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.
2005 may not be the most profound Grange, nor will it be the most long-lived, but, oh my goodness, is there some complexity tucked into its crevasses! It is not the blockbuster of 2002 and doesn’t have the stamina and hidden secrets of 2004 (which took hours to reveal itself) but there is no question that this is a great vintage for Grange, as exuberant and expressive as any young Grange I have seen. In no way precocious or simplistic, this is a wine with a plethora of layers. The bouquet is particularly lifted and spicy this year, with violets and mixed spice hovering over fruit mince and dark chocolate oak. In time, coal, black olive and Satsuma plum aromas unravel. The palate is powerful, even by Grange dimensions, with lifted violets and exotic spice ushering in a cavalcade of stewed plum, rhubarb and plum pudding fruit in the wake of a wave of signature Grange tannins. A Grange that is both seductive and brooding, 2005 is the vintage to drink while you await your 2002s and 2004s to come back down to earth. 97 Points; Tyson Stelzer, April 2010
For reasons of protocol I was not able to do an up-to-date tasting for the 2011 Wine Companion, relying instead on the September 2007 Rewards of Patience tasting. In fact, not too much has changed. The ‘05 is a more classic and compact wine than the ‘04. The fruit line of the ‘05 is glossy and smooth, the tannins and acidity acting as a break, and giving tightness. It has a long future ahead. 96 points; drink to 2045; 14.5% alc/vol; cork; $650; James Halliday Wine Companion
Penfolds Grange 2005 - it doesn’t come with the hype of the 2004, but it is no slouch. In fact it’s beautiful. Showy vanillin, coffeed, toasty oak is the first impression – as you’d expect of a Grange - though it’s neither syrupy nor malty. The big surprise with this release though is that it doesn’t have the bigness of tannin that some (or most) Grange releases boast. Is this a bad thing? In this case, no - because the balance of this 2005 is brilliant. So too is the dark fruit power motoring through the finish. Grange is renowned for its ‘formula’, but this vintage changes the tune according to the wants of the season - less muscle, more finesse. A vote for the craft of the winemakers involved. It’s persistent and seductive and awash with flavours of sweet, dense, meaty, smoky, leathery blackberry and blackcurrant. It does the Grange name proud. Rated : 95 Points Alcohol : 14.4% Closure : Cork Drink : 2017 - 2035 By Campbell Mattinson; The Wine Front
Image for illustrative purposes only.
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