2017 Penfolds Grange
2017 Penfolds Grange; Australia
Impossibly deep purple, dense and moves slow in the glass. The scent is less fruit-inspired, more complex-driven: tight and focussed, everything is dark and exotic and malty and muscular. The palate comes therefore as a bit of a surprise. The sweet fruit rises to meet your lips; the violets and florals, the blackberries, blueberries, macerated raspberries, panforte, and oh so beguiling spice.
Shiraz is the name given to the dark-skinned Syrah grape when grown in Australia and selected pockets of the New World. Shiraz is so important to Australian viticulture that it is the most planted grape variety in the majority of the country’s vineyards. It has become virtually synonymous with the country’s main wine regions, and in particular the Barossa Valley.The name Shiraz has become so widely recognized and so highly marketable that it has been used to label Syrah wines in countries other than Australia.
Australia is an extremely important wine producing country, both in terms of quality and scale. Wine Australia’s 2018 annual report describes it as the sixth largest wine producer in the world. In that year output was 1.29 million liters (341 million US gallons), split 52:48 between red and white.In 2015 there were just over 135,000 hectares (c. 334,000 acres) of vineyards in Australia. 30 percent of this was planted to Shiraz, 18 percent to Cabernet Sauvignon and 16 percent to Chardonnay. Merlot covered 6 percent and Sauvignon Blanc 5 percent.
Penfolds is Australia’s most famous wine producer, best known for its flagship wine Grange, one of the most acclaimed wines in the world. Among many other accolades, the 1955 Grange was named one of the top 12 wines of the 20th Century by Wine Spectator Magazine; the 1971 vintage was ranked as the greatest wine of the 1970s by FINE Wine Magazines and tastingbook.com, and the 2008 gained a perfect 100-point score from both Wine Spectator and Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate. It is a mainstay of the secondary market – auction prices for the wine have regularly been used as key performance indicators for the wider Australian economy.