2008 Penfolds "Grange" Shiraz South Australia (Pre-Arrival)
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Deep purple-black in color, the 2008 Grange puts forward a very complex nose packed with aromas of mulberries, layers of baking spices, cloves and cinnamon with nuances of minced meat, anise, potpourri and whiffs of dried mint and chocolate. Medium to full-bodied, taut and very spicy in the mouth, it shows touches of sandalwood and Chinese five spice complementing the layers of dark fruit flavors. It is framed by firm, grainy tannins and a refreshing acid line before finishing very long with aniseed and lingering blackberry preserves notes. This is clearly a wonderfully opulent and a magic vintage for this label. Drink it from 2018 to 2035+.
An utterly majestic Shiraz, sleek and seamless, brimming with ripeness on a framework that allows for grace and expressiveness in equal measure. The intensity of fresh blueberry and plum fruit holds attention until the nuances kick in, offering glints of exotic spice, coffee, cocoa, bay leaf and mint. Shows tremendous presence without a lot of weight, the tannins present but not even close to getting in the way. A great wine now, with plenty of room to grow. Drink now through 2040
The wine contains 98/2% shiraz and cabernet sauvignon, and spent 19 months in new American oak hogsheads in which it finished its fermentation. Densely coloured, it has an ultra-complex bouquet, with black fruits/anise/licorice, easily dealing with the oak; a remarkable wine in every way. The balance, texture and structure are faultless, so much so that the wine achieves elegance now, many years before you would expect that quality to be commented on.
**Cellar Selection** This has all the size and weight you’ve come to expect from Australia’s most famous wine. Huge fruit and huge oak combine in a full-bodied, richly textured package that delivers waves of toasted coconut, vanilla and intense dark berries yet remains embryonic more than five years after the harvest. That said, the texture isn’t quite as tight or as fine as some other vintages—expect this to be early maturing by Grange standards, and best from 2020–2040.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
(made from 98% shiraz and 2% cabernet sauvignon, from fruit grown in vineyards in the Barossa Valley, the Magill Estate Vineyard and the Clare Valley; raised in 100% new American oak): Inky purple. Intensely perfumed, expressive aromas of dark berry preserves, bitter chocolate, fruitcake and smoked meat, with a spicy topnote. Sweet, palate-staining blackberry, vanilla and dark chocolate flavors are sharpened and lifted by juicy acidity and show superb delineation and back-end power. Supple tannins come on late and give grip to a sweet, impressively persistent finish with grace notes of floral pastille and allspice. While this wine will no doubt age with ease, I find it almost shockingly approachable now.
98% Shiraz, 2% Cabernet Sauvignon. 19 months in new American hogsheads. 89% Barossa Valley, 9% Clare Valley, 2% Magill Estate. Really does have something different about the nose -- plums, redcurrants, beautiful supple tannins, so elegant yet powerful. Long finish with a potency to the structure that deserves long maturation. Not juicy, not fruit-cakey. Fabulous purity. Very special. 19+/20 points.
Penfolds Grange has been Australia's premier wine offering for decades, and has won numerous accolades. With vintages that go back to the 1950s, Grange is highly sought after by collectors. It is even listed as a "Heritage Icon of South Australia."