Great nose from the beginning, opened but not decanted for 4hrs, excellent balance between fruit and structure, high expectations fully met, perfectly mature now and should stay at this level for another +/- 5 years
Double decanted then slow oxed for four hours. Our impressions mirror many already expressed, albeit a bit more muted: dark red fruits, spice, earth, oak. For one of our guests the tannins were a bit obtrusive, so he used the "Clef du Vin" for 5 seconds and we all agreed that the tannins softened, and the wine became more rounded and balanced. The 93 rating is pre clef du vin; rating increased to 95 after use.
Christmas-dinner with friends. Beautiful notes of black cherries, cassis, sweet spices, tobacco, leather and some earth. It's full-bodied and dense, but not over-the-top, has nice medium-high acidity providing freshness and medium- tannin that is very silky. Even if it is undoubtedly new world, it has a very classic sense of balance and harmony. Perfectly mature now and so much fun to drink.
Weihnachtsfeier mit den Keller Dreck-ern (Zurich): Whuhawhow !!!!!!! !!!!!!!! !!!!!!! That's f*****g shit a very good wine! Das ist einfach gross, johannisbeerig, aber eben nicht marmeladig, nicht picksüss sondern tief und lakritzig erhaben. Ein wirklich grosser Wein!
Zachys Holiday Auction - Winter 2015 (Smith & Wollensky (48th & 3rd Ave)): I could have been happy just smelling this wine all day. It's got this alluring moss and spice and maybe hints of fruit. But tasting it isn't so bad either - eucalyptus, cigar box, dark fruit, and spring (yes spring - like life coming together). It's just straight up spectacular. The Colgin gave this a run for its money as WOTD, but this might have just edged. It was delicious and possibly responsible for some late auction Grange purchases.
Zachy's Wine Auction - Winter 2014 (Smith & Wollensky (48th & 3rd Ave)): Grange continues to be my king of wine. After tasting this one it was clear why every lot of it @ the Zachy's auction was going for much higher than even what I'd found as market rates. Blackberry, brambles, this just stunning pepperiness. I wrote in my notes 'how can you not worship this wine?' and I think that still holds. It is partially accountable for the purchase of the '82 we made later in the day.
Translucent crimson. Very dark, plummy core, with anise and cedar overtones. A little stewed/overripe berry character in the mouth. Texturally at peak--the tannins are no longer astringent, but bind the wine to the tongue for an extremely lengthy finish. This isn't my preferred fruit profile, but it's definitely a fine wine.
1993 Double Blind Horizontal (Chris'): Double blind. Ruby color. Wow, gorgeous big lifted aromas of red and black fruit, with eucalyptus, mint and vanilla notes. Palate shows young with youthful, round black fruit and integrated american oak notes of dill and mint. Fresh with a long finish. Surprised to see this is a 20 year old wine!
In a great night with good friends and bottles of '90 Lafite, '97 Ridge Monte Bello, and '05 Cayuse Bionic Frog, the Grange held its ground. Both the Lafite and Grange were WOTN.
I've had the '93 Grange a couple of years ago from the same purchase. This showing was even better than the first bottle. Decanted for about an hour and a half, the nose had an intense raspberry liquer, sweet cherries, eucalyptus, and vanilla. On the palate, the fruit and spice mixes well with the fine, silky tannin. Definitely heavier than the '90 Lafite but everything was in balance.
Dinner at the White House (Pok Fu Lam, Hong Kong): Decanted for 12 hours before serving...... worryingly crumbled cork and lean, thin acidic taste on opening, but that's not unusual for a Grange of this or older vintages. Deep black-red opaque colour just lightening to watery transparency at the extreme edge of the glass. Nose is uber-concentrated blackcurrant, warm eucalyptus tree and Koala bear shit....a superb shitty element.....new bicycle tyres....warm fresh-laid black ashphalt (that also made me remember red ashphalt driveways which were popular with our wealthier neighbours in my childhood). Yep, it's got that classic Grange complexity and mesmeric element and we haven't even tasted it yet. Palate is perfect-poised black and red ashphalt...red berries, Chinese small red dates.....with a drying red dates finish. Huuuge resonance and reverberance on the finish. Lovely....... for all of us, it significantly beat the preceding Ch. Lynch Bages 1989 in terms of complexity and sheer enjoyment. Actually, I was enjoying it too much to even think to compare it to older Granges.
Dark garnet ruby. Chocolate malt, dried fig and minty cedar make a rather exotic impression on the nose and are further complimented by balsamic-drenched raspberries and smoky graphite in the mouth. The tannin is now fully evolved and the wine is at the ultimate of its peak and should be drunk now and within the next 3 years (until 2013).
