Another 2 Great Wines Unmasked

Grange and Frredomimage

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.


Sensational Penfolds St Henri 2004

Well cellared - note no travel on cork!

The Penfolds St Henri Shiraz is an iconic Australian wine that relies on fruit purity rather than oak to express its character. The grapes are drawn from multiple vineyards in South Australia (Barossa Valley, Langhorne Creek and Adelaide Hills) and is predominantly Shiraz (95+%) with a small amount of Cabernet. The wine is aged in large old oak vats.

Opened 10 Oct 13. The wine was quite subdued on opening, but began to open after an hour. Soft spicy cherry and black fruit on the nose with a hint of tobacco leaf. The palate was plush and mouthfilling with beautiful dark berry fruits, plums, mocha, anise and soft earth. Great balance, integrated tannins, rich fruit and a long finish. Lovely wine, but a little closed even after 3 hours.

Day 2. Wine still drinking beautifully with some secondary characters starting to emerge.

Day 3. Wow! The wine has blossomed. Dark, rich berry fruits, earthy undertones and great balance. Wonderful structure and polish. You could be excused to think this had only been opened a few hours ago! I wondered how it would taste on Day 4…..but I’ll never know as I didn’t have the willpower to stop! Could easily cellar for another 5+ years, but why wait? Great wine. 96/100

Well cellared wine – note no travel on cork!