Bin 389 is often referred to as ‘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, by the legendary Max Schubert, this was the wine that helped to forge Penfolds solid reputation with red wine drinkers combining the structure of Cabernet Sauvignon with the richness of Shiraz. Penfolds Bin 389 Cabernet Shiraz 2016 also exemplifies the judicious balance of fruit and oak.
An immediate ascent of scent – no need to wait or to vigorously swirl this wine to tease out ‘what lies beneath’! Dark berry fruits consistent to both varietal persuasions, (cabernet and shiraz), overtly courted by elements of ponzu, soy, sesame and dried shiitake mushroom. Senses are easily conveyed to a forest after rain – wet bracken, liberated mulch, damp soils. Naturally (new and used) oak plays a (minor) role in this fanciful aromatic romp.
Flavours and textures akin to marbled Kobe beef and an earthy accompaniment of black liquorice root and anise. Structurally bold with little protruding – integrated, fine … and has comfortably already “settled into place”. ‘Appetising’ acidity – a non-intrusive and refreshing granita-like bite/attaque. Assam tea maltiness and tannins merge with impressions of wet slate, pencil lead/graphite … no doubt somehow linked to earlier partial barrel fermentation and oak maturation.
The Finer Details Style – Red Wine Varietal – Cabernet Sauvignon 51%, Shiraz 49% Vintage – 2016 Country – Australia Bottle Size – 750ml ABV – 14.5%