Grange 1996 Penfolds
This dark purple-colored wine exhibits notes of sweet plum, blackberry, and cassis intermixed with some licorice, chocolate, and espresso. It is a blend of 94% Shiraz and 6% Cabernet Sauvignon that tips the scales at 14+% alcohol. The wine is layered, unctuously textured, full-bodied with tremendous intensity, moderately high tannin, and a 40-second finish. The wine needs a good 4-5 years of cellaring. Anticipated maturity: 2006-2025. This Grange should ultimately merit a higher score when it is closer to its plateau of drinkability.
Winespectator / James Suckling (95)
Firm in texture, with slightly gritty tannins around a gorgeous beam of black cherry, blueberry and plum flavors. This is beautifully focused and complete on the nose, but it's a bit chewy on the palate. Built for aging. Needs some rich food to balance the tannins at this point. Gets better as it warms in the glass.--Australian reds blind retrospective. 10,228 cases made. –HS
Rene Gabriel rates this wine 19/20 points.