Penfolds Grange 2004
A blend of 96% Shiraz and 4% Cabernet Sauvignon.
Dark, deep red (at 5 years of age). Enticingly fragrant, yet at once 'Grange' - elements of cola, bay-leaf, malt, Indian spices and nougat. An ethereal oriental lift of glazed Peking Duck is interspersed with fermented black Chinese tea. Oak at one with the wine, other aromatics unite to create a continuum of spice and fruit. Impressive. Palate is seamless and redefined. Classic Grange structure - tight, defined & balanced, with 'slatey' / sandy tannins. Saturated fruits - blackberry and concentrated Satsuma plum skin. A darkened flavour theme of chocolate, liquorice and fermented black Chinese tea mask any overt presence of new oak, courting a long, effortless finish. Intense, powerful vs. composed, polished - an enviable counter-balance.
The 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."
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."
Australian Wine Companion - "Saturated purple-crimson colour; has an amazing depth to the bouquet, oak and black fruits already seamlessly woven; the longer you spend inhaling the aromas, the more you learn about the wine within, in much the same way as a Grand Cru red burgundy. The palate delivers all that the bouquet promises, and then some; it has absolutely perfect proportions to the river of flavours running through blackberry, Satsuma plum, licorice and spice; the tannins are quite active, but totally balanced and ripe."
James Suckling - "A solid wine, with blueberries, spice and blackberries. Some new leather. Full, dense and muscular. This is very well-toned and compacted. Very, very long. Gorgeous finesse and powerful. It's not about raw power here. Needs another five or six years of bottle age. Fabulous young Grange. "
Wine Enthusiast - "A throwback to the monster Shiraz style of old, with loads of toasty, vanilla-laden oak, meaty nuances and driving, intense boysenberry fruit, the 2004 Grange should prove tremendously long-lived. Its massive concentrations and firm tannins suggest cellaring through 2020, after which it should drink well for at least another decade or two."
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."