fruits often sourced from multi-region) as oppose to other top Shiraz produced from single vineyard like Hill of Grace, Chris Ringland and Astralis.

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  • Decanted for 4 hours.
    Wonderfully integrated aromas around black berry fruit with truffle, smokey chocolate and earthiness.
    Flavour follows nose with wonderful depth of concentration but absolutely not heavy but with an exquisite race and "breed" and all the elements fully integrated.
    Extended length. Superior to most French equivalents. Drink over next dozen years or so on this showing.

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  • Dark garnet, still completely opaque. Very pronounced, complex nose of sweet American oak with musty-earthy aromas of syrah, some mocha. Mouth-coating, with similar sweet oak and syrah flavors, slightly hot on the palate and aftertaste. Very full-bodied but not cloying; nice acidity, with moderate tannin but in the background to the fruit. Some typical black raspberry notes throughout. This is an outstanding Grange which is at the early part of its plateau, and should continue and possibly improve over the next 5-15 years.
    Ric

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  • A huge wine with so much more to give.
    Wait at least 5yrs before trying again.

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  • Still young! Surprisingly dusty and spicy, with undercurrents of berries. Another 10 years in the bottle should be just about perfect.

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  • - Brick color with fast forming legs. It's balanced with a full body. Polished texture with a long finish - Drank 5/10/13 with broiled lamb chops and greens. Nice pairing. Wine was opened about an hour before enjoying and was fine. Very rich, smooth and lasting flavor.

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  • Château Margaux Tasting; 4/19/2013-4/20/2013 (Eltville, Germany): Another spectacular bottle, it even felt younger than the previous one. Nose of cassis, palate of dark fruit, minerals, tobacco, pencil shavings, wood.

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  • The Usual Suspects...a new tradition; 3/22/2013-3/24/2013 (Lucerne Inn): Color: Ruby with opaque core
    Smell: Feminine, delicate, lavendar, dark fruits, minerals,
    Taste: Bright red fruits, blue, black, tobacco, earth,
    Overall: Outstanding!! Medium-full bodied, med+ acidity, moderate tannin, medium+ fruit, and a 30+ second finish. Of all of hte granges that were in this flight this was clearly the best and the most delicate of the group. Tasted immediately after opening the bottle. When this wine was revisited later it was much more full bodied, more oak and fruit dominant, and the feminine beauty that was initially there was gone.

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  • Massive, packed and stacked with multiple layers of ripe fruit. The wine is filled with fresh blackberries, smoke and spice. This is a beefy, masculine, powerful, tannic wine that demands time. While the quality of the wine is there, and it's clearly well made, for my own palate, it is more about sheer power than finesse.

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  • Humongous wine. Full bodied complex intense black fruit. Long finish. Drinking well now but will get better with more aging and it's got the stuffing to last another 10 years. Best Shiraz I've ever had. 97pts

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  • nose - spicey, cinnamon, clove
    mouth - very well balanced, lively corucopia of fruits with nice structural tanins. Still young. When i came back to it with time it appeared even more generous in fruit but in a very harmonious sense. I'd suggest holding this for a few more years still. Universally liked by all tasters

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  • As good as it gets

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  • Just starting to grow up. Gorgeous wine, but still fairly primary. Can drink now, but it is just starting to get interesting. Would love another crack in a decade. Thanks, John!

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  • Still young. Nose alone gets you to 90 points. Kept evolving and expanding through the evening. Not a sappy aussie fruit bomb. Truly world class.

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  • This was a spectacular bottle of Grange. Huge and unctuous with spices, pepper, cassis, pencil shavings, cedar, vanilla.

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  • From the sweet and spicy nose that married black pepper and sweet tart notes to the powerful tannins and black fruit layers, there was loads going on in this wine. It followed a 1998 St. Hallett Old Block Shiraz in our tasting, and pretty much turned the dial up to 11 (but not ungracefully). Though this was a remarkably rich, powerful wine it carried itself with an Ali-like precision and grace that belied it's size and power. The wine was still very youthful, with big tannins, but there was so much concentration in the blackberry and black raspberry fruit that it all melded together. Hints of coffee and coconut added nuance throughout.

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  • From the sweet and spicy nose that married black pepper and sweet tart notes to the powerful tannins and black fruit layers, there was loads going on in this wine. It followed a 1998 St. Hallett Old Block Shiraz in our tasting, and pretty much turned the dial up to 11 (but not ungracefully). Though this was a remarkably rich, powerful wine it carried itself with an Ali-like precision and grace that belied it's size and power. The wine was still very youthful, with big tannins, but there was so much concentration in the blackberry and black raspberry fruit that it all melded together. Hints of coffee and coconut added nuance throughout.

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  • Huge, brooding, packed with fruit and with an intensity that for my tastes make it impressive but unrelaxing and thus slightly unenjoyable company. I would normally use the word awesome to denote a stunning wine that I would happily pay to drink again. In this case however I mean it in the true sense of the word. Most people like the idea of dining with an icon but the reality is they tend to be rather overbearing.

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  • Oh my gosh this is jammy and great nose as well

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  • Fabulous wine and really different than what you'd expect from a Shiraz. Lots of vanilla, dusty but smooth tannins with a long finish, combination of red and black fruits. Amazing nose.

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  • Acker Merrall June 2012 Chicago Auction (Waldorf Astoria - Chicago IL): I haven't always enjoyed this wine, but am excited on its trajectory based on today's performance. Blackberry and plum aromas with lots of toast, oak and liqueur. Same dense, ripe black fruit along with good smoky, gamy meat flavors. Good black pepper and licorice as well. Great length and more balance than i ever recall from previous times I've tried this wine. Still a bit too sweet today, also with some baby fat that still needs to integrate, but I like where this is going.

