Penfolds "Grange" Shiraz 2018 (South Australia) - [JS 100,

Penfolds "Grange" Shiraz 2018
(South Australia) - [JS 100, #57 Top 100 of '22] [TWI 100] [WA 99] [VM 98] [WS 98]

Regular price $1,000.00 Sale price $899.97 Save $100.03

JS100 TWI100 WA99 VM98 WS98
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Winery Notes:
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 recognized 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.

GRAPE VARIETY 97% Shiraz, 3% Cabernet Sauvignon
VINEYARD REGION Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale, Clare Valley
WINE ANALYSIS Alc/Vol: 14.5%, Acidity: 7.0 g/L, pH: 3.56
MATURATION 18 months in American oak hogsheads (100% new)
Peak drinking: 2028-2068

Vintage Notes: Near long-term winter rainfall ensured the vines reached spring with full soil moisture profiles. Elevated spring temperatures, driven by higher than usual lows, indicated an early start to the growing season. Warm and sunny weather prevailed throughout most of spring, providing optimal conditions for flowering and fruit-set. The Barossa Valley experienced a dry summer, only recording 50% of the longterm average rainfall. The region experienced 22 days of temperature greater than 35°C during summer, while to the south, McLaren Vale experienced 17 days greater than 35°C. This warm and dry pattern also prevailed in Clare Valley with only one significant rain event in early December. The hot spells slowed grape phenology, delaying harvest by a couple of weeks. Milder conditions in autumn provided optimal conditions for ripening grapes to their fullest potential. An outstanding vintage.

Tasting Notes:

Color: Radiant deep red, on rim, black core.

Nose: Instantly, an assault of piercing V.A., a portal of pulsating formics. Conveying what is then revealed via waves of lingering, layered aromatics:
• First the fruit - ripe blackberries/blackcurrant reduction, laced with spices – notably fennel and anise.
• Then a sprinkle of dark chocolate and cocoa-powder.
• Unabashed scents akin to charcoaled lamb fat, and raw wagyu carpaccio (amid caper berries) arise to authenticate shiraz DNA.
• Conceded, the presence of an ever-so-subtle yet complexing higher-tone mahogany/piano-polish/ lacquer – no doubt derived from the earth, not oak.
• A trepidant tension unfolds – youthful fruitiness wrestling an inky and dense powerhouse.

Palate: Familial flavours of a deconstructed Black Forest Cake/trifle – chocolate, custard, bright wild raspberry; redcurrant. So many other less-obvious flavour ‘distractions’ - mushroom pâté/duxelles, replete with a beefy accompaniment. Notes of sarsaparilla whirled into the mix. Also, an assortment of fresh red and black liquorice – ‘straight out of the bag’. Mouthcoating - a confluence of tannin/acidity/oak/fruit – all joyously meshed together. A convex mid-palate that generously supports upfront palate grip and a continuum of delight all the way to lengthy, lingering finish. Truly ‘alive’, Upon sitting and with air, all transforms. A second revised tasting-note, however, can definitely wait. There will be ample opportunity over the next half-century!

Ratings & Reviews:

100 Points, #57 Top 100 of 2022 - James Suckling
"A robust Grange from a lauded vintage, this wields sheer power with such compelling prowess. Uncompromising Grange. There are rich blackberries and plums on offer, together with brazen oak and abundant notes of blackcurrants, black cherries, charcoal, cola and hard brown spices. So fiery and intense. Dark chocolate and cocoa powder armomas and flavors here, too. The tannins are polished and long, extruding deep into the finish and holding endlessly. Dark chocolate, black cherry, dark plum and more. Impressive. Brazen. One of the greatest Granges that will drink magnificently for decades to come."

100 Points - The Wine Independent:
"Composed of 97% Shiraz with a 3% splash of Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2018 Grange was sourced from the Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale, and Clare Valley. It was aged for 18 months in 100% new American oak hogsheads (slightly larger than the classic Bordeaux barriques). It sports an opaque purple-black color, while the nose begins as an impenetrable wall of blueberry pie and blackberry preserves. Patience and vigorous swirling eventually unlock an underlying perfume of Indian spices, cedar chest, sassafras, fragrant soil, and cracked black peppercorns, with slowly emerging wafts of licorice, charcuterie, and rose oil. The assertive, full-bodied palate is taut and muscular, featuring very firm, super tight-knit tannins and seamless acidity, finishing long, long, long. Undoubtedly one of the great modern era Granges, this 2018 is like a hypothetical blend of the concentrated, powerful 2013, albeit with the latent expressiveness of the fabulously opulent, flamboyant 2008. Try to keep your hands off this multifaceted powerhouse for 10-15 years and then drink it over the next 50 years+ or bequeath it to your favored next of kin." -LPB (7/20/22)

99 Points - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate:
"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."

98 Points - Vinous:
Inky, bright-rimmed violet. A kaleidoscopic, penetrating bouquet evokes ripe black and blue fruit preserves, espresso, cola, incense, coconut and Moroccan spices, along with a smoky mineral topnote. Shows superb clarity and mineral lift to the sweet, deeply concentrated black currant, bitter cherry, dark chocolate, fruitcake and mocha flavors, which are sharpened by a spicy element. A vein of juicy acidity adds support and drives a wonderfully long, smoky finish that leaves a suave floral note behind. (Drink between 2030-2045)

100 Points - The Vintage Journal:

"Deep color. Beautiful and classic, with intense blackberry, blackcurrant dark chocolate espresso aromas and wax polish, roasted chestnut, malt notes. Superbly concentrated wine with deep-set inky blackberry, blackcurrant, dark plum, dark chocolate mocha flavors, fine chocolatey/velvety tannins, underlying espresso, malt, oak notes and hints of aniseed. Finishes chocolatey firm with superbly integrated acididty and mineral length. A glorious year for Grange. This will last 50 years at least. Wonderful. One of the greatest vintages of all time, highlighting a superb growing season, marvellous vineyard management, the fidelity of the Penfolds house style and generations of imagination and effort."

100 Points - Wine Pilot
"A much-awaited vintage that fulfills expectations and then some. It has all the elements that you come to expect but still you have to sit back and marvel that so much can be going on inside one wine. Firstly, it simply ain't Grange unless it is wearing its traditional American oak coat, and this iteration isn't going to shy away from that. But perhaps it is the generosity across the board of South Australia's 2018 vintage that gathers in 18 months of barrel maturation, puts shape to it broad-shouldered dark fruits, turns oak notes into chocolate and sasparilla characters on one side of the brain and beef and mushroom braise in the other. All in all, it is a fabulous balance of inputs: big fruit, classically prominent oak, all its structural tannins and acidity fitting cleverly into one exceptionally complex and engaging being. Palate length is indefinite, perhaps suggesting similar cellaring potential well into the second half of the 21st century. Magnificent."

98 Points - Wine Spectator:
"A remarkable wine, bursting with complexity and intensity but on a polished, mouthcoating and juicy frame, which makes this easy to enjoy now. Features chicory, sarsaparilla, dark chocolate and salted caramel notes that mingle with ripe black cherry, framboise and huckleberry flavors, backed by hints of almond paste and savory details of cured meat and fresh-crushed rosemary that linger on the epic finish. Drink now through 2045. 426 cases imported."