It is always a treat to taste Australia’s most famous wine, Penfolds’ Grange cuvee (the word Hermitage has been dropped because of legal issues). The 2001 Grange is one of the few vintages of this cuvee to be composed of 100% Shiraz (the others being 1951, 1952, 1963, 1999, and 2000). Aged 17 months in 100% American oak, and tipping the scales at 14.5% alcohol, the 2001 is undeniably one of the top examples of this wine. At this stage, it appears to eclipse the 1998 and 1996. Inky/blue/purple to the rim, with a stunning perfume of blueberries, blackberries, chocolate, graphite, and earth, it boasts good acidity, huge tannins, magnificent concentration, and a multilayered, textured mouthfeel. (RP)
It is extraordinary how this wine has gained power, weight and complexity since first bottled; now majestic black fruits, licorice and chocolate/mocha notes run through the palate. Great tannins sustain and support the back palate and finish. Please move to screwcaps; this wine would live forever.
Grange is often an explosion on release, and this '01 does not want for intensity. This vintage is unusual, as it's all from Barossa fruit; what's more unusual is that its subtlety and grace make it surprisingly approachable as a young wine. The power of old-vine fruit is there in the color, black and concentrated at the core, deep red at the edge. It's also there in the complex aromatics, layered in earthy tannins. Those beautiful tannins drive the wine, releasing a quiet blast of black fruit that evolves for over a minute as it lasts past each taste. The wine just doesn't let go, and is as mouthwatering as the sizzle on a steak. Grange will often thrive for 20 years from the vintage, the best vintages lasting longer.
Inky violet with a bright rim. Explosive and utterly captivating on the nose, offering a range of aromas that encompasses red and darker berries, flowers, cigar box, minerals and sexy oak spices. Quite broad on the palate, and packing a real punch to its flavors of cassis, boysenberry, candied plum, bitter chocolate and fruitcake. Serious, harmonious tannins give plenty of structural support. This expands and grows even sweeter with aeration, finishing with outstanding persistence. Oak spices add sex appeal. A superb Grange. (JR)
Not great by Grange standards, but still a fabulous wine, the 2001 Grange boasts an intoxicating, heady bouquet of rich chocolate and coconut. It follows that up with deep, plummy fruit that’s full-bodied and lush yet quite tannic, promising decades of ageability. Despite the dark chocolate and plum flavors, the wine is still fresh, with a long finish. Drink 2010–2025.
Deep, rich and concentrated, this one has a gamy note that sneaks through the rich blackberry, plum and licorice flavors, hinting at coffee, dark chocolate and spice as the finish lingers beautifully. Grippy tannins keep it from taking off. Not as harmonious and complete as other vintages, but it's a solid Grange. *Collectibles* (HS)
Extremely dense and luminous to look at. A particularly warm summer produced this exotic cocktail. Rich, sweet with sufficient acidity, but this is decidedly embryonic with what is still a pretty dry finish. Forget it for a while. 17.5/20 points.
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