New Releases from Australia (Jul 2006)

Bright violet. Jawdroppingly pure bouquet of blackberry, boysenberry, blackcurrant, kirsch, exotic tobacco, graphite and licorice, with a crystalline mineral tone running all the way through. Like liquid velvet in the mouth, showing a stunning melange of dark berry flavors that seem weightless but pack an amazing wallop of flavor. This is only 13.4% alcohol but has the impact of a 17% monster. Finishes on a delicate floral note-and then the blackberry, licorice and candied violet flavors snap back with a vengeance. The finish refuses to die. Penfolds claims that this is one of the oldest plots of cabernet sauvignon on earth, planted in the mid-1880s; the only other bottlings were in 1953 (as Grange Cabernet), 1961, 1963, 1964 and 1996. Remarkable for its concentration, elegance and balance and probably the greatest Australian wine I’ve been privileged to drink.