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  • Acker Auction (Waldorf Astoria - Chicago, IL): Wasn't a huge fan of this. The nose was nice with meaty notes, dark fruit, and lilacs. The palate, on the other hand, was sickingly sweet and candied. Given the other beautiful wines at the table, I poured this out to focus on the other stuff!

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  • A lineup of top Aussie Shiraz (Charlie's Home): Despite being the oldest wine at the table, nobody picked this out blind. It seemed to be a wine that nobody loved or hated (relatively speaking to the other wines). It finished middle of the pack. The nose is dusty with modeling clay and black raspberries. Great texture, best on the table, so perhaps that should have been a clue. It did have a streak of bitter tannins, but that seemed to sort itself out in the glass. Lots of black raspberry fruit. Very long finish. Slight heat. Certainly still youthful.

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  • Opus One vs. Penfolds Grange (AWSEC, Hong Kong): Cool Spring and Warm Summer - apparently the best vintage for Grange in 20 years.
    Dark core with a ruby rim. It was a little closed on the nose but meaty with mint.
    Big explosion in the mouth - mint, fruit, lots of spice, pepper, clove. Good tannic grip but not bitter at all. Nice balance with medium length. This is good but needs time.

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  • Tasted alongside 1995 Chateau Margaux and 1998 Vega Sicilia and it outshone both these illustrious wines with ease. Sweet blackcurrant fruit is prominent then the 3% Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend perfectly offsets this with a palatial elegance. Incredibly long finish. I don't have much experience of tasting older vintages of Grange but I'm assuming it may still benefit from another few years cellaring and possibly warrant a perfect score.

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  • Penfolds tasting with Grange etc (Osia): even though our bottle was very slightly corked the expressiveness of the wine was obvious

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  • - Oily texture with a long finish.

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  • Big rich open nose of dark fruits and lots of eucalyptus. Spicy and acidic on the palate with huge length. Glycerol with lots of chocolate. No jam here!

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  • Drank at Home

    A wonderfully rich a vibrant Penfolds still in its prime. Nose of red fruit, smoke and vanilla with hints of eucalyptus.

    Silky smooth texture with a full palate that goes on and on.

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  • Aussies at Abe and Louie's (Abe & Louie's): Ridiculous! Blackerry and blueberry pie in a glass. This wine is drink soft and easy. Very feminine. Memorable and my WOTN.

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  • Visually: a deep inky purple color, strong right to the rim with a small ruby'ish rim at the edge.
    Nose: deeper scents like chocolate, a bit of oak, maybe some eucalyptus and blueberry (they way they grow naturally, not the over-sweet commercial kind)
    Taste: thoroughly enjoyable! Some Ozzie reds can be full of fruit (jammy). This was nicely balanced, with fruit flavors but not overdone. Silky smooth mouth feel, no tannins gripping the sides of your tongue. Guess this is what the fruit / tannin / acidity balance means. :-) Enjoyed this immensely and has sparked my interest in aged, well rated wines. I'll definitely buy this wine again.

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  • Caramel, blackcurrant, cherry, mocha, a little anise, tannin was there but just right, and a finish that went on and on and on ... I can close my eyes and I'm still sipping it. Wonderfully complex and utterly delicious.

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  • Deep ruby with some garnet on the rim - very youthful looking. Nose again very youthful with a lift from an ethereal light vanilla touch, florality and deep ripe fruit. I was expecting a full blown palate but the wine gives a surprisingly light feel. Impeccable balance of fruit and acidity, mellow texture and textbook tannins. Finish is unending. Dream wine!

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  • Very dark, opaq core with ruby-garnet hues at the rim. The nose is spectacular, so close to what I had in mind as aussie shiraz typicity but at the same time unique, with perfectly integrated volatile acidity, coffee, chocolate, blueberry cream, sultanas, eucalyptus and sweet oak. Full-bodied with very rich yet vibrant fruit, big but velvety tannins and balancing acidity. Very long, persistant aftertaste. Powerful and very rich but by no means over the top. Still quite primary but already enjoyable, will improve with prolonged cellaring. Glad to have one more bottle. A masterpiece in every sense of the word.

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  • Tasting at Chateau Gallo (Chateau Gallo): The sixth blind of the afternoon, supplied by myself. Dave suggested I bring it, and I figured it would be good for a blind tasting as most of us could evaluate without the price tag attached to the wine. Being the first truly “expensive” bottle of wine I’d ever purchased, I held a bit of an emotional attachment to this one. Upon opening, I was certainly a little disappointed. Still an inky dark purple in colour, this had a huge nose of blueberry, blackberries, espresso, licorice, crème brule, vanilla, earth, mint, eucalyptus and hints of tobacco from the small amount of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend. On the palate, dark fruits (blueberries, plums), caramel, with a long, smooth, supple finish. Very well balanced, with exceptional contrasting acidity to the sweetness of the ripe fruit. Still a bit of tannin to shed until it hits it’s absolute peak, but drinking surprisingly well now. An extremely well made wine, just not what I’d hoped it to be.

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  • Enjoyed this twice before, in fact it once was among my all time favorites.
    Its still ok, but like royalty in full robes, strip off the cloths, just another Aussie Shiraz.
    Easy on the palate, touch of prune, drink up or sell, the magic is gone

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  • Wonderful. Still young.

