Penfolds 2014 Grange
98% Shiraz, 2% Cabernet Sauvignon | Alc: 14.5% – Big and Bold
South Australia, Australia
The original and most powerful expression of Penfolds multi-vineyard, multi-district blending philosophy, Grange is arguably Australia’s most celebrated wine and is officially listed as a Heritage Icon of South Australia. Crafted utilising fully-ripe, intensely-flavoured and structured Shiraz grapes, the result is a unique Australian style that is now recognised as one of the most consistent of the world’s great wines. With an unbroken line of vintages from the experimental 1951, Grange clearly demonstrates the synergy between Shiraz and the soils and climates of South Australia.
Grange was recently recognized as a First Growth in Liv-ex’s recreation of the Bordeaux 1855 classification.
“Rich, concentrated and intense, the 2014 Grange delivers exactly what we’ve come to expect from this Penfolds icon wine. It’s full-bodied, velvety in feel and loaded with plummy fruit, framed in vanilla and cedar. Dense, powerful and tannic, it should prove to be long lived, even by Grange standards. Gago doesn’t rate the vintage overall that highly, but he says the selection this year for Grange was a bit more stringent and that production levels were just average. There are still over 1,000 cases for the United States.” 98 Pts – Wine Advocate
“The 2014 Grange is a blend of 98% Shiraz and 2% Cabernet Sauvignon sourced from Barossa Vale, McLaren Vale, Wrattonbully, Coonawarra, Clare Valley and Magill Estate. Harvest was variable between the regions, with heat spikes and St Valentine’s Day rain contributing to a long, slow ripening, or, in arcane Peter Gago-speak: ‘a timely pre-harvest vintage mnemonic’. It’s matured for 20 months in new American oak hogsheads, and the perfumes are quite lovely, already pronounced and distinctly Grange, with subtle but intense liquorice, the vanilla spice of American oak, blackberry and damson fruits, and underlying gamey notes. There’s a silky quality to the texture on the palate, showing depth, balance and complexity with concentrated blackberry and a hint of dark chocolate. As the tannins appear to be softer, juicier and more approachable than previous, more ‘classic’ Granges at this stage, the voluptuousness presages well for excellent medium-to-long-term drinking, starting in the next couple of years. It will star with slow-cooked pork belly or boeuf en daube. Drinking Window 2020 – 2040” 97 Pts – Decanter
“At first glance, this is a purely indulgent wine, with gobs of creamy, milk chocolate-laden maraschino cherry, raspberry framboise and Earl Grey tea aromas. Then wave after wave of elements start filling in, with toasted cumin, peppermint oil, Kalamata olive and white pepper notes, combining into an almost overwhelming amount of details. Becomes indulgent again on the long, lush finish. *Collectibles*” 98 Pts – Wine Spectator
“It’s always a pleasure to taste what is unquestionably the reference point wine for Australia, and the 2014 Grange doesn’t disappoint. From a more difficult vintage for South Australia, it’s a blend of 98% Shiraz and 2% Cabernet Sauvignon that spent 20 months in all new American oak hogsheads, hitting a normal alcohol level of 14.5 with a healthy pH and acidity. Inky purple/blue colored, it offers a rocking bouquet of ripe plums, blueberries, vanilla bean, espresso, and graphite, with hints of mint and flowers developing with time in the glass. Deep, rich, fabulously concentrated, and pure on the palate, it stays tight and compact, with notable precision and length. It’s a seriously structured yet impeccably balanced effort that needs a solid 5-6 years to shed some tannin and gain volume, and will keep for 2+ decades after that.” 97 Pts – Jeb Dunnuck
“98% Shiraz, 2% Cabernet Sauvignon from the Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale, Wrattonbully, Coonawarra, Clare Valley and Magill Estate, matured for 20 months in new American hogsheads. Excellent colour for age; the ultra-fragrant and expressive bouquet implacably draws you in; a great deal of work must have gone into the blending of the components and drawing them seamlessly. An aristocratic Grange with all the components in utter harmony.” 98 Pts – James Halliday
“The latest vintage of this iconic wine is more approachable and elegant than in previous years. This 98% Shiraz and 2% Cabernet Sauvignon blend offers an ocean of aromas: plum, mocha, coffee, tomato leaf, black olive, ground pepper, cedar, wet tarmac and sage. These tones swell towards a beautifully balanced palate that is powerful yet poised and silky in texture. The American oak is there but feels quieter than it has in the past, letting other nuances wash ashore, all held afloat by fine-grained herb and salt-flecked tannins. While other vintages seem untouchable in their youth, the 2014, with time in decanter, could offer immediate gratification yet still cellar through 2044. *Cellar Selection*” 97 Pts – Wine Enthusiast
“Shows a cooler and more savory style from the get go. Darker, spicy aromas with notes of clove and soy, blackberries, bracken and wood, dried orange and dark chocolate. The depth of flavor is undeniable. There’s elegance here too, in the sense that it is chiseled and contained, only broadening out at the finish. This has some growth to come in the bottle. Peter Gago’s description of the tannins as ‘slaty’ is spot on; they are dark, stony and slick, smooth and strong. The flavors hang long into a tight, toasty and spicy finish. Luxuriant, long and powerful. A blend of 98% Shiraz and 2% Cabernet Sauvignon, sourced from Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale, Wrattonbully, Coonawarra, Clare Valley and Magill Estate. 20 months in 100 per cent new American-oak hogsheads. Try from 2025 and best after 2030.” 96 Pts – James Suckling
“Grange is a blend from Penfolds’ top vineyards and best growers, including fruit from Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale, Wrattonbully (a first for Grange), Coonawarra, Clare Valley and the Magill Estate in the Adelaide Hills, where the winery got its start. That fruit selection finishes fermentation in new American oak barrels, where it then ages for 20 months. Peter Gago, who oversees the winemaking team, notes that winter and early-season rains differed substantially from Barossa and Clare down to McLaren Vale and Coonawarra. It was a warm summer to the north, with heat spikes in the south; then rain delayed harvest, allowing the fruit to ripen under generally cooler weather. That, in turn, allowed Gago to blend a plump, succulent Grange with complex layers of flavor, completely savory and ripe. The flavors might bring to mind black olive, black currant and seedy blackberries, accelerated by the espresso scents of new oak. There’s a restrained, slow-motion mineral explosion in the end, taking days to develop, lasting with a formality and elegance that belies the wine’s intoxicating richness. Great vintages of Grange last for decades; the original wines from the 1950s and ’60s are still remarkably fit, as this one should be decades from now.” 96 Pts – Wine & Spirits
Tipsy Knitter Wines – Your Seattle based, online wine shop