30+ year is a good aging time for a Grange. It opened up nicely after 2 hours. An intense wine that has a good balance, earthy, black fruit on the palate. A beauty wine, long finish and drinking very well now.
Runny Returns.....the Great Australian Wine Dinner. (Chez Patrick Restaurant, 2/F, Garden East, 222 Queen's Road East, Wan Chai, Hong Kong): Decanted very briefly. Dense purple-red totally opaque core lightening to translucent at the edges and with the merest watery meniscus...... this is not an old-looking wine. Nose is immediately soft, mellow, dusty and totally powdered tannin with a super "come hither" allure but without the OMG of a classic year. Palate is immediately tertiary in charactistics but held beautifully in balance by good initial acidic attack followed by a mellow congee element that reminds me of the wallpaper paste powder I mixed in buckets of water in my childhood. Powdered.....classic Grange elements of dried plums, dried prunes and sandalwood. Hints of black licquorice-like opium smoke come out with more time in the glass and then the plummy black and red fruits assert themselves more....very complex but not in your face. Light but incredibly dimensional resonance inside the head on the finale. Compared to the 1983 and 1986 drank alongside it, this was a 55 year-old woman who would have still stopped traffic at 50 whereas the 1983 would still cause fender benders without even noticing. Not a blockbuster year and I do think it's time to drink up over the next 2-3 years. Faded somewhat with extended time in the glass. Thanks, Chris.
Unbelievably youthful dark ruby colour. Charred beef, dried herbs, soft fig and lovage make a savoury impression. Tannins still abundant and well-structured. Finishes somewhat astringent but long with tarragon, plum, and cassis. Drink now and within the next five years.
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(Penfolds Grange) The 1980 Penfolds Grange was 4% Cabernet and spent 19 months is 100% new oak. It was much more my speed of Grange, elegant and more Burgundian in style while still possessing that sweet, signature Aussie fruit. Horseradish (!) jumped from the nose, and Gil found it ‘herbal’ in a good way. Its sweet, musky nose signaled ‘home sweet home’ as far as Grange goes. There was nice roundness in the mouth, with excellent spice and better acidity than the 1977. It was just beautiful and in a great spot right now.
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