Opaque, a dark core with a lighter deep red concession on rim. An eruption of fruits. At once lively and expressive, conceding Grange personality yet still not revealing all .... Dark coffee grind, malt and tapenade merge with black earths, almost verging on peat. Mandated V.A and formic notes propel a slurry of dark-skinned berried fruits, flirting with dark liquorice and soy. Oak completely hidden, long since absorbed. Now, back to the glass for a second sniff! Initially the ‘enlivened’ dark fruits of a Christmas pudding or boiled fruitcake mix demand attention. But there’s much more to complement these fruits – impressions of ironstone, graphite, iodine, black ink, and a black pudding viscosity. Formidable, meshed tannins – texturally honeycombed, without the honey! Oak has entwined itself invisible. Yes, every barrel still new, and completion of fermentation off skins in barrel still Grange modus operandi. Integrated, measured ... and clearly more than one sip required to gain an authentic ‘first-impression’. Certainly a wine of its vintage. A Grange of 2015.
Blend: 98% Shiraz, 2% Cabernet Sauvignon
Much anticipated vintage for Grange and it is a powerhouse of concentration and complexity. Aromas of orange and lemon peel to start, then graphite, blackberries, plum paste, black cherries, boundless sweet oak spice, fresh cedar, tar, mahogany, roasted coffee and chocolate - the list goes on. Such complexity. Classic Grange, offering such deep, dark intensity. The palate has immense richness and depth with a super succulent and very long, fleshy, deeply weighted array of dense, velvet-wrapped tannins that run so long. The fruit flavors sit in the blackberry, blood-plum and blueberry zone with succulent, long and assertive structure, carrying through in an utterly seamless mode. The finish is tightly wrenched, in spectacularly powerful style, locking this wine in for a very long haul. Best from 2030.
The flagship 2015 Grange is a monster of wine and one of those rare wines that blends power and elegance perfectly. Revealing a saturated purple color, it’s seemingly more forward and seductive than past great vintages, which I suspect is due to the incredible purity of fruit as well as the wine’s flawless balance than any change in winemaking or stylistic shifts. I also think the acidity is healthy, and the 2015 tips the scales at 14.5% alcohol, which is certainly in the sweet spot, if not tame, for beautifully ripe Syrah these days. A blend of 98% Shiraz and 2% Cabernet Sauvignon that spent 20 months in new American oak hogsheads, it offers an extraordinary perfume of sweet crème de cassis, lead pencil shavings, camphor, Asian spices, licorice, and wildflowers. This is followed by a full-bodied, powerful yet incredibly seamless and elegant Shiraz that has no hard edges, a big, dense mid-palate, ripe tannins, and a great finish. Coming close to rivaling the 1986, which has always been a benchmark vintage of Grange for me, the 2015 offers a more polished, elegant, approachable style. Vintage comparisons aside, this is a legendary example of Grange in the making. The savvy wine lovers out there will give this 7-8 years of bottle age (I’ll probably be out of bottles by then) and enjoy over the following 2-3 decades.