2008 Penfolds "Grange" Shiraz South Australia (Pre-Arrival)

SKU #1133896 100 points 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+.  (2/ 2013)

100 points Wine Spectator

 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  (6/ 2013)

98 points James Halliday

 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.  (2/ 2013)

98 points Wine Enthusiast

 **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.  (2/ 2014)

96 points 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.  (7/ 2013)

Jancis Robinson

 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.  (6/ 2013)

K&L Notes

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."

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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

Specific Appellation:

Barossa Valley