After all that fanatical fruit selection and the big wood vats, where everything does its ultra slo-mo and decelerating waltz; after appreciating the killer force of the best reds from 2012, it took me some time to realise that this too is a wine of considerable might. It may well blow the '12 away for sheer silky midnight business before I wear the pine overcoat. It's probably even more likely to do it after.
There've been some real treasures in the intervening years, but apart from this 2013 exquisity, the most vividly memorable St Henri I've had in years was the celestial 1971.
A year in the life of Grange: my birth vintage in New York: bottle empty; glass half full ... photo by Milton Wordley
Quietly ticking away, finishing the job: 2012 Grange nearing the end of its ferment in American Quercus alba oak from Barossa master coopers, A. P. John ... photo by Milton Wordley
And the armour? This surly beast hides its fruit in a shiny carapace of A. P. John Quercus alba white Missouri oak. Its volatility seems more of the sap of that tree than the acetic vinegary acid that tended to dominate for years after the 1973 retirement of Penfolds genius wine chemist Ray Beckwith and Max Schubert in 1975.
Which is never to say it lacks that distinctive teaspoon of sweet ancient balsamic. After that touch of ancient Rome this king of wines takes me on a swoop through the exotic orient. Its bouquet is often curry-like, edging towards turmeric. Below that I hit a Zhuancha brick of aged Pu-erh tea.
The old Lalique lampshade trick in the most aromatic version possible: 2012 Grange pumpover at Magill ... other than the bottles at the top of this post, and the one below, which are by Philip White, all these photos remain the copyright of Milton Wordley, from our big photo-essay book A year in the life of Grange