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  • Mark's 45th birthday dinner (Crown Wine Cellars): Restrained nose, some eucalyptus. Palate is showing lots of fruit - small berries - and some smoke. It's tannic but they're well integrated. Finish continues but at a lower level, more lingers.

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  • Massive , Massive bottle of wiine . Dark fruits , huge nose , very enjoyable Shiraz.......i would asume many more years to come

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  • The 1998 Grange has evolved to a very lush wine. The nose is earthy with black fruits. The mouth feel is full and velvety. The taste is coco and red plums with a lingering after taste. As expected, the wine throws a significant amount of sediment. This is classic Grange.

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  • Stunningly good, full of wild blackberries with that great Grange underlay of motor oil/tar flavors. Wait ten more years (and it probably will have evolved glacially, but will be slightly more floral and blossomed).

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  • TASTE: greeeeeeeeat. SMELL: loooooovely

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  • Nose: blueberries Palate: blueberries seamlessly melting into caramel and coffee. This wine knew what it wanted to do and it did it. Every sip was consistently the same. It seemed like an effortless performance. This was a good wine for me as blueberries and caramel are my favorite foods.

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  • Score is a mix between current drinking (93pts) and potential (97pts). As with the first time I had this, it shows all the right materials, but just isn't ready yet. A pleasant bottle, but at this price, one expects more than that. I continue to believe that this will evolve into something more ethereal, but its not there today.

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  • We had this at our 1/22/11 Lamb & Shiraz dinner. It had a fabulous bouquet of blackberry, black cherry, smoked meat, licorice, black pepper and spice. The palate was massive, smooth, nicely balanced and just down right delicious with flavors that followed the nose. It was incredible stuff that was truly a privilege to drink! 98+

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  • Decanted 2.5 hours and cooled to its best tasting temperature. As someone else said, I just don't get it. It's good, has some depth, but nothing grabs me, nothing stands out. I have had more fun with $50 bottles (e.g. serre nuove), and I touch the sky with bottles in the same price/rating range (e.g. tertre roteboeuf 2000, solaia 1997) . I think Australian shiraz is not my thing (Torbreck Run Rig 2002 rated 99 was better; but felt more like a 94 wine). I recall having once had a very good French syrah (shiraz) at some restaurant. better than both of these (for me), and probably in the range of $40 ($85 in the restaurant). So maybe its new world shiraz that I don't like, although I certainly prefer new world in brunellos.

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  • probably just not to my (old world) taste, spectacular nose akin to a port, but just too much like a jar of jam and too alcoholic. or maybe just not yet ready?

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  • Wednesday Night Club - December 2010 (Peter Pratt's Inn): An absolute masterpiece of a wine. Silky smooth, absolutely complete, perfectly balanced, very soft yet complex. This had a great depth of fruit that kept going to another level, still very young and I'd say easily could age another 20yrs. Delicious.

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  • I slow roasted a winter goose, and we needed something to match the rare bird and that would hold up to the richness and fat of the goose. The Grange was an inspired choice. Holy crap was this good. Blueberries, blueberries, blueberries, and blueberries, in a silky smooth, complex, symphony of flavor. This truly was the wine of the night, and no doubt, was one of the very best bottles of Australian wine I've ever had. The wine had an amazing perfume, and the sweetness of the wine complimented the richness of the goose as if they had been made for each other. This was a memorable wine.

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  • Beautiful and complete

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  • Wonderful nose on the open. Decanted for about 90 minutes before tasting. Deep, full color. Nothing about this wine show any fading. On the palate an earthy, voluptuous feel. Very smooth with no rough edges. This was my only bottle but I will be purchasing more...

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  • Clearly new-world but not overdone. Dark black fruits on the nose with tar and menthol. On the palate the wine is ripe but not overdone. Well done and has the structure to age.

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  • I have been sitting on this purchase for several years in an unlikely display of patience. in the mean time my tastes have changed. For it's varietal this is one spectacular bottle of wine. Blueberries & mocha , leather & tobacco backnotes and a finish I can still taste the next day. WOW , just not my cup of tea. So now i own 5 bottles of really expensive wine I am kind of lukewarm on ... bummer

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  • Aromatically - Blackberry, black licorice, touch of vanilla and clove. A very soft and enticing aroma. A very flavorfull aray of blackberry and black cherry on the palate. Juicy acid keeps the wine floating on the palate and a very thick tannin structure is great very fine grain. pH 3.5

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  • Much better than the bottle I had 18 months ago. Popped/poured. Very aromatic on the nose, with some secondary aromas starting to emerge. One of those that I could sniff all night without taking a sip. But on the palate, this delivers the goods. Very balanced, though still a fair amount of acidity as a pure sipper. Lightly tannic. Long finish, almost haunting. Unlike the last bottle which seemed quite closed and difficult to interpret, this one is showing well. That said, well kept bottles should enjoy a long life. If I only had one bottle left, I'd wait another 5-10 years to see if some of the acidity folded into the wine.

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  • Penfolds Grange among Australias greatest (Heemstede - Rest. Southern Cross): 1998 Penfolds Grange (Australië, South Australië) Kleur: Diep donkerrood Aroma / bouquet: Explosief als de overtreffende trap van expressief. Het bouquet dendert het glas uit. Zwoel donker fruit, krachtig en kruidig, prachtig chique hout, typische Grange, vleugje rozenbottel, kruidigheid als lavendel en thijm. Smaak / Afdronk: Krachtig, uitgesproken zuur, onvoorstelbare powerwijn, veel tannine en veel lengte. Algemeen / potentieel: Supermooie Grange… 50 + Kleur: 5 + Aroma / bouquet: 14 + Smaak / Afdronk: 18 + Algemeen / potentieel: 9 = 96/100

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  • Tasted blind. Very young, I pinpointed Australia, but thought that the wine was much younger vintage. My first Grange and hopefully not the last one.
    I'd let it sleep for another 10 years.

