The release of the Penfolds Grange every year – its uninterrupted vintages stretching back to 1951 – has always been much anticipated by red wine lovers in current times. While “single vineyard” and “single plot” wines may have started sounding sexier nowadays, yet South Austalia’s Heritage Icon, Penfolds Grange, has stuck to its guns…and its multi-vineyard, multi-district blending. Chief winemaker Peter Gago though, is not coy about divulging that the Kalimna shiraz has consistently, more often than not, contributed to every Grange through the years.
But what is the 2012 Penfolds Grange like and does it justify the price tag? Gago says it is “stylistically, most closely aligned to the 1963 Grange” and that it channels the 2010 Grange. Senior winemaker Kyn Schroeter and the team believe “it will be one of the greatest Granges”. Andrew Caillard MW says: “A transcendent and powerfully expressive Grange harking back to Max Schubert’s original blueprint. Its aromatic complexity, generosity and suppleness are reminiscent of the early 1960s. This has to be in the pantheon of all-time great vintages.”
The Grange 2012 is incredibly self-assured and balanced even at such a young age. With an imposing dark red robe, the nose gallops straight out of the gate with complex earthy and savoury notes progressing to sandalwood, warm spices and black fruit. The palate is rich and intense, velvety yet firm and fresh with juicy black cherry and olive flavours. Many wine drinkers would consider it akin to infanticide to drink it now – Gago projects it can be cellared until 2055, other critics have suggested laying it down until 2035 with one giving the outside estimate at 2070. We’re not sure we can wait that long!
There are only five very limited Penfolds Aevum Imperial Service Ritual sets comprising an imperial Grange and a 1m tall, 50kg Saint-Louis decanter – one is owned by Asian luxury Dream Cruises, who launched the world’s first floating Penfolds Flagship Wine Vault. However, Saint-Louis also handcrafted limited single bottle crystal decanters for the 750ml Grange – designed to gently aerate the wine as it spins around on the base plate. There are a total of 15 available in Singapore.
The Penfolds Collection 2016 comprises 19 wines including the 2014 Yattarna, Bin 707 Cabernet Sauvignon, RWT Barossa Valley Shiraz, Magill Estate Shiraz and the 2013 St. Henri Shiraz.