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1998 Penfolds Grange Hermitage
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- Cellar 20 - 25 years (2023-2028)
- ABV 14.5%
- Closure: Cork
This is Australia’s flagship wine, admired, envied and despised, almost unprocurable and certainly over hyped to the point of hysteria. It has become an international wine icon, and the major Australian investment piece. Every mum and dad wants a bottle of Grange in their investment portfolio, in anticipation of making a quick (or medium) return on investment. Released at $400 per bottle, this wine escalated dramatically in price, reaching between $700-800 per bottle shortly after release. The 1998 vintage is legendary, being regarded as the vintage of last century. So, how good is this wine? The wine is exceptional and certainly lives up to its reputation as Australia’s No. 1 wine.
Opaque black crimson colour. Superb nose with that distinctive aromatic marker that is Grange. Perfumed notes of violets, ripe plum, cedar and spice emerge over a distinctive American oak background. The palate flavours explode and delivers flavours of great length and depth. Mouthfilling with flavours of confectionary, ripe plum, American oak, cedar, dark chocolate, liquorice and violet infusions. Perfect balance despite the firm tannin backbone. This is a monumental wine built to last.
Cellar 20-25 years (2023-2028)
Notes Sourced from The Rewards of Patience - Fifth Edition (2004):
Drinking Window: 2010 – 2040
Deep crimson-purple. Beautifully perfumed and exotic musky plum/blackberry/blackcurrant aromas with plenty of malty/meaty/apricot complexity. Opulently rich and seductive plum/apricot/blackfruit/meaty flavours with toasty/malty/savoury oak and fine velvety sweet tannins. A superbly balanced, sumptuous wine with all the hallmarks of a great, long-living Grange.
97% Shiraz, 3% Cabernet Sauvignon. Kalimna Vineyard (Barossa Valley), Barossa Valley, Magill Estate (Adelaide) and Padthaway. A mild early growing season was followed by very hot, dry weather with virtually all dam water reserves exhausted. An exceptional vintage.
The 1998 Grange will be legendary. A blend of 97% Shiraz and 3% Cabernet Sauvignon, it tips the scales at a whopping 14.5% alcohol. The inky/purple color is followed by an extraordinarily intense nose of creme de cassis intermixed with blueberry and floral notes. As the wine sits in the glass, aromas of meat, plums, and cola also emerge. It is a seamless effort with sweet tannin, well-integrated acidity, sensational extract, and layer upon layer of blackberry and cassis fruit that stain the palate and fill the mouth. Its harmony, freshness, and remarkable length (the finish lasts nearly a minute) suggest an all-time classic. Anticipated maturity: 2006-2030.
Robert Parker - The Wine Adovcate