The Advertiser

THE GREAT GRANGE TASTE TEST

- ROXANNE WILSON LIFESTYLE REPORTER BEST BUYS: TONY LOVE’S TOP 100 WINES ADVERTISER. COM.AU/TOP100WINE­S

A $20 SHIRAZ from McLaren Vale has proved just as popular as the new release of Penfolds Grange, with a price tag of $785, in a blind tasting by a group of everyday wine drinkers.

The Hedonist 2014 Shiraz and the 2011 Grange both scored 31 points out of a possible 40 from our panel of four, which included a universi- ty student, business owner, dental therapist and The Advertiser’s food editor Simon Wilkinson.

Zitta Wines’ 2009 Bernardo Shiraz ($40) also scored 31 out of 40, while the Long Row 2014 Angove Shiraz ($10) was rated 29.5.

The individual scores, however, suggest our two male panellists have the most expensive tastes.

University student Josh Lowrie, 24, said the Grange was his favourite drop.

“It’s a shame that’s the one I want to buy again,” he laughed after the tasting results — and prices — were revealed. “It had a different, maybe a slightly burnt smell, and it was just really rich and it tasted kind of earthy.”

While Simon preferred the Bernardo Shiraz — which he described as a “medium bodied wine with a lovely, balanced flavour” — his second favourite was the Grange.

“It’s a big, mouth-filling wine with more obvious tannins and flavour that goes on and on,” he said.

Business owner Carolyn Johnston, 57, and dental therapist Stella Harrold, 32, both preferred the Hedonist Shiraz.

“It was just smooth ... and it had some real depth to it,” Carolyn said.

“The Angove I thought was excellent at $10.”

Stella added: “I just thought it (The Hedonist) was quite balanced. It was sort of oaky and earthy and ... it had quite good legs as well, so I think there’s a bit of sugar content in there.”

The 2011 Penfolds Grange was officially unveiled overnight at a special gala event in Shanghai, China.

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