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.
Deep inky purple colour. Opens with an intense and evolving bouquet of vanilla, mocha and cedar complemented by aromas of blackberries and paneforte. The palate is rich and incredibly powerful with extraordinary depth of sweet red and black forest berries and black plum underpinned by plentiful chewy tannins. Finishes beautifully long with impressive persistence. Clearly elemental yet highly expressive and surprisingly approachable. One of the great Granges, destined for a long and splendid future. Drink 2030-2060+
The core of this wine is Barossa Valley Shiraz (85%) the remaining 15% shiraz (and 4% cabernet sauvignon) from the Clare Valley, Adelaide Hills, McLaren Vale and Magill Estate. In time honoured fashion, it finished its fermentation in 100% new American oak hogsheads, where it spent the next 17 months. It has exceptional hue and depth to the colour; the smoky complexity to the black fruits (no red or blue) of the bouquet also offers licorice and earth aromas; only a great Burgundy could have more nuances defined each time you revert to the bouquet. You could lose yourself, Narcissus-like, looking endlessly into the reflection of the palate; for all its power, there is not a hair out of place, the tannins outstanding. There is not the slightest question this will be one of the greatest Granges in the pantheon of '52, '55, '71, '96 and '06. 99 points, Wine Companion.
2010 holds a privileged position in the 60 year lineage of Penfolds Grange. In the context of recent tastings of many of the greatest vintages, 2010 attains new heights in its depth of black fruit presence and its structural assuredness. I adore 2008 Grange and, tasting them together, 2010 is even deeper and more vibrant, exuding another dimension of distinguished grace, precision, concentration, scaffolded structure and seamless, enduring persistence. There is a coiled reticence to the bouquet, skirting black plum, liquorice and dark chocolate, opening into breathtaking violet fragrance. The palate is unyielding, yet immensely structured. Magnificently voluptuous, yet elegantly coiled and bright. Silky and irresistible, yet untouchable and enduring. Tannins are a revelation, with a finesse and a chalk-fine texture impossible for such a resilient and powerful frame. Penfolds Grange 2010 is definitively on a plane of its own: the greatest young Australian wine I have ever tasted. A blend of 96% shiraz and 4% cabernet, from Barossa (85%), Clare, Adelaide Hills, McLaren Vale and Magill. Drink: 2030-2060. 100 points, tysonstelzer.com
The 2010 Grange is a 4% Cabernet Sauvignon and 96% Shiraz blend made from Barossa Valley, Clare Valley, Adelaide Hills, McLaren Vale and Magill Estate fruit that was aged 17 months in 100% new American oak hogsheads. Very deep purple-black in color, this is classic Grange - amongst the finest produced - replete with fresh, vibrant and youthful black fruit notes showing some blueberry aromas and accents of camphor, anise and the slightest floral hint plus a whiff of oak in the background to lend a cedar-laced lift to this textbook Shiraz nose. Medium to full-bodied in the mouth, it is very taut and finely constructed showing typically firm, grainy, uniform tannins, great concentration and wonderful persistence on the finish. If I have any very slight complaint of this near perfect wine it is that it seems a little too clinical and appears to speak less of the land and the heart of South Australia and more of the very skilled winemaking than did the Grange from the magical 2008 vintage.
99 points, Wine Advocate (October 2014)
Very deep, dark red-purple colour, youthful and bright looking. The bouquet is fresh and vibrant with especially good fruit-oak balance and the oak is not dominant on the bouquet - as it has been so often in the past. Fruitcake, roasted meats, charcuterie and black fruit aromas; hints of fresh tobacco as well. It's full-bodied and dense, concentrated and yet seamless and harmonious. The tannins are fleshy and smooth and well-integrated into the whole. An outstanding Grange, more approachable and in better balance than Grange usually is at release time (and this one is out six months early). 4% cabernet sauvignon - which doesn't show.
98 points, The Real Review (September 2014)
Powerful. Perfect. Origami shiraz. A large sheet of flavour folded into the precise design of its maker. Dark chocolate, blackberry, porty plum, cloves. Flavours of various seeds and nuts. Asphalt and malt. The tannin feels robust and tough as old boots but the fruit is drastically smooth and polished; the Grange way. Served alongside the 2008 and 2009 Granges and it certainly put the 2009 well into the shade, but faced stiff competition from the 2008. It’s a more seamless wine than the 2008. Perhaps a more perfect one too.
96 points, The Wine Front (October 2014)
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.