Penfolds Bin 95 Grange Shiraz is Australia's most famous wine with a reputation for superb fruit complexity and flavour richness. An exquisitely perfumed, concentrated wine, Penfolds Bin 95 Grange Shiraz combines the intensely rich fruit and ripe tannins of Shiraz with the fragrance and complementary nuances of new, fine-grained American oak. A portion of Cabernet Sauvignon is used in some years to enhance the aromatics and palate structure.
Seven years since last taste, and it's mellowing nicely into classic Grange style, with great vintage intensity and power. A superb Grange of the first rank.
97 points, The Real Review (January 2015)
Medium to full red-purple; the usual array of richly luscious cherry, plum and black fruit aromas mingling with mocha and dark chocolate on the bouquet. The palate is as complex and structured as the bouquet promises; the tannins pick up early but are not overly aggressive, and run through a wine showing the full gamut of ripe, old vine Shiraz flavours.
96 points, Wine Companion (July 1996)
At first it presents as remarkably fruity, but the more you look at it the more it seems like an example of highly skilled engineering. It’s a wine of considerable and outstanding finesse, with black and red berry fruit cascading through the mouth and savoury, gently herbal, developed characters just starting to pull through. Great structure, and it will get even better.
96 points, The Wine Front (January 2005)
The 1991 Grange shocked me with its sweet, forward display of jammy black fruits, smoke, roasted coffee, and copious toasty oak scents and flavors. It is seemingly more forward than other recent vintages, but that could be because this viscous, low acid, massively endowed wine's structural components (acidity and tannin) are buried beneath a cascade of sweet, unctuously-textured fruit. This mouthfilling Grange, a humongous example of a dry red wine, is nearly impossible to match with food, but these wines inevitably become more complex and civilized with 10 or more years of cellaring.
95 points, Wine Advocate (April 1997)
Medium brick colored with a garnet core, the 1991 Grange has a wonderful perfume of black and red fruits preserves, prunes, figs and plum preserves with suggestions of licorice and dark chocolate. Medium to full-bodied, rich, powerful and spicy right through the long finish, this Grange still has loads of life and should cellar for another 10-20 years.
95 points, Wine Advocate (September 2015)
The 1991 Granges is a beauty that’s still vibrant and youthful. Offering decadent notes of smoked currants, plums, vanilla oak, and spice, it hits the palate with a thick, unctuous, full-bodied texture, a deep, opulent mid-palate, and still present, sweet tannin. This vintage was 95% Shiraz and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon and is a thrilling drinking experience today, yet has another decade of prime drinking, possibly more.
95 points, JebDunnuck.com (February 2018)
Rich, chewy, spicy and full of currant and blackberry character, this is distinctive for the harmony that's beneath the hedonistic fanfare of flavors. A stunning wine with all the Grange characteristics.
95 points, Wine Spectator (January 1997)
This is a more balanced Grange that shows a slightly fluid center palate with currant, spice and meat character. Medium to full body and fine tannins. A medium, fruity and juicy finish that's even Porty.
93 points, JamesSuckling.com (February 2018)
95% Shiraz, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. Kalimna Vineyard (Barossa Valley), Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale blend.
Very dark purple. Gorgeous, with notes of chocolate and super-rich malted milk, yet fresh and racy too. A really delicious example with great energy. Very good – and a great combination of ripeness and refreshment value.
18.5 points, JancisRobinson.com (October 2008)
South Australia is the driest state on the world’s driest continent. Covering almost 1 million (984 377km) square kilomteres, it represents 12.8% of the Australian land mass. Sweeping plains are intersected by a spine of relatively low lying ranges, the Mount Lofty/Flinders Ranges which extend through the heart of the State. Over 50% of the state is elevated at under 150 metres. The Great Artesian basin covers almost one-third of the State. The major river is the River Murray which lethargically makes its way into the Southern Ocean. This water mass has a moderating effect on climate, particularly in the southern regions of South Australia where most vines are planted.
Summers are generally hot and dry with relatively mild nights. Winters are cool. Rainfall occurs mostly during late autumn/winter (May, June, July, August). Drought and salinity are major concerns.
The principle wine regions in South Australia are; the Adelaide Hills, Barossa (comprising the Barossa and Eden Valleys), Clare Valley, Langhorne Creek, McLaren Vale, Padthaway, Coonawarra and the Riverland. Vineyard expansion has also extended to Wrattonbully, Mount Benson, Bordertown, Robe, Southern Fleurieu and the Flinders Ranges.
It is a tradition for many wine companies to make multi-district blends from South Australian fruit – the idea of house style taking precedence over regional definition. Penfolds pioneered this concept. The vagaries of vintage variation can be evened out by fruit selection, ensuring quality at a high level. However there is debate that this concept comes at the expense of the ‘soul’ of the wine. Penfolds Grange is probably the most famous multi-district blend and is an excellent counter-argument.Andrew Caillard MW, Langton's
Penfolds is probably the most extraordinary of the world’s wine brands with an enviable reputation for quality at every price level. The original Penfold was an English doctor who, in 1844, planted grapes at Magill, now a suburb of Adelaide. However, it was not until the late 1940s that Penfolds began to forge a reputation for red wine.
The Penfolds house style emerged from a fortified wine producing culture and evolved as a winemaking philosophy which has had a profound effect on the entire Australian wine industry. Many of the techniques initially adopted to make Penfolds Grange would become part of the wider Penfolds winemaking culture. The number of techniques employed in the research and development of Penfolds wines is astonishing. Max Schubert and his team pioneered: major advances in yeast technology and paper chromatography; the understanding and use of pH in controlling bacterial spoilage; the use of headed down/submerged cap fermentation and the technique of rack and return; cold fermentation practices; the use of American oak as a maturation vessel and perhaps most critically, partial barrel fermentation. Nowadays, the use of American oak and barrel fermentation for instance is considered traditional Barossa winemaking practice!
Today, Penfolds house style embraces the concept of multi-regional blending, optimum fruit quality, the use of fine-grained American or French oak, barrel fermentation and maturation. Overall, the Penfolds style is about highly-defined fruit aromas, fruit sweetness, ripe tannins, richness, power and concentration. The number of iconic wines that have emerged from the Penfolds stable over the years is remarkable. Bin 389 a Cabernet Shiraz blend released in 1960 is now considered the quintessential Australian wine blend. Bin 128 Coonawarra Shiraz and Bin 28 Kalimna Shiraz released in 1962 pre-empted the contemporary enthusiasm for regional definition by about 25 years. Improved vineyard management, site selection and winemaking brought about subsequent releases of Bin 707 and Bin 407 Cabernet Sauvignon. The Penfolds Wine Making Philosophy is the accumulation of more than half-a-century of knowledge and winemaking practice initiated by Max Schubert and subsequently refined by Don Ditter, John Duval and Peter Gago. Their collective commitment to multi-regional and vineyard blending contributed to a consistency of style and quality that has cemented Penfolds reputation as the foremost producer of premium age-worthy red wines in Australia.