Penfolds Grange Collectors Tasting

Saturday, August 7, 2021 - 07:30 PM

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"You have only so many bottles in your life, never drink a bad one."

Len Evans


We don’t waste time here at the Wine Watch as every day above ground should be special and celebrated with great wines.  You never know when your last bottle will go down, but we are trying to take down as many great wines as we can before our time runs out!

One of the reasons that I get out of bed in the morning is to drink wines like Penfolds Grange. Grange is a symbol of the best that Australia has to offer, the pinnacle of quality and the epitome of what a Shiraz from southeast Australia is and standard bearer should be. That is why we host an annual event to showcase the newest release of this iconic wine.  

Our "Collector Series" tasting event is where we ask you, our wine drinking people, to come up with some wine from your wine collection to add to the party. If you don’t have any Grange in your cellar don’t worry we have a small collection of Grange to choose from and I have included everything that we have in the store from Penfolds on this e-mail offering including all the new releases.

Image result for penfolds grange

Penfolds Grange Collectors Cellar Tasting
with Special Guest Madelyn Reed
Saturday, August 7th

Let me explain further- this is a two part event:

The first part of the evening begins at 7:30pm, this is where we will be tasting through a vertical selection of 10+ vintages of Penfolds Grange. The price of admission is one bottle of Penfolds Grange from your cellar, but here is the catch- we only need 1 bottles of each wine, so the longer you wait to respond the harder it will be to get a seat as you will have to go further back in time because the youngest vintages will be filled up by the first collectors who respond. 

If you do not have a bottle of Grange in the cellar that is a different vintage than those below we may be able to help.  We just happen to have one of the largest collections of Penfolds Grange in Florida, so I have included a list of all the Grange that we have in the store on this offering. 
If you would like to attend the vertical tasting just respond to this email with the vintage of Penfolds Grange that you would like to trade for your seat.
**There are only 14 spaces available for this event.

Here are the vintages that we have already:
See the source image

1995 Penfolds Grange Shiraz South Australia
1996 Penfolds Grange Shiraz South Australia
1998 Penfolds Grange Shiraz South Australia
2004 Penfolds Grange Shiraz South Australia
2008 Penfolds Grange Shiraz South Australia
2012 Penfolds Grange Shiraz South Australia
 Penfolds Grange Shiraz South Australia



We will continue to add on to this list as the reservations come in for the event.

Part 2 is dinner:

This is where we taste the additional wines which are new releases from Penfolds below the menu and you get to finish your bottle of Grange.  You must be a part of the collectors tasting or Part 1 of the event to qualify for the dinner. 

Dinner Menu

Blue cheese Gouchons with blackberry drizzle
Foie gras Torchon with currant jam and brioche toast
Baby Octopus Carpaccio with grilled Shallot and elderflower Aioli
Australian Lamb Chops with Jalapeno Mint Jam and Blistered baby Yukon Potato
Dark Chocolate Creme Brulee
The dinner is $150 + tax and we will be serving some additional wines from Penfolds with dinner!

