Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

The Grape Nut goes nuts for Grange

  • Print
Remember when I mentioned I had tried a truly legendary wine? I wasn't messing around.A couple of weeks ago I was fortunate to taste through a collection of Penfolds wines - many are availble on the market in Manitoba, and a couple were wines produced in limited quality and highly allocated.One such wine is the Penfolds Grange. It's the flagship luxury wine from this extremely consistent Aussie producer, and is next to impossible to find in the local market. For this tasting, I was lucky enough to try the 1998 vintage. Scores from wine critics don't make it or break it for me, but when influential wine writer Robert Parker gives a wine a 99 out of 100, I pay attention. This particular bottle was added to the tasting from a private cellar. Here goes:Penfolds 1998 Grange (Australia - $ hundreds or so, not available)The nose on the Grange (97 per cent Shiraz, 3 per cent Cabernet Sauvignon) is subtle but complex, with aromas of leather, black cherry, cinnamon, and a hint of ash. The fruit component on the nose is bright and concentrated. It's ultra-soft and velvety on the palate, with tannins that are still fairly pronounced but quite supple. There's some great up-front juiciness to this wine, with beautiful cherry and plum flavours. It's an extremely elegant wine - some wine geeks would call this a 'feminine' style, but I've never liked the feminine/masculine descriptors - and the finish is extremely long and smooth. Penfolds' tasting notes suggest drinking between 2010 and 2040, but it didn't seem like this bottled was opened too early. Not as big as some of the other wines we tried from more recent vintages, but a wine loaded with character and finesse. Were I to score it out of 100, I'd probably lean in the direction of about 97-98. It is the complete package.For more thoughts on the '98 Grange, check out these reviews. I'll try and think of some more legendary wines I've been lucky enough to try, if people are interested in hearing about 'em. I'll also try and compile some notes on all the 2007 Rieslings I tried in Germany.Oh yes - I've almost finished writing up a review of Neil Rosenthal's book, Reflections of a Wine Merchant. It's been a somewhat onerous task, not unlike writing book reports in grade school. I hope I pass.

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

About Ben MacPhee-Sigurdson

When he wasn't bashing on a drum kit in local punk rock bands, Ben spent the mid '90s hucking cases of wine around to pay for two English degrees. Now he's the Winnipeg Free Press wine columnist and blogger.

The extent of Ben's wine experience in the mid-90s was memories of accidentally leaving a bottle of White Zinfandel in the freezer overnight, and the ensuing mess he was left with. Between 1996 and 2005 Ben absorbed all he could about wine while working at wine shops to pay for school. Meanwhile, he was churning out papers for his BA and MA in English (from the Universities of Winnipeg and Manitoba, respectively).

Ben became the Winnipeg Free Press' weekly wine columnist in 2005, and two years later joined Wine Access magazine as a contributor, a member of their national tasting panel and a judge at the Canadian Wine Awards and International Value Wine Awards until the magazine closed up shop in 2013.

In 2013 Ben joined the Winnipeg Free Press as a copy/web editor.

Twitter

Blogs that Ben MacPhee-Sigurdson follows:

Ads by Google