Farewell Runny....at least for now! (Chez Patrick Restaurant, 2/F, Garden East, 222 Queen's Road East, Wan Chai, Hong Kong): Dense purple-red colour just lightening slightly at the meniscus. Nose is very closed...new cycle tyre rubber...hard to coax much out. Oddly, the palate is then much more open than the preceding Grange 1995...more rounded, plummy, fleshy plums,some plum stone, sweetness, distinct fresh-ground nutmeg....followed by a growling and growing resonance of slowly-advancing thunder. WOW!......the finale just builds and keeps building. This wine is a work in progress but I am transported.......it has huge potential to develop more over the next 10+ years.
Another New Year's Eve with Grange, this is my last bottle of 93, based on my experience last year I did NOT decant but rather let it breathe in my Riedel Sommelier glass over the course of the evening. Sweet cherries and oak on the nose with some heat on the palate. Medium finish. Seemed a bit tired and soft. Not the usual Grange power. Disappointing. Clearly on the downside. I bought this bottle in January 2009 from a reputable wine dealer but not 100% sure of the entire provenance for this bottle. Maybe that is the problem as it seems many of the other notes indicate a much better experience with the 93.
It's hard to give a numerical number when it is the first experience. Expectations were high given the name. Opened and poured into a decanter and let it sat for about an hour. While pouring, the aromas smelled delicious with baked red and blue fruits and sweet spices. Very youthful inky color. Medium-to-full bodied. This was smooth and fresh with just a bit of tannins and oak on the finish.
This showed best after 2 hours of air. Medium-dark but looking a bit advanced, almost garnet at the rim. Classic Grange eucalyptus and oak on the nose, along with sweet Chambord, bacon fat, and buttery tawny notes. On the palate, the intense wood is less elegant than usual, over a core of sweet berry fruit. Fine tannins and juicy acidity, almost sour. Alcohol in balance but somewhat bitter. Unusually stemmy, tart finish. Lots going on here, an atypical Grange or off bottle, with its sweet-sour profile. I would like to try this again in 5 years.
Nez d'eucalyptus et de cassis, qui me fait davantage penser à du Cabernet qu'à la Syrah. Profil aromatique assez Nouveau monde, en pur aveugle j'aurais probablement identifité un Cali Cab ou même chilien de haut calibre. Le vin est parfaitement intégré selon moi, avec des tanins bien intégrés et une belle finesse en bouche qui contrebalance le nez plus banal.
Smells and tastes like it's two years old. preposterous. I think someone may have siphoned off the original wine and filled the bottle up with this but there are no marks on the cork. I must be going mad in my dotage. for those that care: Black fruit, vanilla, leather and black pepper dominate accompanied by a lush back drop of greenness on the nose...Huge wine in the mouth, not jammy just massive, high acidity and medium tannin, a finish that just doesn't quit. How can a wine this old taste this youthful. Under cork (which is in good condition) as well. I'll leave the 96 for my retirement...
Aussie Gems (Smith & Wollensky - Washington, DC): This is a very young 18 year old wine, but quite a delicious one. The nose sporting cassis, blackberry, blueberry, eucalyptus, with hints of brighter red cherry fruit, baking spice, and touches of cedar, leather and campfire. There is evident tannin that is yet to resolve, but I still found the wine to be fairly expressive. On the palate, there is substantial tannic structure with less in the way of secondary notes. I found primarily dark blue and black fruits with just hints of tobacco, meat drippings and leather. Long finish and complex finish, but evident tannin giving this some room to grow. I would love to revisit this in 10 more years, lots of potential for improvement when this is fully mature.
Australian Gem Tasting (Smith & Wollensky - Washington, DC): Let me start off saying this, this WILL be a great wine. Is it a great wine today? No. Just far too young. Incredibly dense nose of black fruit, rich spice and meat. The palate had a lot of class to it with subtle cassis, hints of black cherry, leather, subtle cherry tobacco, and animal hide. Sadly, these flavors were hopelessly woven together so tightly that they only peaked out from behind their massive wall of tannin. I think that this wine had the composition to land in the 93-96 range (for my palate).
