With age comes character.
The 2017 Penfolds and Saint-Louis collaboration delivers the second Aevum Limited Edition Crystal Decanter with Grange 2013. The contemporary, minimalistic crystal decanter features an evolved design to showcase the fluid beauty of the fine wine within. A flowing band of incised crystal allows an uninterrupted view of the depth of color and consistency of the liquid inside. Hand-blown, hand crafted.
|Varietal||Syrah / Shiraz|
Opaque black core, dark red rim.
An aromatic assault / surge / eruption of soy, hoisin, balsamic reduction… coiled around a core of kirsch and fresh raspberry. This propulsion is crammed with tell-tale barrel ferment, V.A. and formic Grange markers – all in balance, all respectful of fruit and oak. And yet, so ‘classy’ – a brightness, a sheen, a gloss, a raciness – belying both age and upbringing (élevage).
Formidable, No gaps, a densely-packed structural continuum. Not huge, not massive, yet taut, muscular, feisty. A black palimpsest - black fruits, black liquorice, black pudding, black fig, black cardamom.... Granitic chewy tannins linger and coat; oak all but fully concealed, submerged beneath a tannin/oak/acid/flavour tsunami. Fruits? Where to start in this entanglement? Time please.
The majority of South Australia had a dry winter reminiscent of 2006, vines were in water deficit at the beginning of spring and became accustomed to dry conditions quite early. The exception was McLaren Vale, where revitalising winter rainfall exceeded the long term average. Early budburst was noticeable across many regions. Dry and warm spring conditions explained canopy growth and yields, becoming typical of the 2013 growing season. Warm days were dispersed throughout October, November and in early January, contributing to an early start to the 2013 harvest and a condensed vintage. Dry and warm conditions, coupled with lower than average yields resulted in fruit showing strong, structural tannins and wines of great intensity and encouraging flavour. The Magill Estate fruit was harvested in pristine condition, hand-picked on February 14th and 15th 2013.
Remember that old Heinz Ketchup “anticipation” ad from the 1970s? The palate of this 2013 Grange does just that. It makes you wait with so much delicious promise being drip fed into the mouth at first—and then it bursts forth and delivers! This vintage is a blend of 96% Shiraz and 4% Cabernet Sauvignon, coming from the Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale, Coonawarra and Magill Estate. Very deep inky purple-black colored, the 2013 Grange has a profoundly scented nose of crème de cassis, preserved black plums, blueberry pie and licorice over nuances of baker’s chocolate, smoky bacon and fragrant earth, plus exotic spice wafts of cumin seed, cardamom, fenugreek and star anise. Unfurling and slowly building in the medium to full-bodied mouth with wonderful grace and depth, it reveals an incredible array of ripe black fruit, spice, meat and earth-inspired flavors, with a rock-solid frame to support this beauty (it should easily cellar for 40+ years!), while previously latent flavors emerge fully on the epically long finish, culminating in that ultimate Grange experience. Oh, yes.
A blend of 96% Shiraz and 4% Cabernet, this is a stunning Grange which easily compares in quality to 2010 and 2012. It is big, flamboyant and hedonistic on the nose and palate - the former is full of kirsch, mulberry, balsam and a generous dollop of purposeful VA to lift the massive aroma from the glass. The latter is equally sweet, rich and dense as it brims with saturated flavours encompassing damson, blackberry, liquorice, espresso, tarmac and cola. And so it’s little or no surprise that this is also full to bursting with tannic heft and dry extract mouthfeel, all of which is expertly assuaged by refreshing acidity to keep it lithe and supple. It’s still too young to say where this will sit in the Grange pantheon, but it’s almost certainly going to be one to watch and enjoy for the next 30 to 40 years. WS97Wine Spectator
Peter joined the winemaking team in 1989, initially in the craftsmanship of sparkling wines, before moving on to reds as Penfolds Red Wine Maker. In 2002 Peter became the fourth ever Chief Winemaker for Penfolds. Together with his fellow winemakers, Peter’s careful custodianship has ensured that Grange and the other ‘older’ members of the Penfolds family, have continued to set the benchmark for their style and quality, while new additions to the range push the boundaries ever wider.