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  • deep, dark, inky ruby. A complex and pronounced nose from a big wine with black fruit, hints of sweet spices, chocolatey oak and a dusty minerality. dense and opulent on the palate with firm tannins and a powerful structure. very well balanced with a long finish.

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  • Incredible. Very impressive with room to grow. A must drink if you can!!!

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  • one of two bottles i contributed to the charles banks dinner at his home in montecito. decanted. reports are that both bottles drank similarly. better than a bottle tasted from my cellar in early december of last year. this showed tight, but not closed. stylish, blue blood that will reward patience. hold.

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  • Don't touch well stored bottles in the next five to ten years. Even after 24 hours in the decanter, this wine did not show any matureness. All the ingredients are there, although the style is a little (too?) modern, for my European tastebuds.... Only beaten during tasting of Auatralian topwines by the almost perfect Henschke Hill of Grace 1987 (98 points). Textbook syrah, fullbodied, mouthfilling, pepper, large amounts of dark fruit, multilayered, herbs, spices, eucalyptus. Not yet well balanced, much too young. A little heat showing very high alcohol levels. Big, big promise for 2020+

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  • Best of Cellar - Double Blind (Backstreet Wine Salon): Dark ruby color. Blueberry nose with some menthol notes. Blueberry, anise, cherry and pencil lead on the palate. Bright acidity. Cherry kirsch finish. Tasted double blind. My guess was Australian Shiraz. My #4 and 4BOW #2. Odd, this wine showed much better the last few times I've had the pleasure to drink it.

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  • my bottle, double blind to the group. double decanted 3 hours prior to drinking, left uncorked in cellar, and then splashed into decanter about one hour prior to drinking at the venue. single blind to me. i wrote down california rhone on my note sheet. thick tannins, and mild heat on the finish. the group enjoyed this a bit more than i did. a nice wine to be sure, drinking younger than it's age. hold.

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  • Ken's Birthday (Inovasi, Lake Bluff, IL): Huge, blue and black fruit nose with a lot of peppery spice. Expansive palate with dark fruit and spice throughout. Quite a bit of tannin with good acid. Very good.

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  • Ken's Birthday (Inovasi; Lake Bluff, IL): Dark syrah blackberry fruit and smokey wood notes. Full bodied. Big wine. Rich, but well balanced. Medium-grain tannins. Still very young. Very nice.

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  • WFA 2009 Grange Vertical Tasting: No much secondary aromas modern with sweetness or fruit forward nose with slight secondary on the back. Slightly advance but mouth coating tannins with lots of chocolate and mocha. Lingering finish. Aroma is more advanced as compared to palate which is very drinkable right now.

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  • Sacred Cow is released into the wild (Restaurant X, Oklahoma, OK): WIMLNR

    Tasted October 17, 2009 at an offline.

    Dark garnet to purple color in the glass, clear hue throughout. Nose was heavily dominated by the aroma of Kirsch with some floral aspects and a bit of saddle soap. Flavors of berries, cherries and currants. Medium acidity, firm tannins, medium to full bodied. Continue to hold. No rating at this time; nowhere near ready.

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  • (Very old note for personal reference)
    Full, parody aussie up-front nose. Massive attack dark fruit. Oak and vanilla. Impenetrable with menthol and cocoa.
    Impossibly full body. Massive. Impenetrable. Loads of fruit and loads of tannin. Needs 10 years more, at least. Now ultra-concentration with layer upon layer of dark fruit and oak.
    Hard to know what to make of a wine like this... Such a beast. I suppose it will add elegance at 30 years of age, but at 11 there was no such thing.

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  • ELLEN's REPRISE BOUILLABAISSE Dinner @ ICON Brickell: Flight 4. Decanted for 3 hours. Very good but not superior to the 2004 Hundred Acre. This wine has not met my expectations the two times I have tried it.

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  • Smagt til smagning med vinstyrken. Forventningerne var høje og det var med en vis ydmyghed dråberne blev hældt i glasset. Konklusionen var nem. Det smagte fantastisk og levede til fulde op til de høje forventninger. Ikke en overdrevet kraftbombe hvor smagsløgene er bedøvet efter første slurk, men en meget robust vin med rigtig mange finesser og elegance i den lange eftersmag.

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  • Was this closed; did we give it enough time? Had a little heat and confected fruit on the nose. Palate followed suit although there was an obvious level of intensity, class and stature. But it just didn't impose itself, it didn't grab us or make us think or even talk much about it.

    The previous bottle ('92 Stonewell) was much more interesting: did it put a Grange in the shade?

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  • Wow, this is a monumental wine. Massive, slow-burning nose that kept changing and evolving. Incredible power and length balanced by sufficient acidity. This should last a very long time.

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  • 4 Star Syrah Dinner at 11 Madison Park (NYC): Frank's bottle and paired with the '04 Astralis and suckling pig. I have had hit and miss experiences with this wine, but this one was definitely a hit. I must admit the nose was someone muted, but the palate had vanilla, blueberry, big sweet tannins, no heat (unlike the last time I had this wine) and pretty good acidity. Great mouthfeel and long finish.

