2005 Penfolds Grange Barossa Valley
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, 97 Points:
Containing just a dollop of 4.1% Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2005 Grange is about 85%+ Barossa fruit with the remaining proportions coming from McLaren vale and Coonawarra. It was aged for 18 months in 100% new American oak hogsheads. The nose begins a bit animal with some smoked game, mincemeat and bacon notes emerging over the freshly crushed, sun-warmed blackberries, black currant cordial, earth, black truffles, anise and allspice. Rich and full with very firm very fine tannins and very crisp acid, it gives a long finish layered with coffee, mincemeat and toast. Drink it 2013 to 2025+.
Wine Spectator, 97 Points:
Supple, refined and focused, this is generous with its ripe currant, blackberry jam and fresh cherry flavors playing against grace notes of coffee, tar, white pepper and molasses. The finish keeps hovering and gets richer with each sip. Lip-smackingly good. Best after 2014.
Australian Wine Companion, 96 Points:
Protocol prevented me retasting this wine prior to its release date of 1 May '10, notwithstanding that no one will have read these words prior to the release of this book in late July '10. So this is my tasting note from the Rewards of Patience Tasting held in Sept '07. Color little different to the '04; tighter, more compact than the '04, yet the fruit line is glossy and smooth, the tannins (and acidity) acting as the brake and giving tightness. These are a different pair, and it will be fascinating to watch their development.
Wine & Spirits, 91 Points:
2005 South Australia Grange Bin 95 Shiraz There's fresh fruit at the core of this wine, bringing Maine blueberries to mind. But there's also a lot of hyperripe character and new oak, along with the Penfolds touch of volatility. It seems Porty when first opened, and it isn't until a day later that the wine opens up and sails. The thickness dissipates and the space between the tannins widens, allowing fennel, fresh blackberry and blueberry flavors to come to the fore. The iron-mineral tannin seems interchangeable with the wine's meaty impression, slowly revealing the soils of Barossa. This will take ten years or more to show its strengths.