(Tasted with same score in 2002, the following review reflects a tasting in 02/1998) Two of the most decadent wines made on planet Earth are the limited production (about 900 cases of each) of Old Vine Grenache. In 1996, there are three offerings, but I only tasted two, the Blewitt Springs and Kangarilla Vineyard. The opaque blue/black-colored 1996 Old Vine Grenache Blewitt Springs offers a blackberry, cassis, and peppery-scented nose. Explosively sweet black fruit hits the palate with considerable weight and unctuosity. There may be some residual sugar, although I tend to think the high alcohol (15.5%) and the extremely elevated glycerin level give this wine its slightly sweet palate impression. Huge, and almost too rich and thick to drink with food, I would opt for serving this wine at the end of the meal with well-flavored cheese, or to simply be sipped by itself. The wine is remarkably impressive and powerful, but, wow, what weight and intensity it possesses! Is this too much of a good thing? The wine was aged in 3-4 year old barrels. No new oak is used, and the wine is the better for it. Look for the Blewitt Springs to become more civilized with 3-4 years of bottle age, and keep for two decades. (RP)
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