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  • Grange in the 90s @ Mike J's (Wilton, CT): 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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  • 1998 Dinner (Crown Wine Cellars, Hong Kong): Almost black, totally opaque colour just lightening slightly at the edges. The nose is all jam and monster primary fruit - fresh prunes, fresh figs, plums and black fruits. Thick, thick palate that is totally toothcoating and very primary but with huge promise.......black, black tar and almost too primary for even wet warm lawns to poke through. Thick and jammy. Great length. Very primary........but promising.

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  • 5th Annual Italian Offline Pre-Game (Simple Bistro, Toronto, Canada): Showed nothing on opening, hints at 3 hours in a decanter, better with 5+ hours of air. Opaque purple colour. Aromas of black sambuca, vanilla, bramble. Full-bodied, intense, outstanding texture, with blackcurrant, white pepper, vanilla through to the moderate-long finish. If I had any, I'd bury it in the cellar for at least another 5 years.

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  • WIML924. No formal notes. Still a fairly huge monster but it is beginning to settle in. Give it at least 5 more years.

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  • It simply just doesn't get much better than this. This wine is a heavyweight. Exotic aromas of blueberry, cassis, ripe plums, spices and herbs bursting from the glass. Dense and focused with layers and layers of complex delicious dark fruits. Perfect balance and perfect acidity keeping everything together. This finish on this wine is absolutely insane, with dark fruit and herbs that just keeps on coming. A stunning beauty! - JD98+

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  • Some seared meat, spearmint, dried coriander or fennel seeds. Intense berry fruit, not extracted, just intense. Lovely texture: a little grip balanced with a little plushness. The finish hits a plateau and the just stays there.

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  • We gave this bottle a 4+ hour decant; to be consumed at the end of one of the most wonderful evenings of dining I have ever experienced, with many great friends, and my beautiful wife. Immediately after pouring, we passed the decanter around so that everyone could smell the wine. I believe that all were VERY intrigued by the bouquet. Personally, I had never smelled such a dark, lurking behemoth.

    Once dinner was finished, after 4 hours, our server brought fresh stems, and we decided to pour five glasses - one for each couple to share.

    Everyone was very quiet as they swirled and smelled the wine. It was truly a pleasure to see such gratification as they began to sip from their glasses, and I wanted everyone to vocalize their impressions of the wine. The comments from the group were: "warm blanket", "soft and smooth", "dark, concentrated, and delicious", "big and balanced", and "OK, that is ****ing good!"

    Penfolds Grange has always been right near the top of my list of wines that I have wanted to enjoy, and it did not disappoint. The nose was dark, sweet, and inviting. The palate was massive, but balanced. The finish went on forever - I could still taste it this morning.

    It was the finest bottle of wine I have ever tasted; made even more enjoyable by fantastic food and some of our very close friends.

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  • I tasted this wine last month at the Acker BYO party and it was great. This bottle was completely different. Very hot and way too forward. The label says 14.5% alcohol, but it seemed more like 24.5% alcohol. It made my eyes tear when I tried to drink it. I guess it was fitting that we had this last as it was like an after dinner drink. If it was like the BYO bottle, I would have given it a 96.

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  • This is the second time I've had this wine, and although it is very fine wine, I can't yet put it in the "great" category. The flavours were pronounced, full of spice - yet very short on the finish.

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  • We drink a lot of Australians and had high expectations. This was the final wine after 8 other syrah/shiraz. It was the shining star. The nose has the earthy bouquet I associate with a cab/shiraz. Eucalyptus and spcicy fruit. The mouth feel is luxurious. The flavor are smokey, toasty, black currant and every other thing in a wonderful shiraz. I hesitated to open it so soon but it is ready with ample reward now and plenty of life left.

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  • Rating withheld. For me, this must've been too young. Obviously well made and a very good wine, but did not crack the "WOW" level for me at this point in it's evolution. Seemed somewhat lacking in comlexity / secondary character. Hopefully, some more time in the bottle will allow it to achieve at a level more consistent with its reputation. If I were to rate it toay, 92-94 pts.

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  • Decanted three hours. Tremendously expressive and complex nose of pure dark fruits, cola, chocolate, cedar and earth. And the palate delivers on the nose's promise, with all the aforementioned notes plus some strawberry flavors. Powerful structure, with plenty of evident tannin on the finish, which is the longest I've ever encountered at well over a minute. Yet for all the huge flavor, power and structure, there's an elegance and a restraint to this. It's built for the table: An absolute perfect match with braised short ribs. After it was all gone, I poured the sediment into my glass just so I could smell this some more. The best wine I've tried to date --period-- and it will only get better in the decades to come. 98+.

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  • Decanted this for approx. 3 hours (could have been much longer). Reddish purple in the glass with an almost opaque purple core. Black fruits and a hint of oak and spice on the nose. Upon the first sip, wow...a 60+ second finish with cascading flavors of black cherry cola, herbs and a hint of spice. A minty/herbal aftertaste that was more reminiscent of Cab Sauv. Still fairly tannic, but well integrated...could age for decades. Almost more notable for what it wasn't...never having Grange, I half expected an over-extracted sweet, teeth-staining monster that couldn't be consumed with food. Happily, I was wrong. I've had a couple other high-end Aussie Shirazes befoe, and this was more restrained and balanced. Wonderful.

