Penfolds Grange Shiraz 1959 (Penfolds Grange Clinic)
Grange is arguably Australia’s most celebrated wine and is officially listed as a Heritage Icon of South Australia. Grange boasts an unbroken line of vintages from the experimental 1951 and clearly demonstrates the synergy between Shiraz and the soils and climates of South Australia. Grange utilises fully-ripe, intensely-flavoured and textured Shiraz grapes. The result is a unique Australian style that is now recognised as one of the most consistent of the world’s great wines. The Grange style is the original and most powerful expression of Penfolds multi-vineyard, multi-district, blending philosophy.
Mid shoulder level. Image for illustrative purposes only.
Last of the three ‘hidden’ or ‘secret’ Granges made by Max Schubert in defiance of a company order to cease production. The wine was released commercially after the ban was lifted. New oak was not used in these three ‘secret’ vintages. Bottles were labelled Bin numbers 46, 49 and 95. A blend of 94 per cent Shiraz and 6 per cent Cabernet Sauvignon." Penfolds
Penfolds Grange Shiraz (Hermitage) 1959 was made using a blend of 90 percent shiraz and 10 percent cabernet sauvignon. Grapes were grown in the Barossa Valley (Kalimna Vineyard), at Morphett Vale (Adelaide), and on the Magill Estate vineyard in Adelaide. It was a cool vintage. This wine was released as Bin 95, Bin 46 and Bin 49. Naturally, bottles of this are now rare. I’m reviewing this wine here because I’m finally filling in the gaps of the complete vertical tasting of Penfolds Grange that I was lucky enough to sit in on in 2007. The notes of the Grange Vertical Tasting are listed here. Oxidised and porty and overlaid in hay. But boy what a beautifully structured palate. There is no club-footed muscularity here, in the mode of the early 707s. There is brute beauty, of the useful kind, and it’s hard to know what to do with it – except drink lustily of it. Some coarseness here, some twigginess to the flush of honeyed leather. Probably some gamey/barnyardy characters too. But boy I forgive it every mole. Rated : 91 Points; Closure : Cork; Drink : 1975 - 2015; Campbell Mattinson; The Wine Front
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