Which Penfolds Grange to drink now?

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Shorns

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Hello everyone,
For those wine lovers out there I need some advice. I'm getting married in september, Between ceremony and reception I was planning on sitting down with a couple of close friends and downing a bottle of Grange. Now I know it might not be the best bang for my buck but it is on my bucket list and now seems as good a time as any to do it. So what should I buy? It needs to be available fairly easily and ready to be drunk now. I'm looking at a 1996 currently which sell for around $550 and meant to be very good. How would this compare to drinking the 2008 release?

Welcome any comments!
 

vitagen

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2008 might be a bit young tbh you are better off with the 96. :)
 

Daver6

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Firstly, congrats.

I've not yet tried the 2008, but do believe it to be quite approachable for a young Grange. I should be tasting it in the next few weeks, so if you can wait for a verdict, I'm happy to report back. Heard similar about the 2007 which was a rather average SA vintage, but the fruit came in early enough for the Grange.

I also believe the 1996 to still be in its infancy and by all accounts an excellent vintage. While you shouldn't be disappointed, it is unlikely to have reached its peak.

If you can get a '96 with good provenance for $550, that's not too shabby. However, with old wine, provenance is key. Also need to consider a backup in case the cork gods are not on your side with that bottle.

There is also the obvious question though. Do you prefer your wines young or old. Aged wine isn't everyone's cup of tea. If you are wanting Grange for the sake of Grange, you could also save some money by going for a lesser or over-shadowed vintage. Eg, '97 or '99 were still pretty good, just over shadowed by the '96 and '98.
 

cove

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When I went to a recorking clinic we felt that the 707 is actually a better drop. I have a Penfolds club invite so I plan to test a lot of them shortly.
 

drron

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Congratulations.
Now to the wine.Grange can be a beautiful wine.However is it good value.You obviously have a contact and I suggest you talk to them if there are other wines that are either better or just better value.
Just a couple of stories.I used to regularly travel to the Hunter on wine buying trips in the early 70s.One of my best buys was a 1969 Oakvale shiraz.Cost me $2 a bottle.In the early 80s a surgical colleague was dying and wished to drink as much of his cellar as possible.Six of us went around to his place.He supplied the Grange and each of us bought a bottle in a brown paper bag.my 69 Oakvale was voted best wine of the night.
In 1992 I left the hunter.A few friends from our wine club had a similiar night but all bottles were in brown paper bags.Two of the wines turned out to be Grange but you already know what got voted the best of the night.Unfortunately it was my last bottle.
Oakvale is still going and now has as head winemaker Patrick Auld.He is a Penfold and learnt a lot of his craft under Karl Stockhausen at Lindeman's Pokolbin.

So do your friends know their wine?It really depends on your expectations.
 

samh004

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There is also the obvious question though. Do you prefer your wines young or old. Aged wine isn't everyone's cup of tea. If you are wanting Grange for the sake of Grange, you could also save some money by going for a lesser or over-shadowed vintage. Eg, '97 or '99 were still pretty good, just over shadowed by the '96 and '98.

As I've highlighted, I may not type with the right vernacular about wines, but I've had a few older Grange's and am not too fussed on them. I like a good full-bodied red, great flavour, something fresh, or relatively so anyway. What I've found is that the older drops end up being a weak flavour, like a watered down cordial (but obviously not the same taste). It ends up being quite light I guess, which is a far cry from a young Shiraz.

But of course, to each their own.
 

Daver6

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As I've highlighted, I may not type with the right vernacular about wines, but I've had a few older Grange's and am not too fussed on them. I like a good full-bodied red, great flavour, something fresh, or relatively so anyway. What I've found is that the older drops end up being a weak flavour, like a watered down cordial (but obviously not the same taste). It ends up being quite light I guess, which is a far cry from a young Shiraz.

But of course, to each their own.

What you describe actually sounds like old wine that is either well and truly past it (kept for too long) or hasn't been stored well.

Old wine is risky...and hence provenance is key. Too often a particular wine or even winery is judged as being rubbish due to someone trying a bottle that hasn't been stored well.
 

samh004

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What you describe actually sounds like old wine that is either well and truly past it (kept for too long) or hasn't been stored well.

Old wine is risky...and hence provenance is key. Too often a particular wine or even winery is judged as being rubbish due to someone trying a bottle that hasn't been stored well.