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  • My best friend from childhood was visiting from California and the occassion called for a special wine. I called on the 1998 Penfolds Grange and boy was it ever up to the task. I have been reluctant to open any of my 6 bottles too soon (as evidenced by my drinking the 07's) but this was the right occassion to take this wine for a spin and find out where it is 10 years in. Decanted for 2 1/2 hours before serving. You will have to excuse the verbose nature of my tasting note but this wine brought out the poet in me (Whitman I am not) and elicited all sorts of verbs and adjectives that just needed to get out. A wine this good deserves much be written about it.
    On the pour, both for the decant and then later in the glass, this beauty was a deep, dense and elegant inky purple. Indeed it was almost black. An absolute work of art to look at. Nosing this wine was an experience unlike any other. The room was slient as we all savored amazing and bold aromas of blackberry, plum, black currant with some elements of oak, spice and a hint of vanilla. Outstanding bouquet that quieted the room in reverance to what we were experiencing. In fact, we nosed the wine for so long we almost forgot to taste as it almost seemed an afterthought. On the palate there was an abundance of dark fruits with blackberry, plum, black currant, spice (white pepper and dare I say a hint of ginger?) with traces of oak, licorice and vanilla cream. It was massive! Huge mouthfeel, full bodied, well integrated and complex. There were some well integrated tannins still showing and this wine will surely age very well for 10-20 more years and I would lean more toward the longer the better. The finish was forever.
    We tasted and drank this wine in silence for some time and then the descriptive words just poured out of us. Elegant, supple, beautiful, majestic, without peer, we know there is a God are all words that were said about this wine. This is a flagship Grange for Penfolds no doubt and I suspect with some more time it will be a 100 point monster. I have 5 more and I will be holding these for a while.

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  • Penfolds Grange 1998 has become a collectors item with prices now at four times what I originally paid.

    The wine is intensively packed with flavours of plum, blackberry, and cassis nuanced with olives, tobacco, and leather. It really does require a minimum of 10 years to taste but most likely would drink at its best with 20 years of ageing. The wine is very fat and sweet as a result of an extreme alcohol level of 14.5% I prefer my wines at 12 to 13% and find these new world alcohol bombs a bit over the top but I can appreciate that Grange is to Australia what Masseto is to Italy and DRC to France. Grange is a national flagship wine that should continue to find demand rise as it becomes world famous...if it hasn't already done so.
    The wine is chewy in the mouth and ends with a powerful complex finish. At current prices however I should have kept it for resale value. Oh well! It was a treat nevertheless.

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  • Dense, dark and young. Exceptional mouthfeel, and a fantastically seemless wine. Plum, black cherries and cedar were in the mix. This is not my style at the moment though. Maybe in a few more years it will become something i'd dig more. Others at the table were imrpressed.

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  • This may be our single largest wine disappointment ever...do not think it was an off bottle...certainly not corked...a beautiful nose...initially with asian spice and then eucalyptus becoming more prominent as time passed. Beautiful dark color, moderate amount of sediment, but certainly we've had bottles and bottles of shiraz better...perhaps the expectations were too high, but nothing close to a wow moment. 2 bottles left, will wait another decade for the next.

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  • Drank with my wife for our 20th anniversary. The nose on this wine was absolutely engrossing. We spent at least 5 minutes reveling in the wild scents of licorice, black cherry, black berries, cigar box, and leather. Smooth and unctious in the mouth with powerful black cherry, blackberry and cedar. Flavors developed over the evening. A captivating wine worth every penny.

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  • Rich, dark blackberry liqueur fruit. Less giving palate, but a rich balance of alcohol, tannin, and extract that begs age. Intense wine. Really promising.

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  • Definitely an Auzzie shiraz, but with subtle notes and layers of refinement that put it in a different class.

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  • This was my first grange which we had at our rehearsal dinner. I was fairly disappointed given the lore and hype of this wine. Was is very good? Yes. But was is phenomenal? No. This was your typical very good, sweet, black fruit aussie shiraz. I could think of nothing remarkable about this wine, and the QPR (even with paying 275 at a restraunt) is Way out of line. Glad my (now) father in law paid for it!

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  • The Sampler (Angel, London): Arguably the best wine ever to come out of Australia it was with some trepidation that I tried this wine. Robert Parker gave it 99 points and described it as an "all time classic", so I was expecting it to be good - luckily it didn't disappoint! Rich purple in colour with a dense black core, this wine initially showed blackcurrant, cassis, cream on the nose. After some time in the glass it began to display cola cube characters, meatiness and a hint of mint. The palate is rich, smooth, elegant and well balanced. Great fruit flavour - blackberry, cherry and plum. Amazing depth and complexity. Still very fresh - I think I'll leave my bottle for a few more years yet!

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  • G7 (Jock): Black cherry, blackcurrant and earth. Still possesses some fine grained tannins. Great mid palate complexity. Long elegant finish. Solid.

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  • terrific young, this is now in a transitional stage. it's a killer wine that i will try to hold 3-5 more years, and then start to pick off my six bottles. younger winos can hold at their discretion for... well, forever. fabulous.

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  • Very sweet nose of licorice, casis, raspberry and other dark fruits. It was a bit port like on the nose at first. The palate was an explosion of dark fruit, sweet fruit and some oaky components (caramel, vanilla etc.). This is a great example of what Australian Shiraz can be, but really not my favorite style of wine. Very youthful at 10 years.

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  • Rather muted nose, but exhibited a fantastic density of fruits in delicate balance with fine tannins. Such a harmonious wine!. It reminded me of a Haut-Brion in a good vintage. Great stuff.

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  • French Bakery BYO SHIRAZ from OZ (French Bakery, Kane concourse, Bay Harbor Islands, Florida): Ellen & Mark (ours) Pending 2/19

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  • Large tasting the day after another large tasting. Minimal notes. Oh so young. Tried it multiple times over 3 hours....just kept getting better. Hold a few more years.

