2012 Penfolds Grange Bin 95

Year: 2012
Appellation: Barossa Valley, Coonawarra, McLaren Vale, Magill
Country: Australia
Wine Spectator: 97
Wine Advocate: 99
Red Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 14.5%
Price :
$599.95
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"Powerful and impressive, this seamless expression offers chai tea, sandalwood, dark chocolate, gingerbread and tobacco notes that complement the juicy black cherry fruit flavors at the core. Gains momentum on the finish. Intense but polished, revealing an air of weightlessness that lingers. Drink now through 2035. From Australia. -M .W." (WS)

"The 2012 Grange comes from just two sub-regions of South Australia this year: Barossa Valley (the majority) and McLaren Vale. This makes a lot of sense since 2012 was a cracking year in both of these areas, producing a number of extraordinary wines. As usual, this Grange contains a splash of Cabernet Sauvignon, just 2%. Very deep purple-black in color, it opens on the nose with complex earthy/meaty/savory notes, soon giving way to baked blackberries, plum preserves, hoisin and Chinese five spice with dabs of sandalwood, licorice, menthol and vanilla. The palate reveals a surprisingly open, rich, full-bodied expression exuding a powerhouse of velvet-lined decadence. Still, it characteristically possesses that rock-solid “Grange” backbone of firm tannins and great freshness expressed in a real lively lift to the finish. And the finish is epically long. There are some stylistic similarities here to the opulent, gregarious 2008 vintage, perhaps just lacking ever so slightly in the same exhilarating abandonment of winemaking protocols for the celebration of the fruit and sites. That said, this is unquestionably a stonking great Grange!" (WA)

Winery Notes:
The original and most powerful expression of Penfolds multi-vineyard, multi-district blending philosophy, Grange is arguably Australia’s most celebrated wine and is officially listed as a Heritage Icon of South Australia. Crafted utilising fully-ripe, intensely-flavoured and structured Shiraz grapes, the result is a unique Australian style that is now recognised as one of the most consistent of the world’s great wines. With an unbroken line of vintages from the experimental 1951, Grange clearly demonstrates the synergy between Shiraz and the soils and climates of South Australia.

VINTAGE CONDITIONS:
The Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale regions were impacted with lower than average rainfall across the winter period. This resulted in early budbreak in spring. Healthy and welcome spring rain ensued, merging with a mild summer with just a few short periods of heat. Mild daytime temperatures and cool evenings were observed across the Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale, allowing impressive flavour development without inflated baumés. Balanced canopies and crops provided even development throughout veraison across both regions. Bursts of warmth and dry conditions continued throughout harvest allowing fruit to be picked in optimal condition. Smaller berry and bunch sizes along with favourable weather conditions induced great results for traditional quality markers-colour, tannin profile, fruit concentration and flavour depth.

COLOUR:
Dense and imposing. Dark… RED!

NOSE:
Unmistakably, it is what it is. In a word, Grange. (Almost) all unleashed immediately upon the first splash into the glass – exuberant, lifted, flamboyant. An aromatic ‘multi-cultural’ chromatogram brazenly unfolds: First, enticing barrel ferment formics and balsamics, spliced with soy, tomato puree, black olive and liquorice (Dutch?). Then, the exotics - wafts of tiramisu/mascarpone/zabaglione (Italy?), replete with freshly roasted hazelnut and ground coffee beans (Kenya?) 30 seconds later…

PALATE:
Fresh and refined. Nervy. Red liquorice, gravy reduction flavours and black olive tapenade to the fore. And then, just so much more! Where to start? Compelling depth - weighty/voluminous/fleshy - structurally complete and even throughout. A radiant inner sheen, yet still assertive – a film encrusted with dusty, softened tannins that coat tongue. Great length. A loss of innocence, as sculptured oak (purity/clean) and a boundless array of red fruits, congeal into a darkened pool of (un)known and (un)savoury delights! Unashamedly and quite blatantly THE wine of this year’s Penfolds 2016 new releases! Enough said.