Sunday, May 6, 2012

Penfolds 2012 Icon Releases, Including Grange

I tasted the Penfolds icon wines at Dan Murphy's this weekend. The ambiance was not entirely conducive to a very focused assessment, but I managed to taste the Grange a couple of times, so here goes:

2007 Penfolds Grange: This wine clearly stood out from the 15 or so Shirazes tasted. What is so special about Grange? Well it is a bit like a skyscraper. It is very wide and very deep (as opposed to being high, I guess). The tannins draw the wine wide across the palate, the fruit carries it deep. The 2007 is a surprisingly good wine, given the vintage. It is quite elegant and approachable and has excellent fruit and oak balance. The finish is deep, long and dry. The question mark is about the fruit set. The flavours are good, with concentrated blackberry and mulberry dominating, but are they a bit too ripe to age gracefully? Only time will tell.

Score: 96/++

2009 Penfolds RWT: Dark fruit and a fair bit of oak dominate this wine. There is some elegance here as well, with silky tannins on the finish. Overall, a tad disappointing for its reputation. Maybe because the wine is still a baby.

Score: 93/+

2008 Penfolds St Henri: The odd man out in the Penfolds stable, as this wine does not see any new oak. The wine is fresh, with vibrant blackberry fruit. Oak is not as prominent as in the other wines, and the result is a less tannic, but also a shorter finish.

Score: 94/++

Overall, a strong set of wines. The Grange is quite exceptional, but in value for money terms, the St Henri would be my pick.

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