Penfolds Bin 389 Cabernet-Shiraz 2018
A bright, crimson red color. The nose is lifted, fragrant and immediately Penfolds. Aficionados may quickly identify and proclaim 389. Aromas like that of layers of custard and port-wine dark jelly with flaked coconut and juniper/cassis. Or old-fashioned hummingbird cake, with coconut flakes and nutty flavors. Familial youthful Bin 389 oak – subtle matchstick and a hint of vanilla powder. As they say – what is there not to like?! The palate is a balance of the sweet (Cabernet) and the savory (Shiraz). The wine possesses what has now often been referred to as a black forest cake 2018 vintage flavor profile. Darker fruits – closer to that of a black cherry liqueur than a crème de cassis component of Kir. Oak and tannins absorbed. Both are certainly present, yet not at all demanding their own space on this Bin 389 stage. Substantial and intense.
Blend: 57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 43% Shiraz
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
A blend of 57% cabernet sauvignon and 43% shiraz, this has a very impressively complete feel, a hallmark of the 2018 vintage wines, and there’s a myriad of characters with cabernet’s cedary and gently herbal notes sitting atop a core of rich red-plum and dark-berry shiraz fruit aromas. So integrated. The palate has a very silky texture, so plush and polished with a wealth of rich and intense dark-plum, dark-berry and blackcurrant flavors. The oak is completely soaked with ripe, fresh fruit. This is a great Bin 389. Drink over the next two decades.
Confident Cabernet (57%) leads this high-spirited, swirling dance, as a breezy wisp of blue and black berries waft over the earthy bulk of sturdy Shiraz. It’s a clever trick for such bright fruit to be contained by tannins in an interlocked embrace, without smothering the obvious exuberance of this marriage. Supple and nimble, it keeps shifting and changing in the glass. A truly beautiful blend.
In typical Penfolds style, this Cab, Shiraz blend is a rich, polished wine lacquered in high-end oak. Lurking beneath the barrel-driven furniture polish, mocha and spice notes is a plush layer of berry fruit and a minty, herbal nuance. The alcohol shows some warmth on the gauzy palate while woody tannins cinch the fruit. A wine for chewing rather than sipping, this will requite a mega amount of protein and several years in cellar. Drink 2023–2035.
Penfolds has been producing remarkable wines since 1844 and 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 stand-out wines both white and red have been released under the Penfolds masthead.
Peter Gago, Penfolds Chief Winemaker and only the 4th custodian of Grange, relishes the opportunity to bring Penfolds to the world stage and is an enthusiastic ambassador and natural educator. Penfolds came to the attention of the US market when 1990 Grange was Wine Spectator’s ‘Wine of the Year’. Since then, Penfolds Grange has become one of the most collectable wines of the world and was honored to grace the front cover, once again, of Wine Spectator, with declarations of Grange as Australia’s Icon.
South Australia is the historic heart of Australian wine, a great wine capital of the world, and home to some of the most famous regions. It produces more than 80% of Australia’s premium wine from some of the oldest vines in the world. There is an abundance of varieties and wide spectrum of styles to explore. From the rogue to refined, discover Australian wines that are far from ordinary.
With hundreds of red grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World, experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a variety that creates a fruity and full-bodied wine would do well combined with one that is naturally high in acidity and tannins. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.