Pretty good stuff. Amazingly young tasting for an 18-year old bottle, but such is to be expected with Grange. This wine would have benefited from a decant of about an hour because it steadily improved over the course of 3 hours. Initially there were tart fruit notes (cherry mainly) that overshadowed the blueberry and blackberry core. These came into balance over time, and the whole thing is wrapped in fine tannins that indicate there is plenty of life left in this (I'd say 3-5 years at this level). It wasn't as complex as I would have guessed based on the last bottle (5 years ago) but it is maturing nicely. (PE: 90)
Carrying on my NYE tradition of Grange, decanted for 2 hours, the wine improved over the evening, typical Grange, dark purple out of the bottle, great complexity, strong berries on the nose, 30 second finish was amazing, some cherries as well, slightly more acidic than usual Grange, based on other Grange years I would say this wine has peaked, go ahead and drink any 93s you have been saving for that special day, I would suggest at least a 4 hour decant, still not as good as the 2001 which is my favorite all time Grange
Chocolate, herbs, mint, blackberries and Stilton cheese in the nose which sounds disgusting but it is actually really good as the Stilton is not dominating. Bold in the palate with some chestnuts. Long finish. It is a good wine but not one of my favorite Grange vintages.
NC Cindy Tasting. Amazingly dark when poured into the decanter, we vigorously swirled for 45 minutes or so, then gave this a whirl. On the nose, this is spicy cherries. Unlike the Sassicaia we opened just prior, this wine did smell like kirsch, along with cinnamon and a touch of clove. Just tremendous fruits on the nose, but also some underlying caramel. On the palate, this wine opens with cherries and then just takes off with layers of tons of red fruits - cherries, raspberries, red currant. At the same time, there are blackberry and plum notes, as well. As the mid-palate intensifies, layers of kale, allspice and pine needle or fir tree are all present. The finish is huge, lasting for 60 seconds easily, and revealing secondary layers of smoked meat and a mineral core. This wine just continues to develop over time. The complexity is amazing. This wine certainly does have the wow factor - it may be the best wine I've ever had. It is almost a shame to take this wine off my bucket list, since I'm not sure how else I can justify buying one at modern prices. I can certainly see why this is the wine that put Australia on the oenological map. Just fabulous! I am honored to be one of a very small group for whom this was opened. Thanks, Bill.
Christmas Dinner 2009. Opened and double decanted 6 hours prior to drinking. -5 for value as per my modification on the ratings in protest over investor-driven price hikes! Typical, if less well known, Grange vintage. Dark red/purple colour starting to fade to brick at the edges. Nose of mocha, leather, white pepper and cloves. Palate retains its austere tannic backbone after 17 years in the bottle, but the lingering cherry, raisins, blackberry and mocha flesh it out so as to bring it into perfect balance. Long, lingering red fruit and light acid finish. Supremely elegant wine, drinking at its peak. Pity about the price!
BD wine. Signs of aging with a brick outer robe. It closely resembles a brownish amber color. Earthy aromas include olives, dried currant, port, mint, hints of red berry spice. It keeps changing. Medium full body with defined acid and a bold structure. Velvet on the palate and meaningful this juice has drive and ambition. Like a lean prize fighter (float like a butterfly, sting like a bee). Concentrated with layers and layers of earth, mushrooms, cigar tobacco, truffles, bitter cocoa, coffee bean, black currant, mint, traces of red fruit with a very lengthy finish. Excellent fruit to earth ratio. Decanted for about three hours to perfection. This really lives up to it's reputation. A treasure!
Opaque, port like appearance, a wonderful complex nose of layer after layer of syrah highlights, wow, what a mouthful, you felt your tongues was being covered with different layers of fruit and spice, complex, 0ne minute aftertaste
** Color: Dark Purple with light bricking at the edges Smell: Plum with a light floral scent Taste: Very elegant with some plum, cedar, tobacco a little mineral and a creamy taste - almost tropical. Finish: Lon smooth lingering finish with tannins well integrated.
Just a lovely bottle of wine. This is singing right now, not a fruit bomb with some fruit in the background but a complex well integrate flavor.
I think I just opened a bottle of "whoop-ass"! Bursting with big, deep, pure, brawny flavors of blackberry, licorice, tar and oak with just a hint of pepper. Massively concentrated, with a lush mouthfeel and a long, slightly acidic finish. Rich blackberry, tobacco and oak nose. Balanced, but with a lot of roughness around the edges. Nothing subtle about this bottle, it still has the elemental power of a barrel sample right now. This will be a 95+ wine in 5-10 years.
White Truffle Dinner (Chez Patrick Sun Street, Hong Kong): Black, black inpenetrable colour. Nose of new black bicycle tyres and warming tar roads in spring, with just a touch of hard black fruits starting to show through. Likewise, it is all very primary on the palate but very, very deep and pure indeed. It will be incredible when it grows up but it needs at least 10 years, I think.
