Penfolds Grange 2003
Grange is arguably Australia's most famous wine and is officiallylisted as a Heritage Icon of South Australia. Grange boasts anunbroken line of vintages from the experimental 1951 and clearlydemonstrates the synergy between Shiraz and the soils andclimates of South Australia.
Color: Deep red.
Nose: Captivating, complex, complete.Unravelling aromatics unfurl with air - blue fruitnotes entwined with barrel ferment andmaturation elements; nothing singular, always intandem. Sweet soy, cola and quince paste highnotes escape from an ethereal layer (aniseed,fennel and fresh treacle ginger pudding) waftingabove.
Palate: Dark and liqueur chocolate, laced with Moroccanspices. An underlying tar/graphite blackness islifted by derived fruit/quince pie flavours - a fewyears earlier they may have been more brashlyvarietal and elemental. Pronounced tanninssweep across the palate, although they arecertainly part of the wine, never obtrusive.Long, layered and compelling, this wine is at thespicier end of the Grange spectrum.
Penfolds has been producing remarkable wines since 1844 and 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 stand-out wines both white and red have been released under the Penfolds masthead.
Peter Gago, Penfolds Chief Winemaker and only the 4th custodian of Grange, relishes the opportunity to bring Penfolds to the world stage and is an enthusiastic ambassador and natural educator. Penfolds came to the attention of the US market when 1990 Grange was Wine Spectator’s ‘Wine of the Year’. Since then, Penfolds Grange has become one of the most collectable wines of the world and was honored to grace the front cover, once again, of Wine Spectator, with declarations of Grange as Australia’s Icon.
Considered the heart of Australian wine, South Australia is home to the nation’s most famous regions and oldest vines. Although vineyards occupy only a small part of the state’s extensive terrain—mainly in the southeastern corner—it is incidentally responsible for nearly half of Australia’s annual harvest.
Marked by an unmistakable deep purple hue and savory aromatics, Syrah accounts for a good deal of some of the most intense, powerful and age-worthy reds in the world. Native to the Northern Rhône, Syrah still achieves some of its maximum potential here, especially from Hermitage and Côte-Rôtie.
Syrah also plays an important component in the canonical Southern Rhône blends based on Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre, adding color, depth, complexity and structure to the mix. Today these blends have become well-appreciated from key appellations of the New World, namely Australia, California and increasingly, with praise, from Washington.
In the Glass
Syrah typically shows aromas and flavors of purple fruits, fragrant violets, baking spice, white pepper and even bacon, smoke or black olive. In Australia, where it goes under the name Shiraz, it produces deep, dark, intense and often, jammy reds. While Northern Rhône examples are typically less fruity and more earthy, California appears increasingly capable of either style.
Flavorful Moroccan-spiced lamb, grilled meats, spareribs and hard, aged cheeses are perfect with Syrah. Blue cheeses are perfect with a dense and fruit-driven Australian Shiraz.
Due to the success of Australian “Shiraz,” winemakers throughout the world have adopted this synonym for Syrah when they have produced a plush and fruit forward wine made in the Australian style. As an aside, Australians are also fond of tempering their fruit-forward Shiraz by blending with Cabernet Sauvignon, which adds depth and structure.