Penfolds Grange 2014 750ml
The original and most powerful expression of Penfolds multi-vineyard, multi-district blending philosophy, Grange is arguably Australia’s most celebrated wine and is officially listed as a Heritage Icon of South Australia. Crafted utilising fully-ripe, intensely-flavoured and structured Shiraz grapes, the result is a unique Australian style that is now recognised as one of the most consistent of the world’s great wines. With an unbroken line of vintages from the experimental 1951, Grange clearly demonstrates the synergy between Shiraz and the soils and climates of South Australia.
Grange was recently recognised as a First Growth in Liv-ex’s recreation of the Bordeaux 1855 classification.
When to drink
Peak drinking 2020 - 2045.
Above average winter rainfall equipped the vines across South Australia with healthy soil moisture profiles. Spring in the Barossa Valley was the windiest in 47 years with significant heat records set. Warm conditions prevailed during summer and throughout veraison. However, just as vintage was about to commence an extreme rainfall event occurred in the Barossa Valley and Clare Valley slowing harvest. This extra time allowed grapes to ripen evenly with good flavour and tannin development.
By contrast, McLaren Vale had 21% less rain than the long-term average from September to March. September was the wettest of the spring months with a hailstorm and windy conditions prevailing from October through to November, while harvest in McLaren Vale was delayed due to a rain event in mid-February.
Wrattonbully and Coonawarra both enjoyed good winter and spring rainfall, with cold and wet conditions carrying well into December. There were heat spikes through summer, with temperatures reaching 43ºC on February 2nd. By mid-autumn the weather had settled down to generally cooler conditions, optimal for slow ripening. Across South Australia, shiraz benefited from the long spell between veraison and harvest, with grapes exhibiting brightness, crisp acid retention and impressive fruit quality overall.
Origin: Multi-regional blend, South Australia. From Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale, Wrattonbully, Coonawarra, Clare Valley and Magill Estate.
Maturation: 20 months in 100% new American oak hogsheads.
Wine Analysis: Alc/Vol: 14.5%, Acidity: 6.7 g/L, pH: 3.6.
Variety: 98% Shiraz and 2% Cabernet Sauvignon.
Deep plush garnet throughout – from core to rim.
An indulged aromatic meander:
• First in the kitchen – umami expressed primarily via wafts of shiitake mushroom stock, hoisin and XO sauce … enhancing scents of dry-aged beef and game meats.
• Then outside – olive-leaf, cardamom, sage and thyme … “a stroll through a South Australian olive grove” … saltbush, acacia, dried and dusty bracken.
• To the cellar – fresh and familial lifted formic and barrel-ferment nuances.
Followed by a return to reality:
• Quite simply, an unmistakable youthful ‘Grange’ nose. Awakened primary fruits and stylish oak interlocked and indistinguishable. As expected.
Savoury, not fruity. Tastes/flavours remind of slow cooked beef ragout, chicken liver game terrine. Red liquorice also apparent.
Integrated oak – spicy, almost ‘non-American’ oak … but it is. As it always is. A core of 100% new Quercus alba.
Poised yet powerful. A balanced, tightly-knit and woven structural ‘tapestry’. Not to be constrained by dimension or frame.
Tannins with attitude! Nonetheless respectful. Type? Slatey tannins … alluvial, silty (certainly not muddy!).
Long and lingering – tactile impressions indistinguishably and slowly fuse/merge into an aftertaste memory.
Until the next sip!
A Grange to create new friends – this 2014 offering a subtly different structural mosaic; different tone and timbre.
“Rich, concentrated and intense, the 2014 Grange delivers exactly what we’ve come to expect from this Penfolds icon wine. It’s full-bodied, velvety in feel and loaded with plummy fruit, framed in vanilla and cedar. Dense, powerful and tannic, it should prove to be long lived, even by Grange standard.”
- Joe Czerwinski, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
98 Points - Joe Czerwinski, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
98 Points - Tony Love
98 Points - Huon Hooke
20++ - Matthew Jukes
18.5 - Jancis Robinson
97 Points - Anthony Rose, Decanter
97 Points - James Halliday
97 Points - Andrew Caillard MW
97 Points - Tyson Stelzer
“The spoils of terra rossa soils, latitude and limestone – a magical mix shared by both Coonawarra and Wrattonbully.”
“Wrattonbully grapes appear in Grange for the first time – did any of these vineyards exist in Max Schubert’s days at Penfolds? We suspect not.”
- Peter Gago, Penfolds Chief Winemaker