Penfolds Grange Shiraz 1986
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.
One of my favorite wines from Penfolds, the 1986 (a blend of 87% Shiraz and 13% Cabernet Sauvignon) is one of the most powerful Granges produced (14+% alcohol). At age 23, it reminds me of the way it tasted around 9 years of age. Inky/purple to the rim with an extraordinary perfume of sweet licorice, crushed pepper, blackberry liqueur, camphor, and barbecue spices, this sensationally full-bodied, concentrated, layered 1986 is still an infant in terms of its ultimate potential. It is remarkable how this wine has aged, and it’s hard to believe how certain wine geeks will subscribe to the aging ability of the Grange, but don’t believe the same is true for other old vine Shiraz wines from the Barossa and McLaren Vale. It just doesn’t make any sense. The 1986 is one of the greatest Granges for my palate, and it appears to still have 25-30 years of upside. Grange, Penfolds’ flagship wine, is, by many accounts, the most renowned and world-famous wine produced in Australia, and these six vintages from my cellar all acquitted themselves well. These wines are almost always Shiraz, but many vintages include less than 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, and there are cross-appellations blends from vineyards in the Barossa and McLaren Vale. 98+ Points Robert Parker eRobertParker.com Jun 2009
Image for illustrative purposes only.
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