Decanted for a few hours before opening, this wine was deep, dark purple in colour - almost black. On the nose I found aromas of jammy dark fruits and a little smoke. The palate showed less primary fruit, and more earthy, vegetal characters and more acidicty than I was expecting. I think this vintage has peaked.
Deep ruby/black. Had hints of amber in the rim. On the nose, a rather high-toned wine: red currents, leather, fresh hay. Seemed a tiny bit stewed but not to the point of being unpleasant. Mature flavors, at any rate, with deep fruit and a medium-length finish. A touch hot.
Made from 86% Shiraz (Kalimna Vineyard, Barossa Valley) and 14% Cabernet Sauvignon (Coonawarra) the '93 Grange was matured in 100% new American oak for 18 months. We decanted about an hour before opening. Deep, dark purple in colour I found aromas of dark fruits, cigar box and a hint of liquorice on the nose. The palate is rich and shows good plum fruit character, wood and a slight spiciness. Well matured. Well integrated tannins. Soft and drinkable. Excellent!
This was my reward for finally learning how to ski!
Spanish Inquisition at Brad England's House: My first Grange. We all smelled this in the decanter and were amazed at how good it smelled. It was as if someone had filled the decanter with freshly sliced black truffles. Amazing. Opaque black/purple in color. On the nose I got truffle, black olive, licorice and prune. On the palate this gave black fruit and licorice. A big wine, but well balanced. Good length. As the wine sat in the glass it changed significantly. It developed an undesirable sur maturite/stewed fruit profile on the nose and the taste that made it hard to enjoy (especially given all the other wines Brad was opening). I'm not sure what happened here, but it was a real treat to taste a Grange.
Weekday Pizza Night at Brad's (Brad's House, Minneapolis): Nose of black truffles, soy, and balsamic. A touch of dill pickle/American oak. Rich black fruits, ripe blackberry fruit, and licorice. Still youthful, with grippy tannins on the finish. With an hour of air time in the glass, turned increasingly Port-like and pruney.
This seems to be just entering it's drinking window, where it should stay for a long time. Big, but balanced, with a surprising elegance to it. Much more my style of wine that the bigger/riper vintages of Grange that I have had, like the '95 and '98. I would buy this again at the price I paid on release, but definitely not at what it's currently going for.
Could easily be a 3-5 year old wine. Cherry and bluberry, with kirsch and some menthol on the nose. Perfume-y. Mouthcoating flavors, but a very elegant texture, with dark, dark fruits and fine, fine tannins. Surprisingly variable over the course of drinking, sometimes being very fruit forward, sometimes being more reticent. An excellent wine from a less-than-perfect vintage.
Color is medium garnet with some lightening at the rim. The nose shows an intriguing mix of spiced plum, beef bouillion, and a lighter, almost floral, element. On the palate, plum and mild blackberry predominate at the fore, with an almost tropical undercurrent. Tannins are beautifully integrated and acidity is in check. A beautiful wine that puts the lie to the belief of many that Australia cannot produce subtle, elegant, ageworthy wines. Thanks to Bill Wood for bringing this WOTN.
Seattle Tasting Group does Aussie Shiraz (Bellevue, WA): Big, plummy, overripe and roasted with a smell of almsot rotten fruit. It reminds me a bit of a Clarendon Grenache although with some brett. The palate is spicy with some pepper and then a simply massive wall of tannins and fruit. It is a bit astringent, but there is something to like here.
Seattle Tasting Group does older Northern Rhône reds (Bellevue, WA, USA): Another ringer. The dominant element on the nose is a high-pitched violet. The nose is hyperripe with roasted plum, very intense and pungent. The palate is exotically ripe with banana, tar, and blackberry. The finish shows intense structure, a little searing almost. I knew this was a different animal, but I never would have guessed this was Australian. However, the very floral nose and different character led me to write this in my notes: "Is this really old world?? I don't think so or it will be a surprise." Cool ringer and very impressive wine!
Pre Auction Wine Tasting w/ 1994 Harlan (NYC): Super intense "essense" of berries and spice on the nose. Purried cassis on the palate, great extract, yet not heavy. Tannic, but surprisingly accessable due to the silky nature of the tannins. A blockbuster wine.
dense, backwards dark black fruits - tight US oak in the background - has a touch of the almost clinical blackberry over ripeness that the best Hermitage possess. Great in the mouth - sur maturite, sweetness, candied blackberries. Super rich and concentrated - a special wine. An Aussie version (US oak) of a Hermitage from a good/excellent year.