Penfolds Grange 2001
Syrah/Shiraz from Barossa Valley, Australia
Deep, dark and dense, retaining bright purple hues. The nose is immediately Grange, revealing barrel ferment complexities soaked in dark berried fruits. Vibrant, youthful and lifted, a mix of tightly packed liquorice, freshly tanned leather and dark spices create a poised, controlled and distinctive wine.
The Wine Advocate - "It is always a treat to taste Australia’s most famous wine, Penfolds’ Grange cuvee (the word Hermitage has been dropped because of legal issues). The 2001 Grange is one of the few vintages of this cuvee to be composed of 100% Shiraz (the others being 1951, 1952, 1963, 1999, and 2000). Aged 17 months in 100% American oak, and tipping the scales at 14.5% alcohol, the 2001 is undeniably one of the top examples of this wine. At this stage, it appears to eclipse the 1998 and 1996. Inky/blue/purple to the rim, with a stunning perfume of blueberries, blackberries, chocolate, graphite, and earth, it boasts good acidity, huge tannins, magnificent concentration, and a multilayered, textured mouthfeel. It is a big, but impeccably well-balanced Shiraz that should shed some of its structure and tannin over the next 4-5 years, and be at its best between 2010-2030+.
Wine & Spirits - "Grange is often an explosion on release, and this '01 does not want for intensity. This vintage is unusual, as it's all from Barossa fruit; what's more unusual is that its subtlety and grace make it surprisingly approachable as a young wine. The power of old-vine fruit is there in the color, black and concentrated at the core, deep red at the edge. It's also there in the complex aromatics, layered in earthy tannins. Those beautiful tannins drive the wine, releasing a quiet blast of black fruit that evolves for over a minute as it lasts past each taste. The wine just doesn't let go, and is as mouthwatering as the sizzle on a steak. Grange will often thrive for 20 years from the vintage, the best vintages lasting longer."
Australian Wine Companion - "It is extraordinary how this wine has gained power, weight and complexity since first bottled; now majestic black fruits, licorice and chocolate/mocha notes run through the palate. Great tannins sustain and support the back palate and finish. Please move to screwcaps; this wine would live forever."
International Wine Cellar - "Inky violet with a bright rim. Explosive and utterly captivating on the nose, offering a range of aromas that encompasses red and darker berries, flowers, cigar box, minerals and sexy oak spices. Quite broad on the palate, and packing a real punch to its flavors of cassis, boysenberry, candied plum, bitter chocolate and fruitcake. Serious, harmonious tannins give plenty of structural support. This expands and grows even sweeter with aeration, finishing with outstanding persistence. Oak spices add sex appeal. A superb Grange. "
Wine Spectator - "Deep, rich and concentrated, this one has a gamy note that sneaks through the rich blackberry, plum and licorice flavors, hinting at coffee, dark chocolate and spice as the finish lingers beautifully. Grippy tannins keep it from taking off. Not as harmonious and complete as other vintages, but it's a solid Grange. Best after 2009. 2,000 cases imported."
Wine Enthusiast - "Not great by Grange standards, but still a fabulous wine, the 2001 Grange boasts an intoxicating, heady bouquet of rich chocolate and coconut. It follows that up with deep, plummy fruit that’s full-bodied and lush yet quite tannic, promising decades of ageability. Despite the dark chocolate and plum flavors, the wine is still fresh, with a long finish. Drink 2010–2025."
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Penfolds Wines Winery
Founded by a young, English doctor in 1844, Penfolds has been producing remarkable wines that have changed the landscape of Australian winemaking. Over the past century, Penfolds has indisputably led the development of Australian fine wine in the modern era. The introduction of Penfolds Grange in 1951 forever changed the landscape of Australian fine wine. Since then, a series of standout wines, both white and red, have been released under the Penfolds masthead. Under the direction of master winemaker, Peter Gago, Penfolds is now found in every major wine market in the country. Extraordinary wines such as Block 42 and Bin 60A have also been released during his tenure. Penfolds wines are now widely celebrated for their diversity and quality across many price-points. The strength of Penfolds is that the wine comes first. Penfolds' range of table wines is utterly Australian, evoking a generosity of spirit and the beauty of the Australian landscape.
About Barossa ValleyView a map of Barossa Valley wineries
The Barossa zone consists of two sections - the Barossa Valley and the Eden Valley. Wines from the Eden Valley can be labelled Barossa or Barossa Valley.
Situated just a bit east of the large city of Adelaide, Barossa is Australia's wine headquarters. Mega producers are based here, boutique wineries call it home and a majority of the habitants claim their income on the wine industry. The valley is strewn with a series of hamlets, small towns spotted throughout the region.
Barossa ValleyBarossa is red-wine territory, with red grapes consisting of about two-thirds of the region's plantings. The reds, Shiraz in particular, are lauded for their rich, concentrated flavors and aging potential. Old vines of Shiraz and Grenache are popular, many up to 80 years old. The valley is home to some of the most famous vineyards of Australia - this is where the first Penfolds Grange was made. Whites are also found, mainly from the Semillon grape – these wines are as full-bodied as the reds although harder to find. Riesling and Chardonnay are also planted.
Eden ValleyRight next to Barossa Valley, but a bit higher in elevation, Eden Valley is an ideal neighbor. Many wineries source vineyards from both areas as the climate difference in Eden Valley leads to wines of a different character. Reds are still mainly Shiraz and Grenache, but the wines are often more restrained and less dense than those in the Barossa Valley proper. Whites are popular here too. Eden Valley Rieslings and Semillons are particularly excellent.
About AustraliaLike the United States, which is about the same size, Australia's winemaking regions are huddled into one or two pockets of the country. The state of South Australia, which produces about 60% of the country's wine, also has the most wineries and sub-regions, including McLaren Vale, Clare Valley, Coonawarra and Barossa Valley. New South Wales is home to the Hunter Valley, while the smaller, southern state of Victoria is best known for theYarra Valley. Head way west to the very large state of Western Australia and you'll find the tiny region of Margaret River at the southern tip.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.