Penfolds Grange

Grange is made every year, in spite of the season, and while the price went up for the great vintage of 2008, it’s not coming down for the lesser 2011. This is the sixth Grange in as many decades to be 100% shiraz, and the focus is on warmer regions in this cool, wet season, with a core of Barossa (though only 75%, less than the 85% of 2009 and 2010) and the balance made up of McLaren Vale and a little Magill. Production is around half of the usual Grange volume of 8,000-10,000 cases. True to the vintage, this is a savoury Grange with a tangy acid profile, though it upholds an impressively full purple hue. Toasty oak is prominent (17 months in 100% new American oak hogsheads, as always, though it doesn’t call for so much new oak this year). Its black fruit depth is admirable, layered with dark berry fruits and liquorice and a classic Grange hint of coal steam and crushed ants. Length is impressive and tannins are firm and fine. This is unmistakably Grange, albeit against the backdrop of a lesser season, and one to drink before 2008, 2009 and 2010. It may be the least Grange since 2003, but it’s undeniably an admirable result for 2011. 15 October 2015 release.