The 1998 Penfolds Grange is arguably the best Penfolds Grange since the 1990 vintage and one of the best Grange’s ever made. As a collectors item or investment it is all the rage, wine collectors pay big dollars for what is considered one of the finest Penfolds Grange’s ever made. There are a number of interesting observations about the 1998 Penfolds Grange that makes it more collectable than other “A” Grade Granges, some of those being it comes from what was a perfect vintage – rated 10/10, it has the number 8 in the vintage which is popular with Chinese investors and it has been rated very highly by a number of Australian wine critics including James Halliday and Jeremy Oliver.
Wine Critics points for the 1998 Penfolds Grange
- 99Pts Robert Parker Jnr (USA)
- 97Pts Jeremy Oliver
- 97Pts Campbell Mattinson
The 1998 Penfolds Grange is deep crimson in colour. This wine shows extraordinary perfume, luxuriant fruit power and richness. It is perfectly ripe with pure opulent blackberry/dark chocolate/apricot aromas with fresh cedar and spicy oak. An expansive, densely packed Grange, laced with roasted coffee/dark chocolate/apricot/meaty flavours with seasoned toasty/cedar oak with ripe velvety tannins. Rewards of Patience – sixth edition.
Fruit used to make the 1998 Penfolds Grange was sourced from the Barossa Valley (including Penfolds Kalimna Vineyard), Magill Estate and Padthaway wine regions. The 1998 vintage was an early growing season, followed by very hot, dry weather with virtually all dam waters exhausted. It is regarded as an exceptional vintage for Penfolds.
The 1998 Penfolds Grange is made from shiraz (97%) and cabernet sauvignon (3%). What does 3% of cabernet sauvignon do to the finished wine? No one really knows, but it does add something to the mid palate, the structure, the layering and it complexes up the wine a touch. Penfolds Winemakers don’t go in with the view of adding cabernet sauvignon to every final Grange blend, if the cabernet sauvignon makes the grade it is included, if it doesn’t make the grade, it’s not. There have only been five vintages of Penfolds Grange that have been made from 100% shiraz, the 1951, 1952, 1963, 1999 and 2000. The 1998 Penfolds Grange was matured for 18 months in new American oak and released at 5 years of age. The 1998 Penfolds Grange could just about live forever, well at least 50 years.