2013 Penfolds "Grange" Shiraz South Australia

SKU #1350613 100 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Remember that old Heinz Ketchup "anticipation" ad from the 1970s? The palate of this 2013 Grange does just that. It makes you wait with so much delicious promise being drip fed into the mouth at first-and then it bursts forth and delivers! This vintage is a blend of 96% Shiraz and 4% Cabernet Sauvignon, coming from the Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale, Coonawarra and Magill Estate. Very deep inky purple-black colored, the 2013 Grange has a profoundly scented nose of crème de cassis, preserved black plums, blueberry pie and licorice over nuances of baker's chocolate, smoky bacon and fragrant earth, plus exotic spice wafts of cumin seed, cardamom, fenugreek and star anise. Unfurling and slowly building in the medium to full-bodied mouth with wonderful grace and depth, it reveals an incredible array of ripe black fruit, spice, meat and earth-inspired flavors, with a rock-solid frame to support this beauty (it should easily cellar for 40+ years!), while previously latent flavors emerge fully on the epically long finish, culminating in that ultimate Grange experience. Oh, yes. (L. P-B.)  (10/2017)

98 points Decanter

 A blend of 96% Shiraz and 4% Cabernet, this is a stunning Grange which easily compares in quality to 2010 and 2012. It is big, flamboyant and hedonistic on the nose and palate - the former is full of kirsch, mulberry, balsam and a generous dollop of purposeful VA to lift the massive aroma from the glass. The latter is equally sweet, rich and dense as it brims with saturated flavours encompassing damson, blackberry, liquorice, espresso, tarmac and cola. And so it's little or no surprise that this is also full to bursting with tannic heft and dry extract mouthfeel, all of which is expertly assuaged by refreshing acidity to keep it lithe and supple. It's still too young to say where this will sit in the Grange pantheon, but it's almost certainly going to be one to watch and enjoy for the next 30 to 40 years. Drinking Window 2020 - 2055 (JS)  (9/2017)

97 points Wine Spectator

 This is bold, with plenty of power and grace. Dense and lush up front, featuring aromatic notes of espresso and milk chocolate, with a core of fresh, juicy raspberry coulis, wild blackberry and maraschino cherry flavors. Perfumed gingerbread, licorice, sandalwood and Kalamata olive details emerge on the epic finish, showing tremendous harmony. Drink now through 2037. 897 cases imported. (MW)  (3/2018)

18 points Jancis Robinson

 18+ points: An unbroken line of vintages from the experimental 1951. The majority of South Australia had a dry winter reminiscent of 2006, vines were in water deficit at the beginning of spring and became accustomed to dry conditions quite early. The exception was McLaren Vale, where revitalising winter rainfall exceeded the long-term average. Early budburst was noticeable across many regions. Dry and warm spring conditions explained canopy growth and yields, becoming typical of the 2013 growing season. Warm days were dispersed throughout October, November and in early January, contributing to an early start to the 2013 harvest and a condensed vintage. Dry and warm conditions, coupled with lower than average yields resulted in fruit showing strong, structural tannins and wines of great intensity and encouraging flavour. The Magill Estate fruit was harvested in pristine condition, hand-picked on 14 and 15 February 2013. 96% Shiraz, 4% Cabernet from Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale, Coonawarra, Magill. TA 6.8 g/l, pH 3.65. 20 months in 100% new American oak hogsheads. Rich, smooth nose with polished mulberry and real lift on the nose. Masses of sweetness - almost bonbons! - and then great rich depth underneath. Red fruits. Bright red powdered spices somehow. Massive chew and weight with the polished fruit struggling to cover the tannins. Something rather ecclesiastical about this. Incense? Certainly spice cabinet. Dry fresh, neat finish. Real kick. Liquorice and lift. Gago mainta  (9/2017)

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Price: $599.99

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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 wine regions are in the southeastern area of the continent, including Barossa Valley, Clare Valley, McLaren Vale, and Coonawarra in South Australia; Yarra Yarra Valley 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 and Sauvignon Blanc from the land Down Under, where Riesling also enjoys international acclaim. 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.
Sub-Region:

South Australia