The original and most powerful expression of Penfolds multi-vineyard, multi-district blending philosophy, Grange is arguably Australia’s most celebrated wine and is officially listed as a Heritage Icon of South Australia. Crafted utilising fully-ripe, intensely-flavoured and structured 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. With an unbroken line of vintages from the experimental 1951, Grange clearly demonstrates the synergy between Shiraz and the soils and climates of South Australia.
The development of Max Schubert’s Grange is a modern tale of imagination, a battle against the odds and redemption. It began with a side trip to Bordeaux in 1949, where a wine ‘capable of staying alive for a minimum of twenty years’, first entered Schubert’s mind. His first experimental vintage in 1951 began a new way of thinking that would eventually lead to a signature wine style, but not before Grange was discredited and Max Schubert forced to make the wine in secrecy.
"Much anticipated vintage for Grange and it is a powerhouse of concentration and complexity. Aromas of orange and lemon peel to start, then graphite, blackberries, plum paste, black cherries, boundless sweet oak spice, fresh cedar, tar, mahogany, roasted coffee and chocolate - the list goes on. Such complexity. Classic Grange, offering such deep, dark intensity. The palate has immense richness and depth with a super succulent and very long, fleshy, deeply weighted array of dense, velvet-wrapped tannins that run so long. The fruit flavors sit in the blackberry, blood-plum and blueberry zone with succulent, long and assertive structure, carrying through in an utterly seamless mode. The finish is tightly wrenched, in spectacularly powerful style, locking this wine in for a very long haul. Best from 2030."
- James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, August 2019
"The flagship 2015 Grange is a monster of wine and one of those rare wines that blends power and elegance perfectly. Revealing a saturated purple color, it’s seemingly more forward and seductive than past great vintages, which I suspect is due to the incredible purity of fruit as well as the wine’s flawless balance than any change in winemaking or stylistic shifts. I also think the acidity is healthy, and the 2015 tips the scales at 14.5% alcohol, which is certainly in the sweet spot, if not tame, for beautifully ripe Syrah these days. A blend of 98% Shiraz and 2% Cabernet Sauvignon that spent 20 months in new American oak hogsheads, it offers an extraordinary perfume of sweet crème de cassis, lead pencil shavings, camphor, Asian spices, licorice, and wildflowers. This is followed by a full-bodied, powerful yet incredibly seamless and elegant Shiraz that has no hard edges, a big, dense mid-palate, ripe tannins, and a great finish. Coming close to rivaling the 1986, which has always been a benchmark vintage of Grange for me, the 2015 offers a more polished, elegant, approachable style. Vintage comparisons aside, this is a legendary example of Grange in the making. The savvy wine lovers out there will give this 7-8 years of bottle age (I’ll probably be out of bottles by then) and enjoy over the following 2-3 decades."
- Jeb Dunnuck, November 2019
"The nose of the 2015 Grange features the wine's characteristic lifted aromas, joined by pronounced American oak influence and bold blackberry fruit, plus hints of red meat, raspberries, asphalt and vanilla. It's dense and concentrated on the palate, full-bodied yet balanced and firm, with a rich, velvety texture and long, plush finish. Don't expect great complexity at this stage—it's much too young to show much more than the primary fruit and oak elements—but this is a Grange that should easily go three or four decades."
Joe Cerzinski, Robert Parkers Wine Advocate, August 2019
Opaque, a dark core with a lighter deep red concession on rim
An eruption of fruits. At once lively and expressive, conceding Grange personality yet still not revealing all .... Dark coffee grind, malt and tapenade merge with black earths, almost verging on peat. Mandated V.A and formic notes propel a slurry of dark-skinned berried fruits, flirting with dark liquorice and soy. Oak completely hidden, long since absorbed. Now, back to the glass for a second sniff!
Initially the ‘enlivened’ dark fruits of a Christmas pudding or boiled fruitcake mix demand attention. But there’s much more to complement these fruits – impressions of ironstone, graphite, iodine, black ink, and a black pudding viscosity. Formidable, meshed tannins – texturally honeycombed, without the honey! Oak has entwined itself invisible. Yes, every barrel still new, and completion of fermentation off skins in barrel still Grange modus operandi. Integrated, measured ... and clearly more than one sip required to gain an authentic ‘first-impression’. Certainly a wine of its vintage. A Grange of 2015.
Across South Australia’s premium growing regions, winter and early spring rainfall were close to the long-term average. From August, conditions became significantly drier with only a few light spring showers recorded. Record low rainfall was recorded from September to March stretching water supplies. Warm and dry conditions encouraged early flowering and fruit-set, with rapid canopy growth. Early summer temperatures dropped below average with no major heat waves recorded. Once harvest commenced, it progressed rapidly with most blocks of shiraz picked earlier than previous years. Although the prevailing conditions resulted in lower than anticipated yields, the quality of fruit was exceptional. A strong Penfolds vintage.
Peter joined the winemaking team in 1989, initially in the craftsmanship of sparkling wines, before moving on to reds as Penfolds Red Wine Maker. In 2002 Peter became the fourth ever Chief Winemaker for Penfolds. Together with his fellow winemakers, Peter’s careful custodianship has ensured that Grange and the other ‘older’ members of the Penfolds family, have continued to set the benchmark for their style and quality, while new additions to the range push the boundaries ever wider.
|Oak Treatment||18 months in 100% new American oak hogsheads|