A bit of history about Penfolds:
Penfolds, a household word in Australia and one of the world's largest wine companies, traces its origins back to Magill on the outskirts of Adelaide at the foot of the Mount Lofty Ranges.   It was at Magill that Dr. Christopher Rawson Penfold, the founder of this great firm, first planted his vineyard.  Dr. Penfold, the son of a Sussex vicar, the Reverend John Penfold, was schooled in England, and married his wife there in 1835.  However, within a few short years, he decided to try his hand at life in the colonies and purchased a grant of land at Magill in South Australia for what was considered a large sum of money.  With his wife and baby daughter, Georgina, he made the hazardous voyage towards the end of 1844.  The family settled on their land at Magill and built a white-washed stone cottage which they named "The Grange".  As well as practicing medicine and looking after his farm, Dr. Penfold planted vine cuttings which he had brought out with their ends dipped in sealing wax to keep the sap in the vines until they were planted.  He did not approve of the quality of imported wine of the time so he made his own for use of his patients with anemia.  Whether the wine was in fact any help to anemia is debatable, but this now discredited cure was the beginning of a huge enterprise.  By the time of his death in 1870, Dr. Penfold had expanded his viticultural holdings and devoted more and more time to winemaking.  In his twenty-six years in the young colony, Dr. Penfold had laid the basis of a veritable viticultural dynasty.
Although the wine business at Magill seemed to falter slightly after Dr. Penfold's death, by 1881 it was again flourishing; and Penfolds was becoming the most important wine producer in South Australia.  Historical records reveal that the stock of wine at the Magill winery in 1881 was about 485,000 liters.  At that time the total quantity in South Australian was about 1.4 million liters.  Wine production continued to increase, and by 1885 trade was flourishing between Magill and all the states as well as New Zealand.  One of Dr. Penfold's four grandchildren, Frank Penfold Hyland (born 1873), was responsible for guiding the company through almost fifty years of successful expansion.  Frank entered the business in 1892 and spent three years in Europe studying winemaking.  After Frank's death in 1948, at the age of 74, the company was administered by a Board of Directors for some fourteen years before it became a public company in 1962.  Expansion continued throughout the sixties and seventies with the most significant expansion occurring in 1982 when Penfolds acquired the Kaiser Stuhl winery.  Throughout the eighties Penfolds continued its aggressive expansion, swallowed up the huge Seppelt winery, and was said to control nearly 40% of all Australian wine production.  Also in 1988, Penfold's flung its far-reaching tentacles abroad and purchased half of Sonoma County's Geyser Peak winery.  Magill is still the headquarters of the Penfolds organization, but their winery at Nuriootpa is the major production facility.  The "Grange", the family's small old white-washed stone cottage, is still maintained at Magill in its original condition and is used as a museum.  Today Penfold's is a huge and successful enterprise.  Indeed, a great deal of wine has flowed since Dr. Christopher Rawson Penfold began to cure his anemic patients at Magill.

If you don’t have a bottle of Grange and you need one to attend the event here is what we have in stock.

See the source image

1980 Penfolds Grange Shiraz South Australia
Price: $750.00    Your Price: $660.00          Quantity in Stock: 1

2000 Penfolds Grange Shiraz South Australia
Price: $550.00    Your Price: $484.00          Quantity in Stock: 1

2006 Penfolds Grange Shiraz South Australia
Price: $650.00    Your Price: $572.00          Quantity in Stock: 1

2012 Penfolds Grange with St Louis decanter
Price: $2400.00  Your Price: $2112.00

2012 Penfolds Grange Shiraz South Australia
Price: $850.50    Sale Price: $748.44

2014 Penfolds Grange Shiraz South Australia
Price: $802.50    Sale Price: $699.00

2015 Penfolds Grange Shiraz South Australia
Price: $802.50    Sale Price: $699.00           Quantity in Stock: 1

All the Other Wines from Penfolds available at Wine Watch:

Image result for Penfolds Bin 51 Riesling 2015


2019 Penfolds Bin 51 Riesling
Price: $37.50      Your Price: $33.00            Quantity in Stock: 6

2018 Penfolds Bin 51 Riesling Eden Valley
Price: $37.50      Your Price: $33.00            Quantity in Stock: 1
(92 Points) Classic lime sherbet notes mark the nose of the 2018 Riesling Bin 51. It's leafy and fresh, then folds in hints of riper fruit on the palate, such as peach and pear. Crushed stone and wet moss give it a firm grounding in the earth as well. Crisp, lean and long, it shimmers with positive sunshine and energy, vibrant and lingering on the finish. Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

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2019 Penfolds Chardonnay Bin 311 Adelaide Hills Tasmania Tumbarumba
Price: $42.00      Your Price: $36.96            Quantity in Stock: 5

Bin 311 Chardonnay truly reflects the winemakers’ mantra ‘we always go where the fruit grows best and where it best suits style’. In 2017, the fruit sourcing has moved to cool-climate multi-regional; Adelaide Hills, Tasmania, Tumbarumba. In true Bin 311 style, it exhibits lemon/lime aromas and a mineral acid backbone, complemented by barrel fermentation and maturation in French oak.
Light straw color. Fresh and inviting – complexed by yeast lees-derived nougat and ground pistachio/almond/roasted chestnut. Scents of deconstructed crème brûlée ‘(flamed top and custardy middle), enhanced by ripe white nectarine and peach fruits. A liberal sprinkle of crushed rock/pebble dust (quartz, limestone?) certainly adds interest.

