98 Points James Halliday top 100 2011
Shiraz Barossa Coonawarra Adelaide South Australia
Exceptional Langtons Classification. A profound and complete offer, akin to a mix of the 2002 and 2004 editions. Vintage 2006 is probably more like the 1986 and 1996 than the 1976. It's fabric is meshed with spices, cinnamon and vanillin pod, nutmeg and black pepper, tempered by teppanyaki sauces, almonds and amaretto. Firm throughout and across the palate, reverent tannins and oak convey and propel flavours of slowly roasting lamb avec jus, dark chocolates, cola and maraschino with a lift of menthol and rosemary to finish.
Penfolds Grange is made to an inimitable style which defines the vagaries of vintage and uniqueness of Australian wine, recognised as one of the world's great growths. Shiraz 98% and Cabernet Sauvignon 2% harvested from the historic Magill Estate and exceptional sites in Coonawarra and the Barossa Valley. 2006 was a relatively early vintage, experiencing low rainfall and warm weather contributing to an early budburst and flowering. Mild to warm weather throughout summer encouraged fruit to mature fully, welcome rains prior to harvest allowed fruit to ripen with good varietal expression. The finished Grange was matured eighteen months in a selection of exclusively new American oak hogsheads. Alcohol 14.5%
Deep blood red colour with a dense core. Very Penfolds, very Barossa, very Grange. Scents, now five years in the making, weave their charm, this aromatic quilt's first noted brightest colours are panaforte, fig and quince paste alongside cured/ smoked meats.A dark thread connects, black liquorice and olive, fresh arabica coffee bean and soy. Background nutty oak, brazil nuts underneath, yet barely noticable. Freshness and balance are welcomed, yet confuse, a few sips remind of the oft used reference iron fist in a velvet glove. All is not as it seems! Alluringly, a plush satin/ cashmere mouthfeel compounds the initial confusion, making the wine accessible, yet poised to evolve for many decades.