2014 Penfolds "Grange" Shiraz South Australia (Pre-Arrival)

SKU #1437924 100 points Decanter

 A perfect wine: extraordinary chypre and warm earth notes and the powerful fruit follows. Phenomenal Shiraz with 2% Cabernet Sauvignon. (MJ)  (9/2018)

98 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 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 standards. Gago doesn't rate the vintage overall that highly, but he says the selection this year for Grange was a bit more stringent and that production levels were just average. There are still over 1,000 cases for the United States. (JC)  (10/2018)

98 points Wine Spectator

 At first glance, this is a purely indulgent wine, with gobs of creamy, milk chocolate-laden maraschino cherry, raspberry framboise and Earl Grey tea aromas. Then wave after wave of elements start filling in, with toasted cumin, peppermint oil, Kalamata olive and white pepper notes, combining into an almost overwhelming amount of details. Becomes indulgent again on the long, lush finish. *Collectibles* (MW)  (1/2019)

97 points Jeb Dunnuck

 It’s always a pleasure to taste what is unquestionably the reference point wine for Australia, and the 2014 Grange doesn’t disappoint. From a more difficult vintage for South Australia, it’s a blend of 98% Shiraz and 2% Cabernet Sauvignon that spent 20 months in all new American oak hogsheads, hitting a normal alcohol level of 14.5 with a healthy pH and acidity. Inky purple/blue colored, it offers a rocking bouquet of ripe plums, blueberries, vanilla bean, espresso, and graphite, with hints of mint and flowers developing with time in the glass. Deep, rich, fabulously concentrated, and pure on the palate, it stays tight and compact, with notable precision and length. It’s a seriously structured yet impeccably balanced effort that needs a solid 5-6 years to shed some tannin and gain volume, and will keep for 2+ decades after that.  (12/2018)

97 points James Halliday

 98% Shiraz, 2% Cabernet Sauvignon from the Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale, Wrattonbully, Coonawarra, Clare Valley and Magill Estate, matured for 20 months in new American hogsheads. Excellent colour for age; the ultra-fragrant and expressive bouquet implacably draws you in; a great deal of work must have gone into the blending of the components and drawing them seamlessly. An aristocratic Grange with all the components in utter harmony.  (10/2018)

97 points Wine Enthusiast

 The latest vintage of this iconic wine is more approachable and elegant than in previous years. This 98% Shiraz and 2% Cabernet Sauvignon blend offers an ocean of aromas: plum, mocha, coffee, tomato leaf, black olive, ground pepper, cedar, wet tarmac and sage. These tones swell towards a beautifully balanced palate that is powerful yet poised and silky in texture. The American oak is there but feels quieter than it has in the past, letting other nuances wash ashore, all held afloat by fine-grained herb and salt-flecked tannins. While other vintages seem untouchable in their youth, the 2014, with time in decanter, could offer immediate gratification yet still cellar through 2044. *Cellar Selection* (CP)  (4/2019)

96 points James Suckling

 Shows a cooler and more savory style from the get go. Darker, spicy aromas with notes of clove and soy, blackberries, bracken and wood, dried orange and dark chocolate. The depth of flavor is undeniable. There's elegance here too, in the sense that it is chiseled and contained, only broadening out at the finish. This has some growth to come in the bottle. Peter Gago’s description of the tannins as 'slaty' is spot on; they are dark, stony and slick, smooth and strong. The flavors hang long into a tight, toasty and spicy finish. Luxuriant, long and powerful. A blend of 98% Shiraz and 2% Cabernet Sauvignon, sourced from Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale, Wrattonbully, Coonawarra, Clare Valley and Magill Estate. 20 months in 100 per cent new American-oak hogsheads. Try from 2025 and best after 2030.  (11/2018)