A very lively palate of freshly sliced cucumber and lime citrus flavors hovering over a soft and succulent acid underpinning. A tight phenolic grip induces wonderful length and drive to the finish. A cool climate regional trio – three different chardonnay expressions of texture/acidity/tightness/purity coalesce, propelling combined fruits/flavors. A ‘new Bin 311’ is revealed. Nice.

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2016 Penfolds Chardonnay Yattarna
Price: $168.75    Your Price: $148.50          Quantity in Stock: 1

Launched in 1998 with the 1995 vintage, Yattarna is the result of one of the most comprehensive, focused and highly publicised wine development projects ever conducted in Australia. The aspiration and independence of mind across generations of Penfolds winemakers inspired the ambition to create a white wine similar in quality to Grange.

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2017 Penfolds Bin 2 Shiraz Mataro South Australia
Price: $30.00       Your Price: $26.40

Bin 2 was first released in 1960, yet was temporarily discontinued in Australia in the 1970s at the height of the white wine boom. The original Bin 2 was an ‘Australian Burgundy’ style (despite its Rhône varieties) – typically a soft, mediumbodied wine based on shiraz. The Bin 2 blend of shiraz and mataro is still relatively uncommon in Australian table wines. Also known as monastrell or mourvèdre, mataro was introduced to Australia in the 1830s. Often used in fortified wine production, this grape is widely planted in the Barossa Valley.

It is valued by winemakers for its blending attributes, adding complexity and palate grip. Interest in Bin 2 has grown as the popularity of traditional Rhône varieties and blends continues to flourish.

2017 Penfolds Bin 28 Shiraz Kalimna South Australia image

2018 Penfolds Shiraz Bin 28 Kalimna South Australia
Price: $30.00      Your Price: $26.40            Quantity in Stock: 5
2017 Penfolds Bin 28 Shiraz Kalimna South Australia
Price: $30.00       Your Price: $26.40
Bin 28 offers a showcase of warm-climate Australian Shiraz – ripe, robust and generously flavoured. First made in 1959, Bin 28 is named after the famous Barossa Valley Kalimna Vineyard purchased by Penfolds in 1945 and from which the wine was originally sourced. Today, Bin 28 is a multi-region, multi-vineyard blend, with the Barossa Valley always well represented.

2016 Penfolds Bin 389 Shiraz Cabernet Southeast Australia image

2017 Penfolds Cabernet Shiraz Bin 389 Australia
Price: $75.00       Your Price: $66.00            Quantity in Stock: 78

2018 Penfolds Bin 389 Cabernet Sauvignon/Shiraz
Price: $72.00       Your Price: $63.36            Quantity in Stock: 5

Created by the legendary Max Schubert - creator of Penfolds Grange - Bin 389 is often referred to as 'Poor Man's Grange' or 'Baby Grange', in part because components of the wine are matured in the same barrels that held the previous vintage of Grange. First made in 1960, this was the wine that helped to build Penfolds solid reputation with red wine drinkers. Combining the structure of Cabernet with the richness of Shiraz, Bin 389 also exemplifies Penfolds skill in balancing fruit and oak.

Image result for 2013 Penfolds St Henri Shiraz
2016 Penfolds St Henri Shiraz South Australia
Price: $150.00    Your Price: $132.00          Quantity in Stock: 6

2017 Penfolds St Henri Shiraz South Australia
Price: $97.50       Your Price: $85.80            Quantity in Stock: 6

Powerful nose of black cherry black raspberry light smoke, grilled meats highlighted by aromas of melted black licorice, a big and seductive nose. Big and chewy wine with a good amount of black cherry and black raspberry fruit, medium bodied with notes of black spice through the finish. Finish 45+ EXCELLENT +

2017 Penfolds Shiraz RWT image

2017 Penfolds Shiraz RWT
Price: $149.00    Your Price: $131.12         Quantity in Stock: 6

Penfolds RWT Shiraz presents an admirable alternative to the multi-regional sourcing and American oak maturation that are hallmarks of Grange, expressing instead, single-region Barossa Valley Shiraz matured only in French oak.
Its style is opulent and fleshy, contrasting with Grange, which is more muscular and assertive. RWT is made from fruit primarily selected for its aromatic qualities and fine texture. The result is a wine that helps to redefine Barossa Shiraz at the highest quality level.

