The 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.
"The 2016 Grange includes 3% Cabernet Sauvignon and was sourced from Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale and Clare Valley, with a little bit from Magill Estate, in the suburbs of Adelaide. Aged in 100% new American oak (as always), it offers up trademark lifted aromas plus scents of vanilla, toasted coconut, cedar, raspberries and blackberries. Impressively concentrated and full-bodied, with an extraordinarily long, velvety finish, it's nevertheless reasonably fresh and tight, with decades of cellaring potential if properly stored. Certainly at least on a par with such vintages as 2010 and 2012, the big question is whether it will ultimately reach triple digits."
Joe Cerzinski, Robert Parkers Wine Advocate, July 2020
"A blend of 97% shiraz and 3% cabernet sauvignon from Barossa, McLaren Vale, Clare Valley and Magill Estate. This is a very intense Grange with such rich black-fruit, tar and coal-smoke aromas together with iodine and black-olive notes and an array of wild dark herbs. Almost impenetrable dark plums and licorice, as well as bacon fat. The palate has such seamless delivery of intense blackberry and plum flavors with some redder tones emerging, too. The power here is countered by such freshness and an almost elegant feel. This has such impressive, vibrant, long and seamless fruit power. Really is exceptionally complete, but tight, needs time to open. Very enjoyable now, but better after 2023."
- James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, July 2020
"A dynamic and distinctive red, balancing dark bass notes and fresh fruit. Dark chocolate–covered maraschino cherry and chai tea flavors form the core, but waves of white truffle, spicy cigar, gunpowder, white pepper, dried lavender, salted caramel, framboise and roasted almond are right behind. Dense, velvety tannins firm up on the finish, but the flavors are seamless and harmonious. Drink now through 2045. 879 cases imported. — MW"
- Maryann Worobiec, Wine Spectator, August 2020
Bright deepened red, iris-purple on rim
A fusion of preserved figs, black plum, blackberry and black liquorice flirts with an aromatic elution of fish oil, anchovy, soy and sesame/nori. Nascent scents of toasted charred meats (rotisserie rib of beef?), rendered fat/marrow ... An uplifting freshness and higher notes are liberated with air – awakened scents akin to cola, Chinotto, aniseed, root beer. Camouflaged (new!) oak has to be proactively sought out, verified. Strikes a Grange stylistic bullseye, all boxes ticked.
A retronasal transfer of the aromatics listed above converge to similarly adorn the palate. Full-bodied – turbo-propelled by a V.A./formic mix, affording attaque and grip, yet respectful of balance and style. Custom-fitted with impressive density and length – all dark and black, harmonious. Oak conceded – absorbed, compliant – effortlessly merging with blue and black fruits and dark chocolate/mocha notes. Solid, malleable tannins, with an exacting acid coupling, serve to polish and elevate; no doubt soon to preserve. Energetic, focussed. Much still to reveal ...
Autumn and winter were dry and cool across South Australia. Below long-term average rainfall continued throughout spring and summer, resulting in a slightly delayed start to the growing season across the warmer districts. The early part of summer was warm, with plenty of sunshine, allowing shiraz vines to develop healthy canopies and good bunch set. Rainfall in late January and early February was a welcome relief across the state and greatly improved yield forecasts. Optimal conditions in late summer and early autumn ensured the grapes were able to ripen evenly, develop desirable flavours and firm tannins. The Barossa Valley and Clare Valley harvest was outstanding, for both yield and quality. McLaren Vale recorded only a handful of days above 40°C in December, with no heatwaves from veraison to harvest. Mild conditions were also welcomed at Magill Estate vineyard, where shiraz was able to ripen evenly across all three blocks. Grapes from the Magill Estate harvest were handpicked on the 11th and 12th of February.
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 American oak hogsheads (100% new)|