Grange is both Penfolds and Australia's most famous wine and is officially listed as a heritage icon of South Australia. Grange boasts an unbroken line of vintages from the experimental 1951 and clearly demonstrates the synergy between Shiraz and the soils and climate of South Australia.
Penfolds Grange displays fully-ripe, intensely-flavoured and textured Shiraz grapes in combination with new American oak. The result is a unique Australian style that is now recognised as the most consistent of the world's great wines. The Grange style is the original and most powerful expression of Penfolds' multivineyard, multi-district blending philosophy.
In 1998, cool spring weather followed by a warm summer and very low rainfall created one of the classic vintages of the decade. Fruit quality was outstanding with incredible intensity of flavour, fine tannins and structure. The 1998 vintage of Penfolds Grange may rank amongst the very finest released.
"The 1998 Grange will be legendary. A blend of 97% Shiraz and 3% Cabernet Sauvignon, it tips the scales at a whopping 14.5% alcohol. The inky/purple color is followed by an extraordinarily intense nose of creme de cassis intermixed with blueberry and floral notes. As the wine sits in the glass, aromas of meat, plums, and cola also emerge. It is a seamless effort with sweet tannin, well-integrated acidity, sensational extract, and layer upon layer of blackberry and cassis fruit that stain the palate and fill the mouth. Its harmony, freshness, and remarkable length (the finish lasts nearly a minute) suggest an all-time classic. Anticipated maturity: 2006-2030." 99 points, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
"Very deep red-ruby. Smoky, deeply concentrated fruit bomb of a nose: blackberry, dark plum, cassis; creamy vanilla and lightly toasty coconutty oak; and ethereal background notes of white pepper, smoked meats, musky spices, tar and licorice. Profoundly concentrated but velvety-smooth and seamless; impressively muscular and thickly coated with oak, and bound by drying, astringent tannins. Without question the most concentrated Grange of all time, utterly steeped in blackberry flavors; a real show pony. It's also the most alcoholic Grange ever made, and at a declared 14.5% does taste warm and spirity - the first Grange to do so. It also ventures to some degree into the realm of currant and prune. No doubt a brilliant wine, but only time will tell if, with its elevated alcohol and its super ripe flavors, this 1998 version ranks with the very best Grange vintages." 97 points, Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
"A wine of surprising subtlety for the vintage, playing its ripe cherry, red plum and herb flavors against firm tannins that have a bit of grit to them. But those lively cherry and raspberry flavors burst through, and there's a nice hint of green herbs lingering around the finish, which doesn't subside easily." 97 points, Wine Spectator
Penfold's Grange 1998