Grange is an icon, being both Australia's and Penfolds' flagship wine. Grange boasts an unbroken line of vintages from the experimental 1951 and clearly demonstrates the synergy between Shiraz and the soils and climate of South Australia
Penfolds Grange displays fully ripe, intensely flavoured and textured Shiraz grapes in combination with new American oak. The result is a unique Australian style that is now recognized as the most consistent of the world's great wines. The Grange style is the original and most powerful expression of Penfolds' multi-vineyard, multi-district blending philosphy.
The Wine AdvocateThe 1997 Grange (a blend of 96% Shiraz and 4% Cabernet Sauvignon) looks to be a classic Grange, although slightly softer and more forward than the backward 1996. The saturated purple-colored 1997 offers a gorgeously sweet nose of blackberry liqueur, cherries, camphor, chocolate, plums, and mocha. The wine is opulently-textured, extremely soft, layered, and seductive, with Grange's tell-tale personality well-displayed, but in a seamless, seductive style. This is a superb Grange that can hold its own against the more heralded 1996. Anticipated maturity: 2005-2022.
Australian Wine CompanionMedium to full red, with just a touch of purple remaining; powerful, complex dark fruits, chocolate and savoury lemon/vanilla oak on the bouquet, then a similarly powerful palate where earth and chocolate join the chorus of flavours promised by the bouquet; persistent tannins, of course. It's hard to suggest this will be regarded as a great Grange in 20 years or so, but it is nonetheless in the mainstream of Grange style.
International Wine CellarDeep, dark ruby-red. Heady, superripe aromas of black plum, blackcurrant, blueberry and treacle, richly endowed with dark chocolate, vanilla and creamy oak; hints of mint and eucalyptus in the background. Silky-smooth, rich and creamy; remarkably approachable given its relative youth. Dripping with ripe black fruits and wrapped in firm but velvety tannins. A very good but not great Grange made without any suggestion of the portiness or overextraction so often shown by many of its imitators.
Wine SpectatorNot huge, more of a human-scale Grange, with beautiful plum and blueberry fruit that shines right through the long, crisp, fine-grained finish. A lovely wine, though it doesn't quite show the grandeur of great Grange vintages. Drink now through 2010. 10,000 cases made.
Wine EnthusiastAn excellent wine, but not an outstanding vintage for Grange, the 1997 seems a trifle loose-knit and less “packed” when compared to great vintages in the past. Black plums and blackberries are laced with dried spices and vanilla. Give it some time to knit together and drink from 2005–2015.
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