The 1990 vintage of this wine was ranked #1 on the Wine Spectator's Top 10 Wines of 1995
Deep blood-red, dense core color.
On the nose, very Penfolds, very Barossa, very Grange!
Scents, now five years in the making, weave their charm – this aromatic quilt's first-noted brightest colours are panforte fig and quince paste alongside cured/smoked meats (pastrami?). Its fabric is meshed with spice – cinnamon, vanillin pod, nutmeg and black pepper – tempered by teppanyaki sauces, amaretto/almond. A dark thread connects – black liquorice, olive & fresh Arabica coffee-bean and soy. Background nutty oak (Brazil nut) beneath, yet barely noticed.
On the palate, freshness and balance are welcomed, yet confuse… a few sips remind of the oft-used reference ‘iron fist in a velvet glove'. All is not as it seems!
Firm throughout and across palate – reverent tannins and oak convey & propel flavours of slow-roasted lamb (avec jus), dark chocolate, cola, maraschino, with a menthol/rosemary lift to finish. Alluringly, a plush satin/cashmere mouthfeel compounds the initial confusion – accessible, yet poised to evolve and complex over many decades.
98% Shiraz, 2% Cabernet Sauvignon
The Wine AdvocateMade from fruit coming predominantly from the Barossa Valley this year (97%) and containing 2% Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2006 Grange has been added to my list of favorite recent vintages. Deep garnet-purple colored, it’s still a little youthfully mute, offering notes of warm cherries, black currants, anise, coffee and toast with underlying hints of soy, yeast extract, black olives and Indian spices. Tight-knit and solidly structured on the medium to full bodied palate, the concentrated fruit is densely coiled around the firm grainy tannins and very crisp acidity at this stage, but promises something very special in the years to come. It finishes very long, complex and layered with the cedar poking though the fruit purity. Patience is required for this vintage; it should begin opening out around 2016 and drink to 2030+.
Australian Wine CompanionStill deep crimson; its bouquet sets the scene for the strikingly complex array of black characters that run all the way through the wine from the first whiff to the finish and aftertaste: anise, licorice, tar, bitter chocolate, blackberry, prune and peppercorns. The tannins are prominent, and play their part with each successive sip of the steadily building impact on the very long palate, but they are in balance with the fruit and oak of an extremely powerful Grange. Great future.
Wine & SpiritsAs chief winemaker, Peter Gago has made his mark on several of the newer Penfolds wines, including RWT and Yattarna. The style of Grange, with one of the longest track records of any South Australian red, is slower to evolve—but it does change, and the style of this 2006 makes it the clearest Gago Grange yet. Part of that is the vintage; part of that is what Gago did with the vintage. This wine doesn’t shout; it purrs. Nor does it sit still. It rolls around over raspberry bliss, under a supple caress of tannins, through an earthy chocolate and mushroom savor. The dynamic structure involves all the elements in a tangle of youthful energy, the old-vine fruit achieving something close to perfection in its form. New oak dominates at this early stage of its evolution, but this is set to become a great Grange.
Wine EnthusiastNot quite the massive monster that is the 2004 Grange, the 2006 is still no shrinking violet. It's full bodied, muscular and extracted, and while the flavors veer towards expresso and dark chocolate, there's also a ribbon of raspberry fruit running through the wine from start to long, dusty finish. Drink 2015-2025, and probably beyond.
International Wine CellarDeep ruby. Highly aromatic nose offers black raspberry, cherry pit, potpourri and minerals. Dense, lush and sweet but very energetic, offering spicy red and dark berry, dark chocolate, rose pastille and licorice flavors complemented by spicy, sweet oak. Shows bitter chocolate and cherry-cola nuances on the extremely persistent, spice-accented finish. This should be approachable on the young side.
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