Origin: Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale, Clare Valley, Magill Estate /South Australia
Grapes: 97% Shiraz / 3% Cabernet Sauvignon
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.
18 months in American oak hogsheads (100% new).
The 2018 Grange Bin 95 is an ultra-premium blend of Shiraz and 3% Cabernet Sauvignon. It will go down as one of the great Grange vintages with immaculate balance and poise despite immense concentration. The sheer density of fruit is breath-taking, with exceptional vitality also on display. There is a dense, muscular core of fruit including blackberries, licorice, tar and dried sage in perfect alignment with decadent but well integrated American oak. Despite superb palate concentration, it is also surprisingly light on its feet and vibrant with wave after wave of brooding dark berry fruit and soy sauce flavours. A deep well of tannins also support an almost endless and distinguished finish. This will age incredibly well and improve for decades. 98pts. Vinous
This wine comes with high expectations—as does the vintage. The 2018 vintage across South Australia (and cheekily, we could probably extend the accolade to all of Australia) was excellent. It was warm, but without incident, and responsible for powerfully ripe, serious wines. Many producers made some of their best wines in this vintage. So here, to the 2018 Grange: there is spiced raspberry, lashings of salted licorice, red curry paste, layers of forest berries, rendered lamb fat and crushed pink peppercorns to start. In the mouth, the tannins close around the fruit with the same polish and seamlessness as the 2008, possibly the 2004? Very different vintages, but there is a textural similarity for me. This is polished and glossy and so very pretty. It contains 3% Cabernet Sauvignon this year, and 69% Barossa, 18% McLaren Vale and the balance from Clare Valley. Each of the regions brings with it its own characteristics. Barossa brings the red dirt, blood, deli meat and rust. McLaren Vale brings the plush purple fruits with a side of meat and licorice. Clare brings the polish, the opulence and the velvet texture. With their powers combined, this is an extraordinary Grange. One of the true greats, which will only get better as it ages. 99pts. Erin Larkin, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate