Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon Barossa McLaren Bordertown South Australia
Grange is likely to remain positioned as Australia's flagship wine, many vintages far into the future. When Max Schubert embarked on his voyage of discovery and innovation during the late 1940s, the fledgling wine industry was relatively amateurish and fragmented. Winemaker John Duval's contribution to the evolution of Grange has also been critical. His stewardship has probably seen the greatest developments and innovation in viticulture and winemaking. A remarkable vintage Grange is the 1997, considering it's place between the great 1996 and 1998 editions.
The 1997 vintage is predominantly 96% Shiraz with a small amount of 4% Cabernet Sauvignon, sourced predominantly from the Kalimna and other Barossa Valley vineyards, as well as Bordertown and McLaren Vale. A somewhat challenging vintage combining a cool start to the season with heat in the high summer. Budburst was slightly later than usual in most South Australian regions, with mild weather through to Christmas. The onset of a prolonged heat wave in February further delayed ripening. Fortunately, a sunny, warm autumn followed, allowing vines to reach full ripeness. Maturation for twenty months in new American oak. Alcohol 14.00% Acidity 7.00g/L pH 3.52.
Comments by John Duval. A deep, crimson red with a dense ruby core. Immediately engaging, with wafts of nutmeg and ginger amongst notes of blueberry and blackcurrant and a background of wellseasoned savoury oak. The fruit gains in the glass with aeration, when more subtle perfume and chestnut complexities emerge. Already showing excellent balance within the frame of a beautifully interwoven mesh of dark plum and blackberry fruits with fig and liquorice. Complex fruit and spice flavours sit against a finely focused backdrop of firm but rounded tannins, balancing acidity and seductive, perfectly integrated, smoky oak. The palate has wonderful length, with a tightly structured, tannic finish indicative of the calibre of this fine wine.