I enjoyed a small family-based ‘Mother’s Day’ celebration this year at the Golden Dragon Palace in Lower Templestowe, Melbourne. The highlight for me, in terms of wine consumed, was a monumental 1983 Grange Hermitage. Along with the 1955, the 1962, the 1971 and the 1990 this is one of the great Granges of history. Among these great wines I have in fact consumed only the 1971 and 1983 vintages – I’ll leave the few 1990s I have for 4 or 5 more years. I missed ever trying the 1955 Grange – I assume it is well over the hill by now – a source of regret since I could have bought it at a comparative pittance 20 years back.
I drank a bottle of the 1983 Grange about 10 years back and, although it had obviously softened, it was still had massive fruit and oak. I thought it needed more time. Now at age 26 years it has softened further into a great wine – sweet with a steely backbone of strong tannins. It remains big with intense multi-dimensional fruit (mainly plum and Xmas pudding flavours) and unbelievably rich, almost feminine, perfumes. There was sadness when the last drops had gone – a great international wine.
I am sure that this wine will be at its peak for at least another decade. I’ll drink a couple more over the next 5 years or so.