Wine Enthusiast 90 points - A blend of 54% Cabernet Sauvignon and 46% Shiraz made with fruit from Wrattonbully, Barossa, McLaren Vale, Langhorne Creek and Robe that was aged 12 months in American oak hogsheads, 40% of which were new, the deep garnet-purple colored 2012 Bin 389 Cabernet Shiraz is slightly closed with the Cabernet / cassis leading the nose marked by warm red and black plums, Mediterranean herbs, pepper and cedar. In the mouth notes of vanilla and cedar wrap around the warm black fruit core that is framed by firm, chewy tannins and just enough acid. It finishes long.
Velvety, vibrant and vivid, offering plum and currant at the core, with subtle spice overtones set on a dynamic frame. Expressive and deftly balanced, this has intensity without extra weight. Drink now through 2025.H.S.
Created by the legendary Max Schubert - creator of Penfolds Grange - Bin 389 is often referred to as ’Poor Man’s Grange’ or ’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, this was the wine that helped to build Penfolds’ solid reputation with red wine drinkers. Combining the structure of cabernet with the richness of shiraz, Bin 389 also exemplifies Penfolds’ skill in balancing fruit and oak. A classic Australian style with a clear Penfolds identity.
|Rare roasted rack of lamb with garlic, rosemary and sea salt
Argentinean style beef
Ideal with hearty meat dishes
|Australia’s winemaking history of less than two hundred years is brief by European measures though, like Europe, punctuated by periods of extreme success and difficult times. From the earliest winemaking days Penfolds has figured prominently and few would argue the importance of Penfolds’ influence on Australia’s winemaking psyche.
Without the influence of Penfolds the modern Australian wine industry would look very different indeed. Sitting comfortably outside of fad and fashion, Penfolds has taken Australian wine to the world on a grand stage and forged a reputation for quality that is without peer.
Penfolds’ reputation for making wines of provenance and cellaring potential might suggest a mantle of tradition and formality is the preferred attire of a company with so much history to defend. But to label Penfolds as simply an established and conventional winemaker, would be to confuse tradition with consideration and to overlook the innovative spirit that has driven Penfolds since its foundation, and continues to find expression in modern times.
If there is anything traditional about Penfolds, it is the practice of constantly reviewing the wines it already does well, and continuously evolving and refining styles as vineyards mature and access to ever older and more varied vineyard sites improves.