Cabernet Sauvignon Based wines from Penfolds

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2017 Penfolds Bin 407 Cabernet Sauvignon South Australia
Price: $75.00       Your Price: $66.00            Quantity in Stock: 2
2018 Penfolds Bin 407 Cabernet Sauvignon South Australia
Price: $75.00       Your Price: $66.00            Quantity in Stock: 21

Inspired by Bin 707, Bin 407 offers varietal definition and approachability, yet still with structure and depth of flavour. Textbook Cabernet Sauvignon, the varietally expressive Bin 407 highlights the rewards of Penfolds multi-region, multi-vineyard blending, with a core of ripe fruit supported by sensitive use of French and American oak.

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2010 Penfolds Cabernet Sauvignon Bin 169
Price: $337.50    Sale Price: $297.00

Created to reflect Penfolds contemporary winemaking approach, emphasising both regionality and maturation of Cabernet Sauvignon in fine grained French oak. A style that is immediately Penfolds, whilst simultaneously illustrative of its ongoing search for diversity and style separation. An honest reflection of the region and a testament of Penfolds longstanding commitment to the vineyards of Coonawarra.

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2016 Penfolds Cabernet Sauvignon Bin 707
Price: $501.75    Your Price: $441.54          Quantity in Stock: 6

2004 Penfolds Cabernet Sauvignon Bin 707 South Australia
Price: $355.00    Your Price: $312.40          Quantity in Stock: 4

(95 points) Outer quote mark The 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon “Bin 707” is one of the Penfolds’ flagship wines. It was aged for 15 months in 100% new American oak. Opaque purple/black, it exhibits a classic Cabernet nose of cedar, tobacco, spice box, black currant, and blackberry liqueur. Medium-bodied (13.5% alcohol) but dense and concentrated, with tons of black fruit flavor, the wine is tightly knit, structured, beautifully balanced, and very promising. It needs a minimum of 10-12 years of cellaring and should provide pleasure through 2040. Inner quote mark (10/2007)  Robert Parker's Wine Advocate


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2004 Penfolds Cabernet Sauvignon Bin Block 42 South Australia
Price: $850.00    Sale Price: $700.00           Quantity in Stock: 4

(97 points) “ It’s not known exactly when the Kalimna Block 42 was planted but there are suggestions that the vines existed during the latter part of the 19th Century. They could be the oldest Cabernet vines in the world, although the famous Metala Cabernet vineyard in Langhorne Creek was known to have been planted in 1891 so could very well pre-date Kalimna. Regardless, I’ve been there and the vines are truly old. Only very rarely does Penfolds release this as a single vineyard wine, when the Cabernet is so fabulous it can’t possibly be blended. The 2004 Block 42 Kalimna Cabernet Sauvignon was such a vintage. Matured in 100% new American hogsheads for 13 months, it displays a very deep garnet-purple color and profoundly earthy / gamey aromas over black cherry preserves, creme de cassis plus scents of leather, pencil shavings, Mediterranean herbs, black truffles, underbrush and black olives. The elegant, medium-bodied palate is tightly-knit and led by structure with a high level of grainy tannins, very high acid and a long earthy finish. Approachable now, it should continue to evolve and drink to 2025+. (LPB) “  (12/2010)  Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

1996 Penfolds Cabernet Sauvignon Block 42 Kalimna Southeast Australia image

1996 Penfolds Cabernet Sauvignon Block 42 Kalimna Southeast Australia
Price: $499.00    Your Price: $439.12          Quantity in Stock: 7
(93 points) Planted around 1888, to visit the Penfolds' Kalimna vineyard is to realize how very special this block of ancient is - it exudes history. A single block 42 wine has only been made from the fruit in 6 vintages: 1953, 1961, 1963, 1964, 1996 and 2004. I tried it twice within the last year and both times it was clear the wine is still youthful and has more to give, though this bottle was faring slightly better. Very deep garnet-black colored, it offers pronounced menthol and eucalypt notes over warm blackcurrant and spices, with hints of dried roses, lavender and Provence herbs. Solidly structured in the mouth, it has a firm level of chewy tannins and crisp acid with plenty of mid-palate flesh and a long finish. Built to go on and on. Wine Advocate: In Asia Jan 2012