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  • KSC02 does Dallas, Part 2 (Daniele Osteria, Dallas, TX): WIML94? Dark purple color in the glass, clear hue throughout. Nose of melted black licorice, graham crackers, a hint of blueberries, a touch of thistle. Flavors of rich currants and juicy berries. Medium acidity, medium to firm tannins, full bodied. Hold.

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  • Immense a massive bouquet as well as taste. Intense black fruits, especially ripe blackberries. Beautiful sweetness, probably from the 14.5% alcohol, but not disturbing at all; on the contrary:……adding to the complexity. Coffee, leather. A lot of tastes. Extremely full bodied. A refined blockbuster. Powerful, but silky as well. Beautiful integrated oak, tannin and acidity. This is a wine you can write a book about. And with an enormous future.

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  • Wineflock Blind Tasting Competition (Ken's): Opaque black/red color. Full deep rich black fruit with coffee notes on the nose. Rich jammy candied black fruit with coffee and a bit of tar. Long tight smoky finish. This wine might have finally started to close down just a bit.

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  • Syrah Tasting w/ Bob Macdonald (David Anderson's House, Minneapolis): Very youthful black/ruby color. Beautiful, kaleidoscopic nose. Ultra-ripe, blackberry liquor fruit, earth, and coffee. Well structured, showing fine spicy tannins on the finish. After a few hours, this started smelling and tasting like a dry vintage Port. The Port-like character reminded me of a recent bottle of 1998 Henri Bonneau CDP "Celestins". Unbridled and intense. Needs many more years. WOTF for me. Group average 18.7/20; #3 of 7.

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  • A beautiful and well manered adolescent, this 1998 version of Grange shows fabulous notes of plum, oak, berry , spice and smoke. With powerful tannins still in place, the wine's deep purple color shows no sign of age yet. A long fine grained and silky finish shows this wine has many many years ahead of it.

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  • The nose on this wine was absolutely captivating with wild scents of red twislers, black cherry, black berries, cigar box, and charcoal. The mouth feel was hypnotic as flavors of black licorice, tobacco, blackberries, and black chocolate cascaded across my palate. The finish is 45+ bordering on 60+ seconds. This is an absolutely brilliant effort and well worth seeking out for your cellar.

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  • Deep and meaty nose. Intense syrah fruit. Massively structured with a minty, finely tannic finish. Delicious.

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  • Velvety smooth. Thick on the tongue. Surprisingly light but not without depth. Juicy. Fruity.

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  • this is one of those wines that seemingly is bulletproof to a dumb or closed stage. every time i've had it, it's been on fire, and tonight is no exception. this is just about the most complete australian wine i've ever tasted. i could gush on it forever...no point. superb.

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  • This was purchased off the wine list at the CWM cellar dinner at Courtrights for $300 and paired with a course of Petite Rack of New Zealand Lamb, Potatoes-Bacon, Fennel Gratin and Lamb Jus. My favorite wine match with this course and my favoritered of the night. This got 99 points from both WS and WA. My first Grange. This was young but then everyone in the CWM knew that going in. We had the restaurant decant this 6 hours before the dinner. Earthy nose. Round texture and full bodied. Despite being so young I found this to be quite silky and smooth. Notes of blackberry, mint and charcoal. Long ripe finish. Still improving. 96+ points.

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  • Wine list purchase for Courtright Dinner. I think this wine was the one I was most excited to try. While it did eventually open, it clearly needs significant time in the cellar. Color was an inky glass-staining purple and opaque throughout. Slight nose of blueberries and blackberries. Blackberry and plum on the palate. The tannins are still overpowering to me, but checked somewhat by the Lamb. I'd love to try this again in ten years.

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  • Chicago Wine Mafia Dinner in the Cellar (Courtright's Restaurant, Willow Springs, IL): This was purchased off the wine list for $300. Inky purple color, opaque to the rim. A massive wine that unfortunately wasn't giving up too much initially. Some blueberry and dark fruit notes followed by dark fruit and tannins on the palate. This started to come around with some vigorous swirling toward the end of the course, and the food helped. Clearly young and nowhere near ready to be opened.

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  • Served blind on Jim's patio in the semi-darkness. Not exactly your Monday night special. Dark color but who could tell? Silky smooth texture. Deep rich blackberry fruit that sat like a fat smiling Buddha on the tip of my tongue. I really wasn't sure but I guessed that it was an elegant, high end Shiraz. I had no expectation that it could be Grange at 9:00 on a Monday night, so I subconsciously dumbed it down when I guessed. On depth of refined fruit and elegance alone it merited this score, though it seemed still young and probably likely to develop significantly more with bottle age.

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  • Old Wine Dinner (Caliterra -Chicago IL): An exciting Grange flight. Decanted ten hours. Huge black fruit, not very forthcoming. Blockbuster flavors, but dense and firmly structured, showing great pedigree just not providing lots of pleasure tonight.

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  • Ray Goder Dinner at Caliterra (Caliterra): Deep black/purple opaque color. Huge blackberry cassis nose with asphalt notes. Big bold black fruit, still showing tight a somewhat tannic. This was decanted for about 10 hours and still showed tighter than the last couple I’ve had. The 98 might finally be on the front end of shutting down to sleep for about 20 years?? Bummer! 94 pts.

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  • I keep drinking this wine thinking that it's going to be shut down one of these days, but I'm please to say that it's still open for business and as good as ever! Full opaque black/red. Full black fruit and briar nose. Mmmmn... Rich lovely black cassis fruit with spicy complexity. A great wine. 95 pts. Group WOTF 4/06

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  • Tetsuya's Super Dinner (Tetsuya's Restaurant, Sydney, Australia): The lowest professional wine critic score I have seen for this wine is a 97 ... so if there is going to be an Aussie wine that will blow your socks off ... then this has to be it. Decanted for 13 hours prior to consumption, this wine was still opening up in the glass when served. Purplish/red in colour, we all knew we were commiting a crime opening it up this early in its life ... but boy was it enjoyable. If you want a wine that has everything in abundant quantities then this wine is for you. The nose was full of intoxicating fruit .. blackberry, plum, blackcurrant. It was hard for us to take our noses out of the glass .. just like when you were a kid and loved to take in the freshly cooked smell of home baked cookies. But unlike the cookies, the aromas coming from this wine had a definite complexity about them, and they continued to meld and change as the minutes passed by. But I could wait no longer, I needed to taste this monster of a wine, a wine that Parker awarded 99 for and Andrew Calliard gave the perfect score too. And boy it did not disappoint. Massive in flavour and body, this wine is greatness in a bottle. Smooth, supple, balanced and complex ... the flavours that coat the palate are amazing. Blackberry, licorice, plum, chocolate, and raisin with a hint of oak in the background. In fact I was expecting a lot more upfront oak in this wine since it is so young, and don't get me wrong, it is there, but not to the levels you would expect from this caliber of wine. A long, long flavoursome finish with fine, ripe tannins. Although 14.5% alcohol, you wouldn't know it. A classic in the making but unfortunately you will have to wait +20 years to experience it. I will definitely be hiding my remaining bottles! WOTN and WOTY in a canter.

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  • Had on New Year's Eve, decanted 10 hours. Deep intense purple color, nose still closed but the following morning (saved 1 glass overnight) WOW! Huge blackberry, cherry, cassis. On the palate, medium-full bodied, with ripe acidity and perfectly integrated oak, tannin, fruit. Similar black cherry, and cassis with a finish that lasted for ever (1 minute) The tannins show through as a bit mouth drying on the finish. The has the legs to go the distance! If you are going to open I recommend a 24 hour decant.

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  • At Tapawingo - this wine is only getting better - no shutdown stage so far. Absolutely stunning concentration with abundance of rich black fruits, cassis, and spices. Killer 95 pts. 12/05

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  • Through the Decades in Burgundy - A Taste for Life 2005 (San Francisco CA): Massive, massive black fruit aromas. Far more "New World" style than I ever recall from prior vintages of Grange. Super concentrated without any subtlety. This will be interesting to revisit every few years for the next few decades.

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  • Nose: strong feral notes at first, evolving to dark red and berry fruits, roasted coffee. Palate: rich fruity sweet flavours (not sugar), big broad tannins, high alcohol (14.5%), fantastically concentrated, complex, long, huge, mesmerizing.

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  • Shiraz Shootout - Group #1, My #2. Full purple blue color. Forward aroma of 'hidden' black fruit with some jamminess. Rich black cassis fruit on a sturdy but round frame. Teeth staining! 94 pts. 12/04

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  • Dark purple. Completely opaque with note light edge. At first the wine smelled a bit like glue and paint, but with just a little bit of swirling and air, notes of bramble berry, raspberry, and blueberry emerged from the glass. Quite a stupendous bouquet. Very thick and oily in the mouth with high levels of glycerin, intense raisin and cardamom flavour with superbly defined, round and sweet fruit. Extremely well structured with freshness in spite of the overwhelming power and concentration, and a vanilla spiced aftertaste. Simply STUNNING!

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  • Farmington Wine Class. Inky, opaque, almost pitch black color. Powerful, explosive nose with spicy oak, raspberry liqueur, espresso. A bit overextracted I thought, with some slightly astringent oak tannins, but a long, beautiful finish. Great chewy mouthfeel, with dense, concentrated, extracted flavors. A little too much oak for my taste, but otherwise impeccably balanced. If the oak integrates a little more, this will merit an even higher score. A delicous wine, and it was a great experience to try it, but it's just not my style - at least at this price range. I think I annoyed a few people in the class who went ga-ga over the wine when I said (tasted double blind, before the identity was revealed) that it tasted like a $200 barbecue wine to me. I stand by that description even now that I know what it was.

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  • Very closed and mostly showing oak. [Tasted at an Australian Tasting; 2/15/04]

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  • Dinner at Jason & Tracy's. On my goodness! I decanted this wine about 10 hours before we drank it (although it spent 5 of those hours back in the bottle). The nose shows spearmint and eucalyptus, rising in intensity over time. Texturally this is stunningly lithe and powerful at the same time. If there is one word to typify this wine it is "balance." It shows unreal power and depth on the palate with an endless finish, nearly a minute. This wine was a singular experience for me, just amazing.

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  • ($185) Dallas Blur Tasting 2003: Lance brought this in a Lancer's bottler as a joke. Inky, with lots of concentrated red and black fruit. I recall some currant fruit as well. Lush, seamless, accented with some toasty oak, but I find it mostly in the background. I didn't have a clue what this might be, but the scale of it made me think things like Petite Sirah.

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  • Sampled as part of a Grange vertical at the 2002 Wine Spectator Wine Experience in Las Vegas. 97% Shiraz and 3% Cab. Scheduled for release in May, 2003, this was the first public tasting outside of the winery. A hot Jan/Feb resulted in an early harvest. Very overt blueberry flavor, with fantastic elegance and grace. Outstanding, and my clear favorite of the vert. 1986 was 2nd best.

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