Friday 6 July 2012

Illusions of Grange

1974 Penfolds Bin 95 Grange Hermitage Often touted as the pinnacle of Australian Wines, I was looking forward to trying this ’74 when the offer came up. I just hoped that the anticipation and hype wasn’t going to produce rose-coloured glasses. This grandfather of Australian reds certainly had his Sunday Best on (probably even had a shave). It was so structured it gave the impression of being somewhat austere, but then also very clean and smooth! There was a fleeting moment of Brick Red colour, but then no, brown hues, bordering on port-like. It needed air, but was browning more and more by the second, like watching its life slip away before your eyes. Sad but beautiful. Structurally sound, but musty like an old wardrobe that does the job but makes your clothes smell... old. No matter how clean they are! Gravelly, stony, with hints of chocolate mint, shrouded in tobacco. Great length, a long, dry palate. Drier than dry. Very savoury. Amazing balance. I can only liken the lead up to this wine, to being like the wait for Slayer’s 6/6/06 release of “Cult” off Christ Illusion (yeah, I was one of those people that set an alarm for the minute it was released, shut the door to the winery office and downloaded, like a teenage boy waiting for porn). Even though that was the only song that really evoked those old, epic Slayer moments, it definitely had a certain unmistakable energy. The rest of the album took awhile to get into when it finally came out. No denying that Grange is an extremely well made wine! And an origianl Slayer lineup is a force to be reckoned with! Though I think the “pinnacle” of anything is open to personal preference. I certainly wasn’t disappointed, but it’s far too complex for everyday drinking (or maybe I'm just getting lazy)! Heavenly without the Illusions!

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