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Best of the Best 2013: International Red Wines: Penfolds 2008 Grange

Penfolds Grange is perhaps Australia’s most famous wine, and that fame has often been celebrated in these pages, where this powerful Shiraz-based blend has been honored numerous times. Yet with each vintage, the winemaker Peter Gago manages to further refine the label’s flagship wine, whose delicate details make its enormous tannins seem somehow light, just as the traceries and spires of a Gothic cathedral suggest to the observer an illusive fragility. Ornamenting the immense structure of the Penfolds 2008 Grange (www.pen​, $850) are mingled elements of wild berry, clove, toasted cinnamon, baked apple, vanilla, and bittersweet chocolate.