Bursts of warmth and dry conditions continued through the harvest, allowing fruit to be picked in optimal condition. Smaller berry and bunch sizes, along with the favorable weather conditions, gave perfect results for traditional quality markers – colour, tannin profile, fruit concentration and flavor depth.
99 Points - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2012 Grange comes from just two sub-regions of South Australia this year: Barossa Valley (the majority) and McLaren Vale. This makes a lot of sense since 2012 was a cracking year in both of these areas, producing a number of extraordinary wines. As usual, this Grange contains a splash of Cabernet Sauvignon, just 2%. Very deep purple-black in colour, it opens on the nose with complex earthy/meaty/savoury notes, soon giving way to baked blackberries, plum preserves, hoisin and Chinese five spice with dabs of sandalwood, licorice, menthol and vanilla. The palate reveals a surprisingly open, rich, full-bodied expression exuding a powerhouse of velvet-lined decadence. Still, it characteristically possesses that rock-solid “Grange” backbone of firm tannins and great freshness expressed in a real lively lift to the finish. And the finish is especially long. There are some stylistic similarities here to the opulent, gregarious 2008 vintage, perhaps just lacking ever so slightly in the same exhilarating abandonment of winemaking protocols for the celebration of the fruit and sites. That said, this is unquestionably a stonking great Grange!
98 Points - James Suckling
A simple split between the Barossa Valley (81%) and McLaren Vale (19%), this has all the hallmarks of a great Grange. Deep and ripe dark-plum and black-cherry aromas lead the nose, and there's plum cake here too that's really ripe and deeply spicy. The 100% new American oak has been thoroughly subsumed below tarry and savory brooding notes of black licorice and olive tapenade. The palate's incredibly poised and has richness with composure driven by tight-knit tannins and plenty of ripe dark-plum and cherry-fruit flavors. It is neatly crafted, powerful yet contained and smoothly rendered into the finish. This is a powerful vintage that has been cleverly polished and tamed in the winery; it will live long. Best from 2025 and for two decades after that.