1985 Penfolds Grange Hermitage
Served masked. Brick red colour with large onion skin rim indicating extensive bottle age. Nose of maraschino cherries, plums, dark chocolate, mocha, cream, spice and vanillin oak. A beautiful nose that indicated this wine was something special, hinting of a Grange. Palate with lifted acidity, soft fruit that was possibly past it’s best, soft dusty and drying tannins. Long persistent finish. Really enjoyable drinking!! My guess, Grange of 25 plus years…..pleasantly surprised when unmasked! Wine had recently been recorked by Penfolds recorking clinic. Drink now. 95/100 (scored 90/100 by Robert Parker in 1990.)
2004 Langmeil 1843 Freedom Shiraz
Bright reddish purple colour with small onion skin. Spicy nose with cherry and chocolate malt. Soft mouthfilling palate. Rich but still closed, needing more time to open. (Nose and palate continued to develop and improve over the next three hours.) Very refined palate with bright red berry fruit and soft drying tannins. Very French in style with great length, mouthfeel and persistence of flavour. Something about old vine wines! Assessed by all 4 tasters as something very special, very very drinkable and a top wine. Drink over the next 2-5 years. 98/100
Shiraz vines for the Freedom planted in 1840s with only a few acres remaining. Grapes are dry grown, hand picked and yields only 1.5 to 2 tonnes per acre. Aged in French oak for 2 years. Winemaker, Paul Lindner.