Penfolds Grange 2005
Syrah/Shiraz from Barossa Valley, Australia
The 1990 vintage of this wine was ranked #1 on the Wine Spectator's Top 10 Wines of 1995
Grange is arguably Australia's most famous wine and is officially listed as a Heritage Icon of South Australia. Grange boasts an unbroken line of vintages from the experimental 1951 and clearly demonstrates the synergy between Shiraz and the soils and climates of South Australia.
Color: Deep, dark garnet.
Nose: At once Grange - a tightly wrapped projection from the glass of dark-berried Barossa fruits coupled with a myriad of barrel ferment complexities. Thereafter, a burst of honey-cured jamon / pancetta aromatically thrust above, with a rich mix of generously basted roasted meats, peat & nutmeg anchored beneath. Upon sitting / air these characters descend, revealing beguiling elements of freshly turned volcanic earth and an innocent suggestion of old-growth forest floor underlay.
Palate: The flavor pool primarily highlights Satsuma plum conserve alongside rhubarb/aniseed/fennel, with liqueur chocolate shyly awaiting mid-palate. Oak absorbed and hidden, not so the muscular tannins, power/extract. Nevertheless balanced, firm, polished.
The first sip welcomes, the second sip asserts, the third... submission!
Wine Spectator - "Supple, refined and focused, this is generous with its ripe currant, blackberry jam and fresh cherry flavors playing against grace notes of coffee, tar, white pepper and molasses. The finish keeps hovering and gets richer with each sip. Lip-smackingly good. Best after 2014."
The Wine Advocate - "Containing just a dollop of 4.1% Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2005 Grange is about 85%+ Barossa fruit with the remaining proportions coming from McLaren vale and Coonawarra. It was aged for 18 months in 100% new American oak hogsheads. The nose begins a bit animal with some smoked game, mincemeat and bacon notes emerging over the freshly crushed, sun-warmed blackberries, black currant cordial, earth, black truffles, anise and allspice. Rich and full with very firm very fine tannins and very crisp acid, it gives a long finish layered with coffee, mincemeat and toast. Drink it 2013 to 2025+."
Australian Wine Companion - "Protocol prevented me retasting this wine prior to its release date of 1 May '10, notwithstanding that no one will have read these words prior to the release of this book in late July '10. So this is my tasting note from the Rewards of Patience Tasting held in Sept '07. Color little different to the '04; tighter, more compact than the '04, yet the fruit line is glossy and smooth, the tannins (and acidity) acting as the brake and giving tightness. These are a different pair, and it will be fascinating to watch their development. "
Wine & Spirits - "2005 South Australia Grange Bin 95 Shiraz There's fresh fruit at the core of this wine, bringing Maine blueberries to mind. But there's also a lot of hyperripe character and new oak, along with the Penfolds touch of volatility. It seems Porty when first opened, and it isn't until a day later that the wine opens up and sails. The thickness dissipates and the space between the tannins widens, allowing fennel, fresh blackberry and blueberry flavors to come to the fore. The iron-mineral tannin seems interchangeable with the wine's meaty impression, slowly revealing the soils of Barossa. This will take ten years or more to show its strengths."
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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 & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.