DWWA 2013 International Trophies: Red Blend Over £15
Penfolds, Bin 389 Cabernet- Shiraz, South Australia 2010 (14.5%)
Spicy aromatics of violets, plums and liquorice over a lavish palate of smoky blackcurrant, chocolate, mint and spice. A meaty complexity and touches of eucalyptus, black tea, raspberry cream.
UK £50; BBR, L&W, SLp
Tasted against • Casa Ferreirinha, Quinta da Leda, Douro, Portugal 2010 • Château Vincens, Prestige, Cahors, Southwest France 2011 • Hidden Valley, Hidden Secret, Stellenbosch, Coastal Region, South Africa 2010 • Adir Winery, A, Upper Galilee, Israel 2010 • Terranoble, Lahuen Limited Release Syrah- Petit Verdot, Colchagua Valley, Chile 2009
No stranger to acclaim, Penfolds has garnered countless prizes for its wines. Here it’s been pitted against a raft of stellar blends from all corners of the globe.
There will be many who will be delighted to see this quintessentially Australian red win because Bin 389 is one of the most admired of all Australian wines. First made in 1960 by the late Max Schubert (the 1988 Decanter Man of the Year), Bin 389 helped to build the company’s reputation for delicious, affordable red wines.
Known affectionately as ‘baby Grange’ and ‘poor man’s Grange’ because it benefits from second-use Grange barrels, Bin 389 is quintessentially Australian for two reasons. Firstly, using fruit from the vineyard regions of Barossa Valley, Coonawarra,
Wrattonbully, Robe, McLaren Vale, Padthaway and Adelaide Hills, it epitomises the classic Australian cross-regional blend. Secondly, it’s a typical Aussie blend of warm-climate Cabernet Sauvignon (the architecture) with Shiraz (the furnishings). Ultimately, it’s pure Penfolds.
Since its inception, Bin 389 has been considerably refined in style, with improved refrigeration, better seasoning of American oak and a quantum leap in vineyard management. It is made under the tutelage of the dynamic Peter Gago, who, after the retirement of former Grange winemaker John Duval, has become the face of Grange, and of Penfolds. If cellared well, Bin 389 could last 30 to 40 years.