Deep and dense dark red color. Instantly Grange – aromatically heralded from glass to nose via trademark formic and barrel ferment markers. Majestic. Arguably a less-regal unfolding of sarsaparilla, creamy soda/cola-root beer nuances (how can this be?!), synergised with black (not red) liquorice and soy. A 17-month sojourn in 100% new oak is certainly well-hidden – more than a disguise, complete concealment. Archetypal North Barossa fruits extolling every varietal Shiraz variant! Revealingly, what initially appears to be reticent repressed fruits…soon overtly ascend – blackberry blackcurrant, fig, rhubarb, quince. A follow-up emission of black olive, shaved truffle, vanillin, boot polish, cola, ristretto coffee…with oak all but soaked up. Proper, pronounced and peripheral grippy tannins input texturally, endorsing what is already a formidable structure, with impressive length, depth, and weight.
Offers a mouthful of dense tannins at the core, balanced by lovely, ripe and powerful blueberry and cherry flavors and details of cigar, pepper, toast and mineral. Drink now through 2030. Tasted twice, with consistent notes.
A well-executed Grange in what must have been a stressful vintage, this has some good richness and concentration, the oak sits cedary but fruit is up to the task, dark berries in all shapes and sizes here, cola and sarsaparilla too, redder nuances, vanillin and liquorice. The palate's built in layers, really deep-set concentrated powerful fruit with some measure, good balance and depth, stylishly tailored structure and a polite, measured finish. Not a blockbuster in Grange terms, but this is a very good wine with clear Penfolds DNA. Balanced, not forced, Mr. Gago defintely gets an A for effort here. Best after 2023.
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