TN: 1997 Grange

Girlfriend stayed in Auz after our Xmas holiday and last night she sent me a WhatsApp from her mothers 60th birthday BBQ. Apparantly ma’s boyfried was not aware of the “special” wine stack and so a bottle of 2013 Wendouree Shiraz was plonked on the table along with a few normal reds…Trudi and Jodi were slugging it straight from the bottle and the comment from Sis Jodi was “this tastes like shit”…I’m hoping that means there is some brett…

To console myself its 1997 Penfolds Grange tonight. Not actually my bottle - my brother brought it along for my 50th and we never got around to it amongst all the rum and young wines.

Its a great wine. Some brinking around the edge, integrated tannins, lovely depth of casis fruit, liquorice. In its drinking window now, so if you have some and like high quality fruit, then its time to pull the cork. If you want something more complex, then another 10 years will definetly add something. If you have never drank Grange before, then its not a wine to change your life, but its still a wine to savour and appreciate. No idea what the current market price is, but its bound to be terrible QPR

Sorry for the loss. It doesn’t sound like you were sufficiently consoled by the Grange.

When I was an employee at a little wine and gourmet food shop ten or fifteen years ago, all the wine employees gravitated towards the Opus One, the Penfolds Grange, and the Roederer Cristal. To them, for the most part, these were the wines at the top of the vinous pyramid. I never thought price = quality.

Over the years, I have had Cristal many times, and I think the domestic bottlings by Roederer are great wines for the money. I just don’t get the pricing strategy behind certain wines. I had Opus One at a steak dinner for my 21st birthday (casino restaurant meal prior to BB King concert - all complementary to my aunt’s high-roller boyfriend). It was smooth and went well with the steak. No better than many less expensive Meritage reds.

To date, I have never had Penfolds Grange. I will say that I really like the St Henri with a few years on it, but I don’t know if it’s worth ~$100. The insane climb in price for so many wines just blows my mind. Perhaps if I could get over the Veblen Goods philosophy of economics/psychology, I would have less of a chip on my shoulder about this issue.


Wineries have to make a profit and some wineries show more greed than others. Grange used to be easy to get hold of here, but at the current price its hard to find anywhere that actually sells it. I have no hard feelings though - I used to buy this and 707 in the UK in the 90’s for very little money and I just consider myself lucky to have drank such great wines at bargain prices.

I have had a few wines in my life that stopped me in my tracks, but Grange is not one of them. Its a great example of age worthy Australian wine, but I think you can find better wine for the money, although that is very subjective. If you really love Auz Shiraz then look for odd bottles of Grange at auction from off years - it lasts for ever, so take your time and just wait for the bargain to appear.

I probably drank 30 bottles of 1998 St Henri, and a few of other vintages. All were ~$40. No interest at that price point. Enjoyed Bin 707 Cabernet for around $70. Always wanted to try Grange, especially aged. But the whole Penfolds lineup is badly overpriced.

I guess it’s not overpriced if it sells. But I am not buying

Hey are you on Instagram as @bigmavericks ??

Scott, the 707, 407, 389, and Kalimna were good before the pricing soared. I don’t know if production was cut back to improve quality, or if they just got money hungry…