Sue Courtney wrote:Penfolds Grange 1998 - South Australia
Tasted from a magnum on 21st Feb 2006.
Made from 96% Shiraz and 4% Cabernet Sauvignon sourced from Barossa, Padthaway and Magill, the wine matured for 18 months in 100% American oak before it was bottled and put aside for further maturation before release. Now 8 years, old, this is a wine that epitomises the elegance and power that Grange is legendary for. It's deep black cherry coloured, similar to the current release Bin 128 (2003 vintage which was in a glass nearby) but with much more density and a violet translucency to the edges. There's a slight gamey character to the aroma, mocha, cedar and herbal nuances on the nose (the faintest of mint) together with biscuit and berries. In the palate, violets are to the fore, the tannins are pretty much perfection with their sultry structure, and the flavours - there is so much and so beautifully balanced - almost perfection. There's fruitcake, currants, cherries, crushed blackberries and mulberries, vanillin and cedar, a smoky character that adds to the charm with nutmeg and red liquorice spices and a touch of bitter chocolate that lingers on the deep, sweet fruited, earthy finish. It seems so youthful, with oak still very dominant, yet has a complexity that can only come with bottle age. A super wine with years of life ahead of it.
14.5% alcohol by volume.
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