Sunday, June 1, 2008
It is probably appropriate to begin this blog with a bottle of Grange, in this case the 1998, which I had yesterday evening. What makes Grange so special? This bottle illustrated it well.
The wine was youthful, full-bodied, very concentrated, but not cakey, quite elegant for its concentration and had well integrated tannins, leading to a long finish. The longevity of this wine is amazing? Why is this important? Wouldn't I get the same result from another much younger wine? Obviously not. Secondary characters have developed, combining the flavour to a lot more complexity.
I have had several experiences over the years where the 'wow-factor' occured. I remember the taste in my mouth for several years. It once happened with a 1990 Grange. The wine yesterday did not quite get there.
Is Grange worth the money? Does it taste 10 times as good as another good bottle of red? This is probably an unfair question to which I couldn't say yes. However, if money is no object, this bottle offered something extra special not often found in wine. This is even more obvious when I compare this wine to the bottle of Greenock Creek I had the night before. A bit of an unfair comparison, as it was an entry level 2002 Alices Shiraz.
The Greenock Creek is also big and very alcoholic at 16%, but nowhere near as complex or harmoneous. A rough and unbalanced experience by comparison.