Price per bottle: $100.00
Region: Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale, Coonawarra.
Varieties: Cabernet Shiraz
Cellar: Drink now or cellar over the next 5 years
Deep dark magenta colour. A first impression of dark fruits and chocolate, splashed by spices – cinnamon, vanillin pod, cola. Then, a transient umami dabble – via cues of Worcestershire sauce/smoked Barossa bacon/beef cube. To follow, a bruléed lift mirrored by scents of toasted brioche, soaked oats. Intriguingly different, yet still Bin 389, albeit young/evolving at this perusal at an early stage. Expansive, explosive, exotic…a Bin 389 triple-ex palate rating! A wave/surge of fruits and spice unleashed – propelled by tomato and tahini paste flavours. Juicy, succulent tannins engulf, alongside oak – adding volume, density. Mouth-coating in every sense. Long and lingering.
Bin 389 is often referred to as ‘Baby Grange’, in part because components of the wine are matured in the same barrels that held the previous vintage of Grange. First made in 1960, by the legendary Max Schubert, this was the wine that helped to forge Penfolds solid reputation with red wine drinkers combining the structure of Cabernet Sauvignon with the richness of Shiraz. Bin 389 also exemplifies the judicious balance of fruit and oak.
After a dry South Australian winter reminiscent of 2006, vines were in water deficit at the beginning of spring and became accustomed to dry conditions quite early. Early budburst was noticeable across many regions and windy conditions during flowering were, in some regions, responsible for variable fruit set and lower than average yields come vintage. Dry spring conditions explained canopy growth and low yields, becoming typical of the 2013 growing season. Warm days were dispersed throughout October, November and in early January, contributing to an early start to the 2013 harvest and a short, condensed vintage. Dry and warm conditions, coupled with lower than average yields resulted in fruit showing strong, structural tannins and wines of great intensity and encouraging flavour.
Grape Variety: 51% Cabernet, 49% Shiraz
Andrew Caillard MW
“A classic vintage with brilliant aromatic complexity, proportion and balance. “Pound for pound”, probably the wine of the 2017 release.”
97 Points James
Halliday Wine Companion
“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) flavour message. Despite its full body, and its far-reaching longevity, it’s tailor-made for the saltbush lamb shoulder of tonight’s dinner.”
The Wine Front
“It’s a wine with a ‘wow’ introduction. It throws beautiful, beautiful aroma. It’s distinguished by it. It’s sweet, pudding-like, like fresh vanilla, like lemon delicious. I went to taste this wine and couldn’t get past the nose; I just wanted to go on enjoying its aromatics. It’s smells every bit Penfolds but every bit itself. The palate is true to established form, with blackcurrant and bay leaf notes rigged to a powerful motor of tannin. Creamy/vanillin oak gets on with business too but again the fruit stares it down. From every angle this is a belter of a Bin 389. It’s best consumed any time between now and the apocalypse, or thereabouts."