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Bin 138 draws its inspiration from the wines of Southern Rhône, where Shiraz, Grenache and Mataro (Mourvèdre) are blended in varying proportions to create full-bodied wines possessing rich and heady perfume. Each year fruit for Bin 138 is sourced from old Barossa Valley vines (some more than 100 years old) and then matured for 12 to 15 months in seasoned oak hogsheads to allow the different varietals to shine through. Bin 138 is defined by its distinctive plum, raspberry pastille and underlying spicy notes. The first vintage release of this varietal blend was the 1992, labelled ‘Old Vine Barossa Valley’ – it was then elevated to Bin status for the 1998 vintage.
Drinking well now, but will improve with time. Peak drinking now - 2023.
A varietal aromatic chromatogram dissemination:
Mataro - manifested via impressions of charcuterie and grilled/charred/smokey meats.
Grenache - a whiff of florals (albeit less than usual for Bin 138?), blackberry pastille, fruit drops.
Shiraz - moist ham hock and a spray of cedar and spice.
Integrated, traditional … or as overheard: “a good, old-fashioned Barossa Valley ‘Dry Red’ style”.
Unashamedly ‘dry-reddish’. And why not?
A ferric, rust earthiness coupled with an assortment of fruits – dates, fresh figs and prosciutto/melon.
Rounded, with minimal oak impact - as expected.
Texture? Within the context of tannins/acidity/extract - ‘slippery’ rather than blocky, grippy.
Origin: Barossa Valley, South Australia.
Maturation: 12 months in seasoned French (66%) and American oak hogsheads (34%).
Variety: 64% Shiraz, 20% Grenache and 16% Mataro (Mourvedre).
Winter and spring rainfall were above average, creating an excellent start to the season. Relatively warm temperatures in August accelerated vines out of dormancy early, with prevailing warmer than average conditions leading to early flowering. Spring was generally cooler and drier than average, with the low soil moisture slowing growth positively leaving vines with open canopies. January temperatures were lower than usual, with the maximum temperatures being the coolest in 22 years.
Significant rainfall in early January, during veraison period of the Shiraz, provided much needed moisture to give the vines a boost in the final stages of ripening. Without any extremes or stress the vines continued to ripen evenly leading into an early harvest. In February, hotter weather prevailed ensuring a fast and early grape intake.
The Penfolds Collection