2004 Penfolds Grange

SKU #1047714 99 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2004 vintage was outstanding in Barossa, McLaren Vale, and Magill, the regions where the grapes were sourced for the marvelous 2004 Grange. It contains 4% Cabernet Sauvignon and was aged for 16 months in 100% new American oak hogsheads. A glass-coating opaque purple color, it displays a superb nose of wood smoke, Asian spices, incense, game, blueberry, and blackberry liqueur. Medium to full-bodied, satin textured, with deeply layered, succulent blackberry, plum, and chocolate flavors, it has the structure and complexity to merit extended cellaring of a decade and more. The winery estimates a drinking curve of 2016 to 2050; I'd be a bit more conservative on the long end of the range. It will ultimately be seen as one of the great vintages of Grange.  (12/ 2009)

98 points Wine Spectator

 Smooth and seductive, this delivers a full-throated chorus of currant, plum, blackberry and spice flavors, hinting at coffee and cardamom as the finish floats and sails easily over a bed of polished, refined tannins. A touch of black olive balances nicely against it all. Beautifully structured, expressive and very long. Best from 2012 through 2025.  (10/ 2009)

96 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Powerful aromas of cassis, blackberry and bitter cherry are complemented by exotic notes of smoky peat, pipe tobacco, violet oil and fresh blood. Deeply concentrated cherry skin and blackcurrant flavors are underscored by a strong mineral quality, with a sexy floral element gaining strength with air. The minerality builds on the finish, which leaves a wide swath of spice and earth notes in its wake. This wine's marriage of depth, spiciness, fruit, meatiness and minerality is extremely impressive.  (10/ 2009)

K&L Notes

"The wait for this Grange release has indeed been worthwhile - arguably the finest vintage since Mother Nature's endowment ofa number of stellar 1990s vintages...Certainly stylistically in the mould of the wonderful 1990 & 1996 vintages." (Peter Gago - Penfolds Chief Winemaker) This exceptional, ageworthy wine hardly needs an introduction. Parker's Advocate has rated every vintage since 1975 90 points or higher (the 1976 was rated 100 points, and both the 1986 and 1998 were rated 99). No collector should miss this.

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Price: $429.99

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Varietal:

Shiraz/Syrah

- One of France's noblest black grape varieties, Syrah is known for its intense and distinctive perfume reminiscent of briar fruit, tar, spice and black pepper and its firm structure. One of few black grape varietals frequently vinified on its own, the best examples of Syrah come from the Northern Rhône, particularly Hermitage, but also Côte-Rôtie, Cornas, Crozes-Hermitage and St-Joseph. These wines are very astringent in their youth, though some Crozes-Hermitage and St-Joseph can be enjoyed young, relatively speaking. Given the requisite patience, though, these wines can reveal amazing complexity and secondary fruit characteristics like plum and blackcurrant as well as subtle hints of smoke and flowers. In the Southern Rhône, Syrah is used to add structure and complexity to wines dominated by Grenache and complemented by Mourvèdre, like the more immediately drinkable Côte du Rhônes, as well as the long-lived wines of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. In recent years, plantings of Syrah have spread throughout the Languedoc-Roussillon where it is produced on its own or blended with other varietals. Outside of France, the most important Syrah growing country is easily Australia, where it is called Shiraz. Quality levels here depend greatly on yields and geography, and the wines range from bold, fruity and easy-drinking to intense and ageable, like the famed Penfolds Grange. Often bottled on its own, in Australia Syrah is also can be blended with Grenache and Mourvèdre, as in the Southern Rhône, and is increasingly combined with Cabernet Sauvignon. Syrah has also been steadily increasing in popularity in California, thanks to a group of advocates called the Rhône Rangers. Its most successful iterations come from the Central and Sonoma Coasts, where winemakers are pushing boundaries and creating some incredible wines. In recent years Syrah has also found a number of proponents in Washington State, which is definitely a region to watch for this variety.
Country:

Australia

- While it is true that the greatest strides in Australian winemaking have come in the last 30 years or so, commercial viticulture began as early as the 1820s and has developed uninterrupted ever since. The majority of the great Region are in the southeastern area of the continent, with the Barossa Valley, Claire Valley, McLaren Vale, and Coonawarra in South Australia, the Yarra Yarra Velley and Pyrenees in Victoria and the Upper and Lower Hunter Valleys in New South Wales. Many of the wines from Southeastern Australia are based on Shiraz or Cabernet Sauvignon and various blends including Grenache and Mourvedre. In Western Australia, along the Margaret River, great strides are being made with Pinot Noir as well as Bordeaux-styled reds. There are also many world-class releases of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling from the land Down Under. While many equate Aussie wines with "value", there are more than a few extremely rare and pricey options, which never fail to earn the highest ratings from wine publications and critics throughout the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from Australia.
Sub-Region:

South Australia