One of my favorite wines from Penfolds, the 1986 (a blend of 87% Shiraz and 13% Cabernet Sauvignon) is one of the most powerful Granges produced (14+% alcohol). At age 23, it reminds me of the way it tasted around 9 years of age. Inky/purple to the rim with an extraordinary perfume of sweet licorice, crushed pepper, blackberry liqueur, camphor, and barbecue spices, this sensationally full-bodied, concentrated, layered 1986 is still an infant in terms of its ultimate potential. It is remarkable how this wine has aged, and it’s hard to believe how certain wine geeks will subscribe to the aging ability of the Grange, but don’t believe the same is true for other old vine Shiraz wines from the Barossa and McLaren Vale. It just doesn’t make any sense. The 1986 is one of the greatest Granges for my palate, and it appears to still have 25-30 years of upside. 98+
Approaching full maturity, this has developed into a huge mouthful of cherry, raspberry, plum, prune, anise and mineral flavors that keep expanding on the palate. Sensational now, but still has room to grow...(HS)
Delicate leathery sweetness and some earthy notes and eucalyptus Chewy thick tannins, sweet and plummy and a little warm on the finish. Fresh aftertaste but just that thickness which seems to me to lack elegance. Long and dense and chewy. (JH)
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