Penfolds Bin 620 Coonawarra Cabernet Shiraz 2008
Other Red Blends from Australia
Deep and generous red with a dark core. This wine instantly proclaims Penfolds... and then, naturally Coonawarra! An aromatic color chart reveals red, rather than blue or black fruits. Also red licorice, black olive. Hovering above - wafts of tomato, quince, and cabernet paste meshed with cinnamon and nutmeg yeast-bun spices. Swirling and time in glass reveal fresh, bright beetroot and star-anise/soy Asian artefact. Exotic, with barely-discernible oak (French?) at least offering one recognizable sensory hook.
Although flavors of cola, sarsaparilla and white chocolate are immediately apparent, it is the structure and textural weave that impact. At once, it is tight, focused, and poised. A multi-dimensional continuum, difficult to de-construct.
The Wine Advocate - "Very deep garnet-purple colored, the 2008 Bin 620 Coonawarra Cabernet Shiraz (a blend of 51% Cabernet Sauvignon and 49% Shiraz) is a little restrained on the nose, presenting earthy, black truffle, moss covered bark and loam aromas over gentle notes of cassis, crushed blackberries, chocolate mint and pencil shavings, plus a fragrant whiff of cloves. Medium to full bodied, very ripe and rich in the mouth, the complex, layered fruit is densely packed and well supported by firm, finely grained tannins and very crisp acid. The finish is very long with a subtle hint of mint interspersed with warm berries, vanilla and baking spices. Consider drinking it 2015 to 2025+. Only about 900 cases were made of this wine.
Australian Wine Companion - "Excellent purple-crimson colour; the seamless bouquet is already showing elegance, complex cedar, cigar box aromas entwined with perfect ripe fruit characters. The palate has great drive, length and line; outstanding tannins give the wine great balance, texture and a certain authority; this is not a fruit bomb style. By far the best three-year-old Penfolds red wine I have tasted."
James Suckling - "A impressive red with loads of currants and fresh mint. Full-bodied, with muscular tannins and intense fruit. This is so toned and structured. Lasts for minutes on the palate. 51% Cabernet Sauvignon and 49% Shiraz. Aged in 57% French and 43% American. 100% new. Twelve months. Needs five years. November 17 launch in Shanghai. It is all Penfolds vineyard blocks in Coonawarra. 600 cases made. "
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Penfolds Wines Winery
Founded by a young, English doctor in 1844, Penfolds has been producing remarkable wines that have changed the landscape of Australian winemaking. Over the past century, Penfolds has indisputably led the development of Australian fine wine in the modern era. The introduction of Penfolds Grange in 1951 forever changed the landscape of Australian fine wine. Since then, a series of standout wines, both white and red, have been released under the Penfolds masthead. Under the direction of master winemaker, Peter Gago, Penfolds is now found in every major wine market in the country. Extraordinary wines such as Block 42 and Bin 60A have also been released during his tenure. Penfolds wines are now widely celebrated for their diversity and quality across many price-points. The strength of Penfolds is that the wine comes first. Penfolds' range of table wines is utterly Australian, evoking a generosity of spirit and the beauty of the Australian landscape.
About Other AustraliaView a map of Other Australia wineries
With a landmass the size of the US, Australia has just as many appellations. Many wines are simply labeled from their state of origin. Some of these are the most popular:
New South Wales- home to Sydney and other tourist destinations, New South Wales has a smaller focused wine growing region, but many wines are a blend of these smaller appellations and so are deemed New South Wales appellation.
Western Australia– a small corner of Australia winemaking occurs on the opposite coast of the others. The largest state, Western Australia includes the smaller appellation of Margaret River.
Southeastern Australia– This appellation encompasses the states of South Australia, New South Wales and Victoria. Grapes are often trucked in from at least 2 of these states for crushing and bottling, giving the wine a more general appellation of origin. This is the broadest appellation in the country.
About AustraliaLike the United States, which is about the same size, Australia's winemaking regions are huddled into one or two pockets of the country. The state of South Australia, which produces about 60% of the country's wine, also has the most wineries and sub-regions, including McLaren Vale, Clare Valley, Coonawarra and Barossa Valley. New South Wales is home to the Hunter Valley, while the smaller, southern state of Victoria is best known for theYarra Valley. Head way west to the very large state of Western Australia and you'll find the tiny region of Margaret River at the southern tip.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.
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