2008 Grange took me by surprise. I was expecting a hulking, looming thing that harked back to the blockbusters of years passed. What I did not expect was a tasting note featuring ‘purity’ three times (even ‘aching purity’), ‘refinement,’ even ‘detail’. There is not an iota of heatwave effect here, but that’s not the point. The point is, season aside, 2008 epitomises the modern face of Grange. Yes, this is still Grange as we know it, with its backdrop of high cocoa dark chocolate, its hints of coal steam and its definitive, monumental intensity. But there’s a newfound overlay of brilliantly precise black fruit definition here, with perfectly ripe black plums, black cherries, blackberries and black pastilles all perfectly laid out in their gloriously intricate detail. Grange tannins are here to behold, charged with great endurance, yet super fine and somehow more lacy than ever. Persistence transcends time, lingering, undeviated, for minutes. Grange 2008 has an appeal and enticement already, and while it won’t be the longest-lived Grange ever, it will confidently improve for decades and afford great joy along every bit of the way. For the record, 98% shiraz and 2% cabernet sauvignon from 89% Barossa Valley, 9% Clare Valley and 2% Magill Estate. 5000-10000 cases.