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Penfolds Grange Shiraz 2003 1500ml

A very ripe, assertive, profoundly structured and traditional warm year Grange whose dark, brooding and brambly fruit and lavish oak are supported by drying, firm and chalky tannin. It’s still a bruising young wine, with a surprisingly floral and heady, jasmine-like bouquet and dense layers of blackberries, blueberries, cassis and dark plums backed by smoky, meaty, dark chocolate and cedary influences. As it opens further, nuances of treacle, aniseed and graphite slowly emerge. Firm and dense, its palate simply drips with concentrated flavour, finishing with the length and balance expected of this label. (Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale, Langhorne Creek, Magill Estate, Coonawarra, 18.9/96, drink 2023-2033+) Jeremy Oliver

Grange eh? A wine that requires no introduction. As with all Grange the aromatics are layered and complex with this vintage offering a whole raft of interesting things to smell. It’s showing a touch of char, brown spices, blackberry, coconut, liquorice, aniseed, soy sauce, camphor and fruit cake in and amongst other things. Seek and ye shall find but the overall impression over three days tasting is of a rich darkly fruited wine backed with liberal high class oak that smells terrific. On the palate full bodied and bulging with powerful dark tarry fruit, mince pie, dark chocolate, dry spices, aniseed and plenty of perfumed cedary oak. It maintains a good level of freshness and has layers of open knit very firm chalky tannins that make their presence felt from start to long finish. The tannins receded and softened over three days but still felt a little raw and blocky at the end. Young wine, no doubt, but I’d suggest it will always be a more rustic example of Grange, although a good one. A remarkable wine considering the vintage too. Rated : 94+ Points; Alcohol : 14.5%; Price : $550; Closure : Cork; Drink : 2016 - 2033; Gary Walsh; Winorama