Red, Ready, but will improve

2004 Penfolds Grange, Barossa Valley

2004 Penfolds Grange, Barossa Valley

Red | Ready, but will improve | Penfolds | Code: 3806 | 2004 | Australia > South Australia > Barossa Valley | Syrah/Shiraz | Full Bodied, Dry | 14.5 % alcohol

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Scores and Reviews

BBR

20/20

JANCIS

19.5/20

WS

98/100

JANCIS - 4% Cabernet (1991 had the highest proportion ever of Cabernet with 14%), 85 % Barossa Valley, some Magill, plus a tiny bit of McLaren Vale - and, voice drops, a little bit, 4%, of Block 42 (planted in the mid 1880s). Lots buried in there - spice and tarmacadam and the merest whiff of treacle toffee but overall amazing life and energy. Lifted and above all fresh! Wonderfully subtle and savoury, wonderfully thick and long on the palate. Serious first growth claret build. Extremely fine tannins. Wonderfully suave and really not like any other wine I can think of. Gago insists that he has done nothing to change the style - in which case 2004 must be a particularly sophisticated vintage. So persistent!
Jancis Robinson MW – jancis.robinson.com – May 09

WA - Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2004 Penfolds Grange offers a profound nose of black cherries, creme de cassis licorice and dark chocolate with suggestions of cedar and violets. Full bodied, ripe and voluptuous in the mouth, the generous flesh is well supported by medium to high acidity and a firm level of finely grained tannins, finishing long. It's seductively approachable now but has much more to give.
Lisa Perrotti-Brown - Wine Advocate - In Asia May 2012

WS - Smooth and seductive, this delivers a full-throated chorus of currant, plum, blackberry and spice flavors, hinting at coffee and cardamom as the finish floats and sails easily over a bed of polished, refined tannins. A touch of black olive balances nicely against it all. Beautifully structured, expressive and very long.
Wine Spectator - Jul-2009

The Producer

Penfolds

Penfolds

Penfolds is undoubtedly one of the top wine companies in the world in terms of quality, product range and consistency. Peter Gago has now taken over winemaking responsibilities and a string of good vintages over the past five years has helped Penfolds stay at the top of the Australian wine boom.

The quality of Penfolds' red wines is simply world-class; nowhere else will you get such great wine for such good value. Penfolds Grange, without doubt Australia's greatest red wine, is also recognised as one of the worlds' finest.

The Grape

Syrah/Shiraz

Syrah/Shiraz

A noble black grape variety grown particularly in the Northern Rhône where it produces the great red wines of Hermitage, Cote Rôtie and Cornas, and in Australia where it produces wines of startling depth and intensity. Reasonably low yields are a crucial factor for quality as is picking at optimum ripeness. Its heartland, Hermitage and Côte Rôtie, consists of 270 hectares of steeply terraced vineyards producing wines that brim with pepper, spices, tar and black treacle when young. After 5-10 years they become smooth and velvety with pronounced fruit characteristics of damsons, raspberries, blackcurrants and loganberries.

It is now grown extensively in the Southern Rhône where it is blended with Grenache and Mourvèdre to produce the great red wines of Châteauneuf du Pape and Gigondas amongst others. Its spiritual home in Australia is the Barossa Valley, where there are plantings dating as far back as 1860. Australian Shiraz tends to be sweeter than its Northern Rhône counterpart and the best examples are redolent of new leather, dark chocolate, liquorice, and prunes and display a blackcurrant lusciousness.

South African producers such as Eben Sadie are now producing world- class Shiraz wines that represent astonishing value for money.

The Region

Barossa Valley

Barossa Valley

Barossa Valley is the South Australia's wine industry's birthplace. Currently into its fifth generation, it dates back to 1839 when George Fife Angas’ South Australian Company purchased 28,000 acres at a £1 per acre and sold them onto landed gentry, mostly German Lutherans. The first vines were planted in 1843 in Bethany, and by the 1870s – with Europe ravaged by war and Phylloxera - Gladstone’s British government complemented its colonies with preferential duties.

Fortified wines, strong enough to survive the 20,000km journey, flooded the British market. Churchill followed, between the Wars, re-affirming Australia’s position as a leading supplier of ‘Empire wines’. After the Second World War, mass European immigration saw a move to lighter wines, as confirmed by Grange Hermitage’s creation during the 1950s. Stainless-steel vats and refrigeration improved the quality of the dry table wines on offer, with table wine consumption exceeding fortified for the first time in 1970.

Averaging 200 to 400 metres’ altitude, the region covers 6,500 hectares of mainly terra rossa loam over limestone, as well as some warmer, sandier sites – the Cambrian limestone being far more visible along the eastern boundary (the Barossa Ranges) with Eden Valley. Following a diagonal shape, Lyndoch at the southern end nearest Gulf St Vincent is the region’s coolest spot, benefiting from sea fogs, while Nuriootpa (further north) is warmer; hot northerlies can be offset by sea breezes. The region is also home to the country’s largest concentration of 100-year-old-vine ShirazGrenache and Mourvedre.

Barossa Valley Shiraz is one of the country’s most identifiable and famous red wine styles, produced to a high quality by the likes of Rockford, Elderton, Torbreck and Dean Hewitson. Grenache and Mourvèdre are two of the region’s hidden gems, often blended with Shiraz, yet occasionally released as single vineyard styles such as Hewitson’s ‘Old Garden’, whose vines date back to 1853. Cabernet Sauvignon is a less highly-regarded cultivar.

Wines are traditionally vinified in open concrete fermenters before being cleaned up and finished in American and French oak barrels or ‘puncheons’ of approximately 600 litres. Barossa Shiraz should be rich, spicy and suave, with hints of leather and pepper.

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