penfolds, grange, south australia 2011
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
2011 was of course a difficult, uncharacteristically rainy vintage in South Australia and particularly Barossa, but thanks to Penfolds’ privileged position with access to some of the region’s best fruit, they have nonetheless been able to blend an impressive Grange. Still sourced mainly from Barossa Valley, there’s a good dollop of McLaren Vale fruit (21%) – a region less affected by the rains in 2011 - contributing to this vintage. Interestingly, it is the 6th vintage ever to consist of 100% Shiraz, mainly because the Cabernet Sauvignon didn't make the grade this year. (Note that no Bin 707 Cabernet Sauvignon was produced in 2011.) Deep purple colored, in typical fashion the nose of the 2011 Grange is still closed at this youthful stage with broody tar and pepper laced notes over a core of blackberries, black plums, licorice and loam. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is taut and muscular with pepper and baking spice flavors supported by firm, grainy tannins. The finish has great length, contributing a refreshing lift.
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.