Penfolds Bin 95 Grange Shiraz is Australia's most famous wine with a reputation for superb fruit complexity and flavour richness. An exquisitely perfumed, concentrated wine, Penfolds Bin 95 Grange Shiraz combines the intensely rich fruit and ripe tannins of Shiraz with the fragrance and complementary nuances of new, fine-grained American oak. A portion of Cabernet Sauvignon is used in some years to enhance the aromatics and palate structure.
The 1982 is another superb example of that. One of the jammiest, most precocious Granges when it was released, it has never gone through a closed stage and continues to drink beautifully. A full-bodied, opulent Grange, it reveals an inky/purple color to the rim as well as a beautiful nose of crushed blueberries, blackberries, smoke, toast, roasted herbs, and road tar. This dense, plush, expansive, seamless, seductive 1982 has not changed much since I had it nearly a decade ago.
97 points, Wine Advocate (June 2009)
Although huge, phenomenally rich, and pure, the 1982 appeared less concentrated than the monster 1981. Nevertheless, this is no shy wine. Its weight and richness rival anything from California. However, the 1982 possesses more poise and, dare I say it, elegance than other Grange vintages. The colour remains an opaque ruby/purple, and the nose offers up sweet aromas of berries, vanilla, toast, and herbs. Intense, full-bodied, unctuously-textured... this youthful tasting Grange Hermitage will benefit from another 3-4 years of cellaring; it should keep for at least 15 more years.
95 points, The Wine Advocate (1995)
There was such density and balance to this monumental Shiraz with an oily chocolate and dried fruit character. It was full-bodied with broad length and ravishing beauty. Licorice and aniseed came through on the aftertaste along with chocolate. A vintage of Grange to remember for many years to come! 97 points, jamessuckling.com (3/2015).
Intensely spicy, raspberried, honeyed wine – incredibly fragrant – with cedar and cranberry scents frollicking throughout. These characteristics work better on the nose than they do in the mouth, yet still it’s as long and impressive as a freight train. Some will love this wine’s fleshy, warm sweetness, others may find it too oddball – it’s that kind of wine. Exaggerated kind of style – more Grange than Grange. Almost smells like toffee apples, and has a tangy, apple-like flavour to it too. Beguiling. Exquisite. Filligreed tannin. Has a glossy silken mouth perfume that lures you in and keeps you entertained. Thoroughly.
93 points, The Wine Front (January 2005)
Chocolate raspberry and red berries; rich and fleshy; smooth and plush. Lovely flavours and texture; a smart old wine and shows no negatives of the '82s (ie. vegetal), but has the Ribena-like fruit idiosyncrasy of the year.
92 points, The Real Review (September 2007)
Packed with bright flavors, raspberry and red plum dominating, with great length and sweet tannins to suggest a long life. Harmonious and elegant beneath focused power.
92 points, Wine Spectator (January 1997)
South Australia is the driest state on the world’s driest continent. Covering almost 1 million (984 377km) square kilomteres, it represents 12.8% of the Australian land mass. Sweeping plains are intersected by a spine of relatively low lying ranges, the Mount Lofty/Flinders Ranges which extend through the heart of the State. Over 50% of the state is elevated at under 150 metres. The Great Artesian basin covers almost one-third of the State. The major river is the River Murray which lethargically makes its way into the Southern Ocean. This water mass has a moderating effect on climate, particularly in the southern regions of South Australia where most vines are planted.
Summers are generally hot and dry with relatively mild nights. Winters are cool. Rainfall occurs mostly during late autumn/winter (May, June, July, August). Drought and salinity are major concerns.
The principle wine regions in South Australia are; the Adelaide Hills, Barossa (comprising the Barossa and Eden Valleys), Clare Valley, Langhorne Creek, McLaren Vale, Padthaway, Coonawarra and the Riverland. Vineyard expansion has also extended to Wrattonbully, Mount Benson, Bordertown, Robe, Southern Fleurieu and the Flinders Ranges.
It is a tradition for many wine companies to make multi-district blends from South Australian fruit – the idea of house style taking precedence over regional definition. Penfolds pioneered this concept. The vagaries of vintage variation can be evened out by fruit selection, ensuring quality at a high level. However there is debate that this concept comes at the expense of the ‘soul’ of the wine. Penfolds Grange is probably the most famous multi-district blend and is an excellent counter-argument.Andrew Caillard MW, Langton's
Penfolds is probably the most extraordinary of the world’s wine brands with an enviable reputation for quality at every price level. The original Penfold was an English doctor who, in 1844, planted grapes at Magill, now a suburb of Adelaide. However, it was not until the late 1940s that Penfolds began to forge a reputation for red wine.
The Penfolds house style emerged from a fortified wine producing culture and evolved as a winemaking philosophy which has had a profound effect on the entire Australian wine industry. Many of the techniques initially adopted to make Penfolds Grange would become part of the wider Penfolds winemaking culture. The number of techniques employed in the research and development of Penfolds wines is astonishing. Max Schubert and his team pioneered: major advances in yeast technology and paper chromatography; the understanding and use of pH in controlling bacterial spoilage; the use of headed down/submerged cap fermentation and the technique of rack and return; cold fermentation practices; the use of American oak as a maturation vessel and perhaps most critically, partial barrel fermentation. Nowadays, the use of American oak and barrel fermentation for instance is considered traditional Barossa winemaking practice!
Today, Penfolds house style embraces the concept of multi-regional blending, optimum fruit quality, the use of fine-grained American or French oak, barrel fermentation and maturation. Overall, the Penfolds style is about highly-defined fruit aromas, fruit sweetness, ripe tannins, richness, power and concentration. The number of iconic wines that have emerged from the Penfolds stable over the years is remarkable. Bin 389 a Cabernet Shiraz blend released in 1960 is now considered the quintessential Australian wine blend. Bin 128 Coonawarra Shiraz and Bin 28 Kalimna Shiraz released in 1962 pre-empted the contemporary enthusiasm for regional definition by about 25 years. Improved vineyard management, site selection and winemaking brought about subsequent releases of Bin 707 and Bin 407 Cabernet Sauvignon. The Penfolds Wine Making Philosophy is the accumulation of more than half-a-century of knowledge and winemaking practice initiated by Max Schubert and subsequently refined by Don Ditter, John Duval and Peter Gago. Their collective commitment to multi-regional and vineyard blending contributed to a consistency of style and quality that has cemented Penfolds reputation as the foremost producer of premium age-worthy red wines in Australia.