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In 2016 Penfolds unveiled a collaboration with Europe’s most respected French glassmaker, Saint-Louis to acknowledge the art and culture of a service ritual long associated with the flagship Grange.
This limited edition Penfolds Aevum Crystal Decanter with Grange 2012 was released as part of the collaboration. The decanter features the striking diamond cut, a signature hallmark of Saint-Louis. Hand-blown, hand crafted.
Dense and imposing. Dark… RED!.
Unmistakably, it is what it is. In a word, Grange.
(Almost) all unleashed immediately upon the first splash into the glass – exuberant, lifted, flamboyant.
An aromatic ‘multi-cultural’ chromatogram brazenly unfolds:
First, enticing barrel ferment formics and balsamics, spliced with soy, tomato puree, black olive and liquorice (Dutch?).
Then, the exotics - wafts of tiramisu/mascarpone/zabaglione (Italy?), replete with freshly roasted hazelnut and ground coffee beans (Kenya?)
Fresh and refined. Nervy.
Red liquorice, gravy reduction flavours and black olive tapenade to the fore. And then, just so much more!
Where to start?
Compelling depth - weighty/voluminous/fleshy - structurally complete and even throughout.
A radiant inner sheen, yet still assertive – a film encrusted with dusty, softened tannins that coat tongue.
A loss of innocence, as sculptured oak (purity/clean) and a boundless array of red fruits, congeal into a darkened pool of (un)known and (un)savoury delights!
Unashamedly and quite blatantly THE wine of this year’s Penfolds 2016 new releases! Enough said.
Origin: Multi-regional blend, South Australia. From Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale.
Maturation:18 months in 100% new American oak hogsheads.
Variety: 98% Shiraz and 2% Cabernet Sauvignon.
The Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale regions were impacted with lower than average rainfall across the winter period. This resulted in early budbreak in spring. Healthy and welcome spring rain ensued, merging with a mild summer with just a few short periods of heat. Mild daytime temperatures and cool evenings were observed across the Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale, allowing impressive flavour development without inflated baumés. Balanced canopies and crops provided even development throughout veraison across both regions.
Bursts of warmth and dry conditions continued throughout harvest allowing fruit to be picked in optimal condition. Smaller berry and bunch sizes along with favourable weather conditions induced great results for traditional quality markers-colour, tannin profile, fruit concentration and flavour depth.
The development of Max Schubert’s Grange is a modern tale of imagination, a battle against the odds and redemption.
It began with a side trip to Bordeaux in 1949, where a wine ‘capable of staying alive for a minimum of twenty years’, first entered Schubert’s mind. His first experimental vintage in 1951 began a new way of thinking that would eventually lead to a signature wine style, but not before Grange was discredited and Max Schubert forced to make the wine in secrecy.
This collaboration was the first time Saint-Louis, who has been making handcrafted crystal objects in France since 1586, has collaborated with a global brand outside of Europe.