That could be true of the sort of people that I know who bring out Grange at Christmas... in which case, ignore my post above :p
 

cove

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The Penfolds Club night is June 12th in Subiaco at the Stables to try the best Penfolds is offering/selling currently so if you are based in Perth that should be a dinner date to remember.
i would go the 1996 Grange myself.
By the way congratulations on the upcoming marriage.
 

Shorns

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Yeah I should've added a bit more detail, probably by necessity (and budget) I drink mainly younger vintages, i'm by no means an expert, nor am I expecting, well really anything; I have quite a few sub $100 bottles that I consider wonderful and so I might be sorely disappointed by the grange, the fact is I could go bungey jumping (albeit not during the wedding) and blow almost as much and maybe not enjoy it.

Now here's the thing I suspect I might get tut-tutted over, I don't have a contact drron, the 96 Grange is sitting at dan murphys near me (sorry its actually 650 not 550) so around the same as the 08 release. Should I assume this is about the worst way to by a Grange of this age?
 

Daver6

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The Penfolds Club night is June 12th in Subiaco at the Stables to try the best Penfolds is offering/selling currently so if you are based in Perth that should be a dinner date to remember.
i would go the 1996 Grange myself.
By the way congratulations on the upcoming marriage.

I'll see you there then. Was on my to do list to book this weekend. Hopefully still places left :)
 

Daver6

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Now here's the thing I suspect I might get tut-tutted over, I don't have a contact drron, the 96 Grange is sitting at dan murphys near me (sorry its actually 650 not 550) so around the same as the 08 release. Should I assume this is about the worst way to by a Grange of this age?

If you are buying from DM, I think you have every right to take request a refund should the wine be oxidised or heat affected. Just keep the receipt. You could even discuss this with the store manager prior to purchase.

However, if the bottle is at DM's and standing upright or under hot lights, I wouldn't touch it.

Also, if corked, Penfolds are pretty good at dealing with this issue and organising a replacement (usually current vintage). Of course, none of this helps on the day.
 

Shorns

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Yeah that was going to be my next question, how retailers handle a bad bottle, look if it's corked etc etc it's no biggie, we'll just drink it another time, provided its replaced
 

vitagen

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The Penfolds Club night is June 12th in Subiaco at the Stables to try the best Penfolds is offering/selling currently so if you are based in Perth that should be a dinner date to remember.
i would go the 1996 Grange myself.
By the way congratulations on the upcoming marriage.

Do you need a +1? Lol
 
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cove

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If you PM me your email address I can send you their email vitagen. It is from the Kalimna Club from Penfolds so I am thinking they would be doing these functions around Australia.
It appears I can take 3 non members subject to availability.
 
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Duffa

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Hello everyone,
For those wine lovers out there I need some advice. I'm getting married in september, Between ceremony and reception I was planning on sitting down with a couple of close friends and downing a bottle of Grange. Now I know it might not be the best bang for my buck but it is on my bucket list and now seems as good a time as any to do it. So what should I buy? It needs to be available fairly easily and ready to be drunk now. I'm looking at a 1996 currently which sell for around $550 and meant to be very good. How would this compare to drinking the 2008 release?

Welcome any comments!

Well, I've lived in this paradise for 25 years and in all that time, many an Aussie has promised to invite me round for a Grange but none has delivered. So I decided to cut out the middle-man and get them myself!!. On two occasions, I have purchased a minor Grange from Langton's auction site $250-$300.
The first occasion; it was drunk with great fanfare and dinner for 8. We each got a half glass!
The second time, I invited my best friend round for supper and thrust a glass of red into his hand on arrival. 'Oh, that's a nice drop" he said.
I said nothing.
We drank another glass each before I suggested he top himself up while I attended the oven........ and then he noticed the label!.

"You [email protected][email protected], I've been quaffing Grange!"

That is the pleasure of this great wine. Sharing it with others.

You don't need a great vintage like the 1990. In my mind they are all masterpieces.

As long as it isn't corked or oxidized, you CANNOT be disappointed; with any vintage. Especially on such a memorable day for you.

Many congratulations.

Duffa
 

Sprucegoose

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When I went to a recorking clinic we felt that the 707 is actually a better drop. I have a Penfolds club invite so I plan to test a lot of them shortly.

Yes I recall one lunch where we downed three bottles of Grange yet I recall enjoying the Jacobs creek vintage as much!! So there you go so much for perception
 
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