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1974 Penfolds Grange Hermitage
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- Closure: Cork
Notes Sourced from The Rewards of Patience - Fifth Edition (2004):
Drinking Window: Now
Medium deep brick red. Redcurrant/smoky/dried fig/leafy aromas. A well concentrated wine withmocha/gamy/dried fig flavours and fine chalky tannins. A slightly underpowered finish.
93% Shiraz, 7% Cabernet Sauvignon. Kalimna Vineyard (Barossa Valley), Barossa Valley and Magill Estate (Adelaide). Winemaking transferred to Nuriootpa. Vinification in stainless steel tanks, completed in barrel. A very wet growing season made more difficult by the outbreak of downy mildew just prior to harvest.
Tasting Notes sourced from Southcorp Wines.
Grape varieties: 93% Shiraz & 7% Cabernet Sauvignon.
Alcohol: 12.1% Total acids: 5.9 grams per litre. pH: 3.70
Growing season/vintage: A very difficult season with rainfall more than double the average. Vintage was also wet, with conditions made worse by an outbreak of downy mildew just prior to harvest. Low yields and generally lighter style wines.
Comments: Considered a good wine from one of the most difficult vintages in memory. Rigorous grape selection saw one of the smallest Grange makes on record -- 2300 cases. Future Chief Winemaker John Duval's first vintage with Penfolds, and a baptism of fire. First Grange to be made at Nuriootpa and fermented in stainless steel. All previous vintages were made in the open concrete fermenters at the Magill winery. Rated 91/100 points by Robert Parker in 1990, and winner of a trophy, four gold and three other medals at Australian wine shows from 1976 to 1989.
Tasting notes size> - Colour: slightly lighter than the '73 with a distinct touch of brown. Bouquet: rather chalky and flat and somewhat disappointing. Palate: shows similar flat/thin fruit flavour, distinctly on the light side although there are some redeeming features in the structure of the wine. (James Halliday, National Times, Nov. 1982) Lighter year. Firm tannin. Showing developed flavour. Drinking well. (Rewards of Patience, 1st ed., 1985) Mature, "leathery" flavours. Demonstrates how good Grange is, even in difficult years. (Rewards of Patience, 2nd ed., 1990) A triumph from such a poor vintage... big, sweet, jammy, chocolatey, slightly porty wine with good depth of colour, plenty of character. Raunchy, mellow and round. Drink now. (Huon Hooke, 1992) Tight fruit selection policy has resulted in a wine with good structure and concentration and a good palate, given the year. (Ultimate Grange Experience, Nov. 1994)
"Medium brick red. Sweet, prune/dried fig/apricot aromas with complex cedar/cigar-box characters. Palate is still fresh, but compact, with dark chocolate/prune flavours, some earthiness and fine gripping tannins. Firm finish. A little disjointed and unlikely to improve, although should hold. Drink now." (Southcorp Wines, The Rewards of Patience, Fourth Edition, March 2000)