September 13, 2007
Will The Patience Reward?
South Australia, 12.5%, cork, RRP$450.
Rewards of Patience:
"Deep crimson brick red. Intense plum / blackberry / menthol / mocha / liquorice aromas. The tannins are pronounced but offset by stylish, rich, concentrated dark cherry/chocolaty fruit. A powerful and generously proportioned wine".
The purchase has already been made, and now the waiting game begins. I have been itching over the Grange legend for quite some time now, constantly reminding myself that it is only a label, and little else. But my urges have gotten the best of me, and I finally decided to take the plunge, and see what all the fuss is about. One must question the integrity of a bottle that is 27-years old, and as such, I am feeling a great deal of anxiety. The bottle has a very high shoulder, which is supposedly very good (and normal) for a bottle that is over 20-years of age. There is also no damage to the label.
Got in touch with Penfolds today to see when the next wine clinic will be in Perth, am advised that it will be mid-next year, and I should wait till then to both taste, and have my bottle inspected. They advise that other than the physical signs (ullage, and cork position), there is no real way to tell of the wine is in good shape without pulling the cork and tasting. I watched a video clip about the wine clinic's on the Penfolds site last night, and was rather impressed to say the least. Hopefully all shall be rewarded!
One thing that has baffled me, however, is the reviews that it has received. Penfolds Rewards of Patience notes it as being an 'outstanding vintage', yet, Jeremy Oliver gave it only 90 points, whilst various others (amateurs), have given it even less! I read on an unofficial site that Robert Parker gave it 95 points, which leads me to think that perhaps it is bigger, more "rich, and concentrated" than Oliver prefers. Though I must say, I am probably more partial towards Oliver's tastes, not thinking highly of overly-concentrated, jammy wines. If anybody has any comments to make on the 1980 Grange - it would be much appreciated.
In the same purchase, I also picked up a bottle of Grant Burge Meshach 1995 (JO 96pts). The Meshach is without a doubt, my favourite wine to date. It also seems to consistently receive higher ratings than Grange, and it would not surprise me if it delivers more than the Grange. Though, Grange is more than a bottle of wine, it's legend, and it's the experience that comes with it. All shall be revealed soon...