Ahhh Grange….nothing gathers a flock of Asians like the word Grange…well perhaps the phrase “Louis Vuitton on Sale”…maybe. Anyway, today was the release of Penfolds Icon and Luxury release for 2013 and Dan Murphy’s held a tasting for the highly regarded and highly scored 2008 Grange along with the 2009 St Henri and the 2010 RWT. I would have liked to taste them in the correct order, but there were way too many seagulls clamoring over the Grange to risk it…so first up, the granddaddy of Penfolds.

Penfolds Grange 2008

2008 Penfolds Grange

$643 per bottle

This vintage has made a big splash scoring 100/100 by Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW of the Parker bunch adding to the price hike already added my China. Lets see how it stacks up.

A lively pan fried sweetbread nose, silky smooth and opulent fragrances with presence of firmness and power. There is also a big whiff of vanilla followed by nuts, berry and twigs, wet dirt and forest floor. Acidic and firm lined tannin attack, velvet mouthfeel with green peppercorn, gum nuts and a BBQ kangaroo flavor. Spiced quince, stewed fruits and fruit pie spices of cinnamon and clove with a touch of apricot stone fruit aspects toward the end of the mid palate. Finishes quite long, predominantly strawberry, fruit forward in a tightly wrapped laced tannin net with a well acidic underwash.

Now, I have never been a huge fan of Grange, mainly because I don’t believe the cost of the wine reflects what you get in the bottle. Having said that, this is hella good, not perfect (so not 100/100) but maybe 95+. Not only is the wine multi layered and complex on the palate, it’s just as layered and complex on the nose with a finish that’s just just got the right amount of elegance in it to balance the flavors  Is it worth the price tag? Personally I think its a little overpriced but not too far off the mark. $300 would be a steal, fair at around $500. Quite impressive and i’m thinking that it would be good to drink within 5-10 years whist lasting 25+ in the cellar.

Penfolds St Henri

2009 St Henri

$67  per bottle

Next up is the St Henri. High in spice on the nose, quite closed with only a touch of pepper coming through. Attack is a little difficult to describe, kind of like an overly pixelated picture with a plushness way in the background wanting to come out. Quite a meaty and earthy wine with flavors of roasted salted almonds and husks  but really lacks a bit of balance and structure. It’s far too jumbled and has an uncomfortably high alcohol presence. Finishes a bit better, a little more mellow but a little astringent. I don’t understand how this is a 93+ wine, maybe that’s a projected score for when it fully develops in the next 20+ years or so. Currently a no go for little o’me.

Penfolds RWT 2010

2010 RWT Shiraz

$122 per bottle

RWT. Slightly floral nose, white pepper with a hint of large green leaves but generally still closed. Attack is cold, rocky like a slab of slate, then the tannins dig into you your lips bringing clay and crust to the flavor profile. Old dried fruit come through in this tight and muscular wine with shadows of velvet in the back of the mouth and finishing with a milky and creamy texture. A little meh right now, flat and hollow (and again at 93+ points somehow) but I can see it aging better than the St Henri developing a little more of that old stuffy man demeanor of prunes, leather and cigars. How long will that take? I’m not sure, I have to say I’m a bit stumped but I’m going to suggest at least 12 years, maybe longer.

If you get a chance to try the 2008 Grange, do so, it is actually pretty good but you can give the others a miss…or not…actually, no give’em a go and tell me what you think!

Cheers all!