NV Penfolds Club Tawny image

NV Penfolds Club Tawny
Price: $17.00       Your Price: $14.96            Quantity in Stock: 30
Australia's most popular fortified wine is a tawny noted for it's mellowness and consistency. A blend of vintages oak matured at Penfolds' Kalimna cellars, in the Barrossa Valley. The palate is rich and vibrant displaying ripe spicy fruit, toffee and walnuts framed by smokey oak with a lifted cleansing finish.

Image result for Penfolds Grandfather Port
NV Penfolds Grandfather Port
Price: $100.00    Your Price: $88.00            Quantity in Stock: 6

The Grandfather name dates back to 1915, when an oak cask containing the finest blend of Tawny was set aside for the exclusive use of the Penfold family. This wine was known as The Grandfather due to the age of the oldest Tawny in the blend.

With a core selection of Mourvedre, Shiraz, Cabernet and Grenache (but not limited to these varieties), Grandfather Rare Tawny sources fruit from vineyards specifically selected for fortified wine production.

Only the free run wine is used for Penfolds Grandfather Rare Tawny and Penfolds uses a low strength fortifying spirit which is selected specifically for the Penfolds style. This spirit accentuates primary fruit character and adds additional complexity and seamless integration.

Each year, fortified wine is made with Grandfather in mind and these selected batches are barrel aged for approximately eight years. Batches of wine that reach the required maturation and Grandfather quality are then blended and added to the 'Grandfather Solera'. In this six-stage solera, Grandfather is aged for a further twelve years to give a total average age above 20 years - before being drawn off for bottling.

During this extended maturation process the Grandfather Rare Tawny becomes more concentrated and complex with increased palate weight, structure, complexity and sweetness

This tasting menu is limited to 16 tasters but if you still want to come in and talk to Ewan and enjoy any of these Penfolds wines By the Glass along with one or two of the items on the menu you can stop by and just have a glass of the St. Henri with the Foie Gras or a glass of 2003 Grange (our winner from last years’ tasting will be offered by the glass this week for $150 for 7 ounces) with a selection of cheese and charcuterie which are always available whenever the Wine Bar is open.

The New California Collection

This is the newest chapter in the Penfolds sage “The California Collection”.  These are the first wines of their kind to be made anywhere on the planet Earth today.  Leave it to Peter Gago and his winemaking crew around the globe to think of such a collaboration where you take the best grapes from South Australia and combine the wines with the best from Northern California.  The parent company that owns Penfolds also owns Beringer, Beaulieu, Hewitt wineries and some of the top vineyards in both wine regions to combine the winemaking talents and the grapes to produce a new line-up of top wines that showcase the best of both worlds.

I was a bit skeptical when I heard about these wines and at first thought that it was an unnecessary endeavor but after tasting the wines I can see where they are going with this project.  Combining the winemaking talents of both wine producing countries is intriguing but then to take some of the top Cabernet Sauvignon from Northern California with the best Shiraz from South Australia.  The story is here but the wines speak for themselves.

Penfolds Wines of the World.jpg



2018 Penfolds Bin 600 Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz Napa Paso Robles
Price: $52.50       Your Price: $46.20            Quantity in Stock: 22
Bin 600 is intrinsically linked to Penfolds beginnings in California, a narrative that now spans more than twenty years. In 1998, Penfolds imported a heritage selection of vine cuttings from South Australia’s esteemed Kalimna and Magill Estate vineyards, and planted them in Californian soil. The original name of the Camatta Hills vineyard was Creston “600” Ranch, a special place in the Penfolds California timeline for it serves as a reference point to the start of our American journey. Creston Ranch is now honored in the wine’s name, Bin 600. In recognition of Penfolds history within our Californian wine story, grapes from the original 1998 vine cuttings feature in this cabernet shiraz blend. A blend that has been revered and championed by Penfolds in our modern winemaking era.
Wine Watch Tasting Notes:        A blend of 78% Cabernet Sauvignon and 22% Syrah aged in a combination of new and old American Oak 45% Napa 35% Sonoma 20% Paso Robles.  A pretty nose of sweet cherry and plum fruit with notes of sweet tobacco spice and dark chocolate and marshmallow notes nice complexity on the nose.  A bright and fruity wine with smooth round tannins and a good hand of that spice from the nose lingering through the finish.  Finish 40+         Excellent

