The 1974 Penfolds Grange is considered by Penfolds Winemakers to be a good Grange from a very difficult vintage. The 1974 vintage was the first vintage for John Duval, who later went on to become Penfolds Chief Winemaker and the 1974 Penfolds Grange was the first Grange to be made at Nuriootpa and in fermented stainless steel. The 1974 Penfolds Grange won a trophy, 4 gold medals and 3 other medals between 1976 and 1989.
Winemaker comments by Don Ditter.
The 1974 Penfolds Grange was tasted in 1999 and is medium brick red in colour. The nose displays dried fig/sweet prune/apricot aromas with cedar/cigar-box characters. On the plate the wine is fresh, but compact, with some earthiness, dark chocolate and prune flavours, with fine gripping tannins and a firm finish. The 1974 Penfolds Grange is a touch disjointed, it should hold but its unlikely that it will improve. Fruit was sourced from the Barossa Valley, Penfolds famous Kalimna Vineyard and Magill Estate. This was a very difficult season with lots of rain, more than double the average. The vintage itself was also very wet, with an outbreak of downy mildew just before harvest which made it even more difficult. The 1974 Penfolds Grange is made from Shiraz (93%), Cabernet Sauvignon (7%) and spent 18 months in new American oak. Drink with mature cheddar cheese.