Echoing my last tasting note, the '85 Grange is still drinking beautifully. No signs of mortality almost 30 years after the vintage. Every bottle (from this case) that I have opened has resulted in a dry, crumbly cork leaving me momentarily panicked. Unable to pull the cork, it must be pushed down into the wine and then decanted to filter the cork litter. But each time, an otherworldly wine has been revealed.
This bottle showed pitch black fruit and provided a sensation of waves of satin all encompassing and undulating down your throat. The wine is like a space age material -- lightweight, flexible, yet impenetrable.
The 1985 Grange was a near perfect wine experience with almost 30 years since Harvest. It was full of surprise and nuance. One thinks of Australian Shiraz as big and powerful -- a full throttle wine. Yet, this bottle was feminine, smooth, elegant and subtly complex. Over the course of the evening, one drew out flavor notes, aromatics and bouquet rather than being hit over the head with it. It was the favorite of the evening by far. Alas, only two bottles remain of the original case given to me by a dear friend upon release. Friends that provide decades of enjoyment in one form or another (in this case wine) are the best to have.
This is a cool, silky, svelte, perfectly judged Grange. It has the power and will last for decades, but the emphasis here is on finesse and refinement. It has a zenlike finish. Probably my wine of the night, or equal with the 1982. Drink now-2050.
(Penfolds Clinic, Sydney 2012) [1985, 1986, 1990 side by side, sampled from bottle and assessed, before topping up and re-corking; not enough time and quantity to get a full picture!] What an eye-opener, having this next to the 1986 - much more perfumy, finer, more savory, and definitely the more feminine Grange. Still, great structure and poise, but definitely the more delicate alongside the earthier 1986. This bottle is keeping VERY beautifully. Pleased!
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