96 points Wine & Spirits

 Grange is a blend from Penfolds’ top vineyards and best growers, including fruit from Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale, Wrattonbully (a first for Grange), Coonawarra, Clare Valley and the Magill Estate in the Adelaide Hills, where the winery got its start. That fruit selection finishes fermentation in new American oak barrels, where it then ages for 20 months. Peter Gago, who oversees the winemaking team, notes that winter and early-season rains differed substantially from Barossa and Clare down to McLaren Vale and Coonawarra. It was a warm summer to the north, with heat spikes in the south; then rain delayed harvest, allowing the fruit to ripen under generally cooler weather. That, in turn, allowed Gago to blend a plump, succulent Grange with complex layers of flavor, completely savory and ripe. The flavors might bring to mind black olive, black currant and seedy blackberries, accelerated by the espresso scents of new oak. There’s a restrained, slow-motion mineral explosion in the end, taking days to develop, lasting with a formality and elegance that belies the wine’s intoxicating richness. Great vintages of Grange last for decades; the original wines from the 1950s and ’60s are still remarkably fit, as this one should be decades from now.  (2/2019)

Jancis Robinson

 Smoky barbecue notes. Great grip and intensity and drama. Round and very exciting. Throbs forever. Great top note of dried herbs. Sweetness isn’t the dominant character. Different! Peter Gago is very proud of how distinctive this is and says you can maybe compare it with 2004. Very vibrant. (JR) 18.5/20 points  (9/2018)


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Price: $549.99

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Varietal:

Shiraz/Syrah

- One of France's noblest black grape varieties, Syrah is known for its intense and distinctive perfume reminiscent of briar fruit, tar, spice and black pepper and its firm structure. One of few black grape varietals frequently vinified on its own, the best examples of Syrah come from the Northern Rhône, particularly Hermitage, but also Côte-Rôtie, Cornas, Crozes-Hermitage and St-Joseph. These wines are very astringent in their youth, though some Crozes-Hermitage and St-Joseph can be enjoyed young, relatively speaking. Given the requisite patience, though, these wines can reveal amazing complexity and secondary fruit characteristics like plum and blackcurrant as well as subtle hints of smoke and flowers. In the Southern Rhône, Syrah is used to add structure and complexity to wines dominated by Grenache and complemented by Mourvèdre, like the more immediately drinkable Côte du Rhônes, as well as the long-lived wines of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. In recent years, plantings of Syrah have spread throughout the Languedoc-Roussillon where it is produced on its own or blended with other varietals. Outside of France, the most important Syrah growing country is easily Australia, where it is called Shiraz. Quality levels here depend greatly on yields and geography, and the wines range from bold, fruity and easy-drinking to intense and ageable, like the famed Penfolds Grange. Often bottled on its own, in Australia Syrah is also can be blended with Grenache and Mourvèdre, as in the Southern Rhône, and is increasingly combined with Cabernet Sauvignon. Syrah has also been steadily increasing in popularity in California, thanks to a group of advocates called the Rhône Rangers. Its most successful iterations come from the Central and Sonoma Coasts, where winemakers are pushing boundaries and creating some incredible wines. In recent years Syrah has also found a number of proponents in Washington State, which is definitely a region to watch for this variety.
Country:

Australia

- While it is true that the greatest strides in Australian winemaking have come in the last 30 years or so, commercial viticulture began as early as the 1820s and has developed uninterrupted ever since. The majority of the great wine regions are in the southeastern area of the continent, including Barossa Valley, Clare Valley, McLaren Vale, and Coonawarra in South Australia; Yarra Yarra Valley and Pyrenees in Victoria; and the Upper and Lower Hunter Valleys in New South Wales. Many of the wines from Southeastern Australia are based on Shiraz or Cabernet Sauvignon and various blends including Grenache and Mourvedre. In Western Australia, along the Margaret River, great strides are being made with Pinot Noir as well as Bordeaux-styled reds. There are also many world-class releases of Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc from the land Down Under, where Riesling also enjoys international acclaim. While many equate Aussie wines with “value,” there are more than a few extremely rare and pricey options, which never fail to earn the highest ratings from wine publications and critics throughout the world.
Sub-Region:

South Australia