WiV Wine Investment Drop 1
2015 Penfolds, Bin 389 Cabernet Shiraz
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Generations of visionaries and innovators have driven the success of Penfolds. From the beginning of 1844 to today, the merging of science, art, and innovation has driven Penfolds to become one of Australia’s most famed and respected winemakers. They have a long-standing reputation for consistent high quality across their broad portfolio, and several other wines regularly feature in auctions.
The company has extensive vineyard holdings primarily located across the various wine-growing regions of South Australia. Some of these are among the most iconic properties in the country, including Magill Estate and the Kalimna and Koonunga Hill vineyards in the northern Barossa. In addition, a wide range of grape growers is also used, both in the core South Australian regions and further afield, particularly for Chardonnay. In total, around 220 different sources contribute to production.
Bin 389 is often nicknamed “Baby Grange,” in reference to the most emblematic Penfolds wine, the famous Grange, since it is matured in the barrels of the previous vintage of that great wine. Created in 1960 by the legendary Max Schubert, a pioneer of Australian winemaking, Bin 389 is one of those wines that contributed to Schubert’s goal to produce “a dynasty of wines that would all have the same resemblance to each other,” vintage after vintage. Combining the power and structure of Cabernet Sauvignon with the richness of Shiraz, Bin 389 has contributed to Penfolds’ prestigious reputation, becoming one of Australia’s most famous wines because of its heritage and consistent quality.
Originating from southern Australia, the Bin 389 2015 is an interesting multi-regional blend, containing 53% Cabernet Sauvignon and 47% Shiraz from Wrattonbully, McLaren Vale, Barossa Valley, Coonawarra, Robe, and Padthaway. The wine is matured for 12 months in American oak barrels, of which 32% is new.
Bin 389 2015 by the Penfolds Estate offers a great example of achieving the perfect balance between pure fruit and the correct use of oak, which results in great structure and roundness. The wine has a deep purple magenta color. On the nose, the first impression is the Penfolds style, with intense, abundant, and woody notes. The olfactory palette evolves with notes of ripe black fruit, blackcurrant, and cherry, along with gourmet notes of gingerbread, cloves, and dried fruit (fig and quince). This wine is superb and precise on the palate, with a striking density of texture and flavors. The palate reveals black fruits and chocolate notes, captivating the taster with its generosity and perfect balance, marked by tannins with a superbly “chewy” texture, elegant, and a pleasant acidity on the finish. An exciting blend in the style of Penfolds with a classic vintage, to be enjoyed before 2030.
· Producer: Penfolds
· Brand: Bin 389
· Year: 2015
· Type: Red
· Country: Australia
· Region: South Australia
97 points James Halliday
Matured for 12 months in American hogsheads (32% new). Unapologetically made with the don’t fix if it isn’t broken aphorism. It is tightly structured, with faultless attention to detail — wheels within wheels stuff, but inexorable in sending its black fruits (blackberry, blackcurrant) flavor message. Despite its full body, and its far-reaching longevity, it’s tailor-made for the saltbush lamb shoulder of tonight’s dinner. *Special Value Selection*
96 points James Suckling
Cabernet just has the upper hand in the blend at 53%; this continues as a rising star in the Penfolds family of reds, showing a very attractive fusion of Cabernet and Shiraz. Cassis, blackberry, red plums, and red currant fruits, the palate isn’t overplayed in terms of weight or extract, but it’s very complete and nicely rendered. Best from 2020–2030+.
93 points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
Blended of 53% Cabernet Sauvignon and 47% Shiraz and sporting a deep garnet-purple color, the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon/Shiraz Bin 389 South Australia has a bombastic nose of crushed blueberries and black currants with hints of vanilla pod, dried Provence herbs, lavender, and cigar boxes. Medium to full-bodied, the palate simply sings with exuberant black and blue fruits, supported by grainy tannins and a refreshing backbone, finishing with a pleasant herbal lift. (LPB)
92 points Wine Spectator
A lip-smacking mix of vibrant berry and cherry flavors that give way to green tea, toasted herb, and cedar notes. Finds plenty of harmony on the finish, with the juicy acidity blending in with the dense, chewy tannins. (MW)