2018 Penfolds Bin 704 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa
Price: $73.50       Your Price: $64.68            Quantity in Stock: 20
Steeped in Penfolds winemaking tradition yet still embracing modernity, Bin 704 seeks to redefine Napa Valley cabernet through a Penfolds lens. Being mindful of varietal nuances, regional essence and silk-like textural definition, the wine is nurtured in French barriques for maturation. Impressive is the cyclical nature of viticulture and winemaking, and Penfolds recognises that different hemispheres often end up being the mirror image of the other. The name Bin 704 draws inspiration from the “mirror” or “reverse” image of its Australian Bin 407 stablemate, a wine which also respects varietal expression.
Wine Watch Tasting Notes:  This wine spends 16 months in a mix of new and old French Oak 100% varietal with a combination of this groups top vineyard sites and this wine is classic Napa Valley with notes of dark currant and cherry berry fruit, cigar box spice and some toasty oak spice vanilla and graphite notes nice complexity here on the nose.  A big and chewy wine with lots of everything in proportion and some dry tannins at the end but lots of fruit to match.  Finish 45+                Excellent +

2018 Penfolds Bin 149 Cabernet Sauvignon South Australia and Napa
Price: $157.50    Your Price: $138.60          Quantity in Stock: 25
Penfolds Bin 149 Cabernet Sauvignon seeks out northern hemisphere excellence via meticulous vineyard and block selection, reinforced by flagship-worthy South Australian cabernet sauvignon. The result is distinctive, and of distinction. House Style is in the building blocks of Bin 149, a name derived from the percentage of South Australian cabernet sauvignon synergistically woven into the blend. Napa Valley regional sourcing seeks to showcase strong tannic foundations, dark fruit intensity but with the added dimension of a unique “worldly” disposition. Matured in French and American oak, this release highlights Penfolds commitment to quality.
Wine Watch Tasting Notes:  They use both Napa and Australian fruit in the blend aged for 16 months in both French and American Oak and this wine has a good amount of rich currant and cassis berry fruit a hint of fresh herbs and toasty oak spice, nice complexity on the nose.  A big and chewy wine with lots of everything and has a good amount of tannins here ripe and round with layers of fruit, spice and some terroir here from both Napa and the best fruit from both Barossa and Coonawarra, some dry tannins on the finish.  Finish 50+                Most Excellent +

2018 Penfolds Quantum Bin 98 Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz South Australia and Napa
Price: $735.00    Your Price: $646.80          Quantity in Stock: 6
Penfolds Quantum Bin 98 is the continuation of a twenty-year endeavor from when Australian vine cuttings were planted in Californian soil. A Wine of the World that encapsulates a bold blending alliance, Quantum reveals a wine that shows wisdom, crafted with conviction but also embedded in the “quality-first” philosophy that underpins Penfolds flagships. The wine serves as the most powerful expression of our blending style and leads the charge in Penfolds ambition to seek out parcels of intense flavor, structural tannins and equal parts grace and complexity. Northern and southern hemispheres bring prized cabernet sauvignon from Napa Valley and pedigreed shiraz from South Australia, respectively, into each other’s realm. Not adhering to expectations and de rigueur.
Wine Watch Tasting Notes:  A more lifted bouquet and this has 13% Shiraz from the best vineyard sites from all over South Australia, violet floral notes with dark cherry and currant berry fruit very well endowed with lots of everything American and French oak with sweet tobacco spice and pretty vanilla spice, dark chocolate.  A big and chewy wine with lots of everything and a very rich and layered wine with a long-layered finish that goes on and on, an amazingly complex wine with lots of everything and in proportion.  This wine needs a decade in the cellar and will be better on the 2nd or third day after opening.  Finish 50+        KILLER

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