Penfolds Bin 389 Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz 2016
|Region||Australia, South Australia|
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Colour: Bright crimson, deepening/darkening towards core. Nose: Much to intrigue here - a flash of baker's sourdough rises above; beneath - crackling/crispy duck skin and basting juices. Old-Garden fruits rhubarb/quince/fig to the fore... New-Kitchen savouries, sesame oil/pinenut follow. Pencil shavings oak, stylishly legitimised by a classic graphite/ironstone-metal blackness. Smokey, gunflint, shale descriptors abound - a reminder that there's more to Bin 389 than just crushed grapes! Palate: A tasting-slurry of red-currant/eggplant/black olive induce a darker/savoury flavour pool. A generous mid-palate embalmed by integrated plush and ripe tannins. The ferrics lurk - an iron-laden meatiness intriguingly verging towards a knife-sharpening stone primed with olive oil. What!?! Varietal credibility redeemed by crème de cassis and blueberry fruits ... but only just!
The personality of this warmer-vintage Bin 389 is big, bold and welcoming. Coal smoke and graphite intertwine with blackberry, cassis, woody and leafy notes. Some Chinese five spice, too. The palate is delivered with fine, sweeping and long, smooth tannins that carry a supple array of mainly blackberry and roasted-coffee flavors. Powerful yet silky, super long and smooth, building to an exceptionally tidy finish. This is an assembly of 51 per cent cabernet sauvignon and 49 per cent shiraz, sourced from Barossa Valley, Coonawarra, McLaren Vale, Padthaway and Wrattonbully. Long aging potential. Drink now or hold.
The so-called ‘Baby Grange’, Bin 389 is a Penfolds icon and a peerless example of the traditional Aussie blend. It's matured for 12 months in American oak, partly in previous-vintage Grange casks. Behind the youthful ruby hue lies a terrific red whose gently smoky, spicy cedar and liquorice aromas are highly perfumed and intense. On the palate it shows a promising youthful vigour in its richly concentrated, opulent cassis and blackberry fruit. It has a fine, smooth texture, with chocolatey depth, good complexity and spice aplenty, all supported by a fine spine of damson acidity and the sinewy tannin structure that awaits instructions to settle down. One for bollito misto and salsa verde. Drinking Window 2023 - 2040
Generous, intense and juicy, with vivid blueberry cobbler and maraschino cherry flavors. Plush, smooth and appealing vanilla custard, cigar box and spice notes linger on the finish. Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz. Drink now through 2033.
The 2016 Cabernet Shiraz Bin 389 (51% Cabernet Sauvignon and 49% Shiraz) is a more reserved, concentrated effort that speaks more to potential at this point, even if it offers ample pleasure. Blackcurrants, smoked herbs, chocolate, and tobacco leaf notes all emerge from this very classic, medium to full-bodied, balanced beauty that I suspect will be at its best in 2-4 years and keep for a decade or more.
The 2016 Cabernet / Shiraz Bin 389 is a blend of 51% Cabernet and 49% Shiraz, the least amount of Cabernet you'll ever see in this bottling. It's dark and stolid, with notes of cassis and blackberry along with touches of vanilla and cedar. Full-bodied and dense, it's firmly in the Penfolds style and the style of this particular bottling, which always ages well, even if it's not the flashiest or most flamboyant offering from Penfolds. At more than 14,000 cases for the United States, it should be relatively easy to find.
This almost 50-50 blend of Cabernet and Shiraz has, like many of Penfolds’ other premium wines, risen steeply in price in recent years, and with Bin 389’s price tag heading rapidly toward triple digits, the liquid inside struggles to justify it. Like the brand’s other reds, this is a polished and plush wine, offering notes of plum and raisin bread, mocha, milky coffee and black olive. It’s rich and silky textured with muscular, herbal tannins and an eye toward the future. Drink 2022– 2034.
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