Shiraz Barossa, McLaren & Magill Estate South Australia
Grange began as a secret project during the 1940s and 1950s to construct Australia's ulimate red wine. The original experiments were fashioned after the great growths of Bordeaux but were dedidedly unsuccessful due to the quality of Cabernet available in Australia at the time. Penfold's banned the entire project from 1956 to 1956 due to the spiralling costs but Max Schubert continued with trials until production resumed in 1960. Vintage 2007 exhibits a generous palate profile, flavours of dates and persimmon, roasted nuts and freshly baked pecan pie.
Traditionally for Grange, partial barrel vinification takes place near the tail end of primary ferments at 2 to 3 baume. This joins the two elements together, producing meaty complexity and roundness of flavour, barrel fermentation gets oak into the wine and wine into the oak. Mostly Shiraz from exceptional vineyards in the Barossa and McLaren Vale, an addition of 3% Cabernet, some from Magill Estate contributes structure and complexity. Vintage 2007 was challenging, yielding a smaller crop, fruit ripened quickly and was harvested earlier, parcel by parcel, pursuing full flavours, structure and balance. The assembled wine is matured twenty one months in exclusively new American oak hogsheads. Alcohol 14.5%
Impenetrable, dense vivid red as a five year old, almost to the rim. Unmistakably Grange nose, formic and ripe, pungent and confronting. Darker elements at the core, soy/ cola/ peat/ coal dust. Dutch black liquorice with sesame/ seaweed and quince paste. Beneath, a coffee-grind/ mocha/ bitter chocolate, from oak? Above, African spices coupled with a fleeting and appealing glacial waft. At once, balanced and accessible, fresh and tight. A structural and textural continuum, no beginning or end, no gaps. Complete. Oak omnipresent, yet neither prominent nor ostentatious, completely assimilated. Tannins are neither obstructive nor aggressive, yet effortlessly conveying flavours.