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.
Ned Goodwin MW and Langton’s Head of Domestic Buying Ramon Gunasekara discuss the newly released Icons, including Grange and St. Henri, from the Penfolds Collection 2020.
Containing just a dollop of 4.1% Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2005 Grange is about 85%+ Barossa fruit with the remaining proportions coming from McLaren vale and Coonawarra. It was aged for 18 months in 100% new American oak hogsheads. The nose begins a bit animal with some smoked game, mincemeat and bacon notes emerging over the freshly crushed, sun-warmed blackberries, black currant cordial, earth, black truffles, anise and allspice. Rich and full with very firm very fine tannins and very crisp acid, it gives a long finish layered with coffee, mincemeat and toast. Drink it 2013 to 2025+.
97 points, Wine Advocate (December 2010)
Protocol prevented me retasting this wine prior to its release date of 1 May '10, notwithstanding that no one will have read these words prior to the release of this book in late July '10. So this is my tasting note from the Rewards of Patience Tasting held in Sept '07. Colour little different to the '04; tighter, more compact than the '04, yet the fruit line is glossy and smooth, the tannins (and acidity) acting as the brake and giving tightness. These are a different pair, and it will be fascinating to watch their development.
96 points, Wine Companion (September 2007)
In fact it’s beautiful. Showy vanillin, coffeed, toasty oak is the first impression – as you’d expect of a Grange – though it’s neither syrupy nor malty. The big surprise with this release though is that it doesn’t have the bigness of tannin that some (or most) Grange releases boast. Is this a bad thing? In this case, no – because the balance of this 2005 is brilliant. So too is the dark fruit power motoring through the finish. Grange is renowned for its ‘formula’, but this vintage changes the tune according to the wants of the season – less muscle, more finesse. A vote for the craft of the winemakers involved. It’s persistent and seductive and awash with flavours of sweet, dense, meaty, smoky, leathery blackberry and blackcurrant. It does the Grange name proud.
95 points, The Wine Front (April 2010)
Deep red purple, good colour for age. Sweet blackberry and blueberry aromas; oak not too dominant, seems almost fruit driven for a Grange. Chocolate, vanilla, cooked fruits, some coconut emerged with airing. Palate is balanced and not all that tannic, smooth and remarkably approachable. Youthful in mouth; remarkably fresh and charming fruit flavours; ideal ripeness. Tannins are finer and more powdery than expected, and subtly run the length of the palate. Good long aftertaste. An elegant, finer, more subtle vintage of Grange.
95 points, The Real Review (July 2010)
Supple, refined and focused, this is generous with its ripe currant, blackberry jam and fresh cherry flavors playing against grace notes of coffee, tar, white pepper and molasses. The finish keeps hovering and gets richer with each sip. Lip-smackingly good.
97 points, Wine Spectator (March 2011)
Dark crimson. Still very youthful-looking. Rich, almost porty nose. Very heady. Satisfying and thick. Really very rich and sweet. Pretty volatile but dense enough to take it. Hums along! You can see that crushed-ants description so easily… Pure hedonism.
19 points, JancisRobinson.com (June 2015)
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.