The third wine in this trio of indulgence was Grange, of course. I was tempted to open a 2010 as well, the last vintage I bought of this wine. However, I felt this would not have been near its peak yet, so I decided for a 1998 Penfolds Grange. This wine had been recorked at the recorking clinic in 2016. This is a terrific service by Penfolds. First, the wine is opened to check on its quality. Then a couple of thimbles of new wine (in this case Grange 2010) get added to the wine. As a result, there is a threefold benefit: a new cork, very high shoulder, and a bit of refreshment, if you like).
Friday, January 1, 2021
Note the very high shoulder of this 22 years old wine
The 1998 Grange performed very much as expected. I previously described Grange built like a skyscraper; the structure is wide and long. This makes the wine unique and instantly recognizable. Blood plum, blackberry, mocca, and meaty flavours dominate the layered profile.
This is a big and ripe wine, but it is smooth just the same. The tannins are coarse, but balanced by the massive fruit weight, and supported by enough acidity to keep the wine lively. The finish is huge, almost moving back up the throat (I have not experienced this before). Thankfully, the wine is not hot on the finish. The dominant feature of this wine is power, with elegance playing a support role. In the last 10 years, there has been a gradual shift to more elegance.
This 1998 Grange is still fresh and will live well for at least another 15 years.