This wine was re-corked by Penfolds in 2008, so there was a reasonable chance regarding provenance. It was, simply, a stunning experience tempered, no doubt by the expectation level when opening a 50 year old Grange. I was expecting disappointment. Contrary to the previous writer, the most incredible aspect of opening this wine was it's colour. In the decanter it was a dark cherry, dare, I say it, almost veering towards black. We could not believe it. So much so that one of the taster joked about how much the bottle must have been topped up in the re-corking process. In the glass, the lighter crimson around the rim gave some age away, but not 50 years, more like 15. The nose was a complex alchemy of dried fruit, christmas cake and cigar box and the wine itself displayed these characters in abundance. To put this in context, this wine followed an 03 Haut Brion, 04 Lafite, 01 Cheval Blanc… and preceded Amarone from Quintarelli and Dal Forno. It was a quantum leap forward from the Bordeaux and held it's own, albeit in a different weight division, with the Amarones. Whilst the Bordeaux were that like that mysterious girl that everyone raves about, giving you very little and forcing you to go looking for the reasons why she is so spectacular, this wine just jumped out of the bottle, hugged you and told you how much she loved you. Again, a 50 year old wine, drinking with the best of them. Fantastic.
2002 Penfold's Wine Clinic. Brick colour. Very pale. Pinot pale. On the nose everything secondary, delicate, cigar, earth and under it all the idea that it was founded on sweet fruit. Later turning to cocoa, later still I said cherry and tobacco. Just before the black and raspberries appeared. Changed all through the night but on each pour only lasted ten minutes in the glass then overwhelmed by nail varnish. Despite it's colour it had a medium body and a clean drying finish. All very interesting and not unpleasant but it's not a wine you'd fall in love with. Or even that you'd buy again to drink. Certainly not at the price. But it's an interesting experience. NB It had thrown a massive sediment. I did not decant and one shouldn't; given my comments I think it would be all over for the bottle if you did.
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