Inky, bright-rimmed violet. A kaleidoscopic, penetrating bouquet evokes ripe black and blue fruit preserves, espresso, cola, incense, coconut and Moroccan spices, along with a smoky mineral topnote. Shows superb clarity and mineral lift to the sweet, deeply concentrated black currant, bitter cherry, dark chocolate, fruitcake and mocha flavors, which are sharpened by a spicy element. A vein of juicy acidity adds support and drives a wonderfully long, smoky finish that leaves a suave floral note behind.
Anticipated maturity: 2030-2045
Robert Parker 99
This wine comes with high expectations as does the vintage. The 2018 vintage across South Australia (and cheekily, we could probably extend the accolade to all of Australia) was excellent. It was warm, but without incident, and responsible for powerfully ripe, serious wines. Many producers made some of their best wines in this vintage. So here, to the 2018 Grange: there is spiced raspberry, lashings of salted licorice, red curry paste, layers of forest berries, rendered lamb fat and crushed pink peppercorns to start. In the mouth, the tannins close around the fruit with the same polish and seamlessness as the 2008, possibly the 2004? Very different vintages, but there is a textural similarity for me. This is polished and glossy and so very pretty. It contains 3% Cabernet Sauvignon this year, and 69% Barossa, 18% McLaren Vale and the balance from Clare Valley. Each of the regions brings with it its own characteristics. Barossa brings the red dirt, blood, deli meat and rust. McLaren Vale brings the plush purple fruits with a side of meat and licorice. Clare brings the polish, the opulence and the velvet texture. With their powers combined, this is an extraordinary Grange. One of the true greats, which will only get better as it ages.
Anticipated maturity: 2028-2058