Coonawarra and Margaret River Cabernets
Penfolds, Bin 169, Coonawarra 2008
Decanter average score: 18.75pts/20 (95+/100pts)
Individual judges’ scores: RJ 18.5 PM 18.5 AR 19
Penfolds upholds a mantra to maintain the style of its classic wines in spite of the ever-changing winds of popular preference. For this reason, when single sub-region and French oak became the catchcries of the Barossa, rather than meddling with the multi-region, US oak recipe of Grange, RWT was born. In precisely the same manner, the single-region, French-oak Bin 169 has recently been introduced alongside Bin 707 Cabernet Sauvignon. From two prized Penfolds Coonawarra vineyards, this inaugural vintage arises from a season of refined and powerful Cabernet Sauvignon.
RJ Toasty, aromatic nose with jam conserve nuances. Very delicate flavours, hints of vanilla and berries and autumnal wild flowers, some violets too. Good tannin structure to allow it to age gracefully for a very long time. Of course it can be drunk sooner, but please wait.
PM Deep, elegant, sophisticated nose, lovely cedar fruit. Fine yet powerful palate, chewy ripe tannins and a big, bold finish – long, flashy fruit. A successful blockbuster style that leaves you impressed.
AR Nice liquorice, black cherry, toasty oak and cola-spice aroma. Fine fruit concentration, opulent cassis and blackberry richness. Nicely tarted up with acidity to keep it fresh, bringing necessary brightness and balance.
Price £165 Berry Bros & Rudd, Slurp
Judges: Roger Jones, Pierre Mansour and Anthony Rose