With age comes character.
Bin 389 was 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 forge Penfolds reputation with red wine drinkers by combining the structure of cabernet sauvignon with the richness of shiraz. Exemplifying the judicious balance of fruit and oak, Bin 389 highlights the generous mid-palate Penfolds in known for.
On the nose, a first-wave impression of blackcurrant/cassis cabernet-driven aromatics...A second-wave of chive, mustard spice, beeswax, lemon/honey tea and thyme flowers. A third of cherry-wood, sarsaparilla, aniseed. And a fourth of wet cold steel and a wet peppercorn tree.... all four unlocked, unravelled and liberated via time and air. The palate is full and rich. A custom-fitted generous mid-palate – mandated for this marque. Flavours of a platter of charcuterie meats, pastrami dominating. Also vying for taste and textural attention – pomegranate, cranberry, Madagascan vanilla pod, liquorice straps. This wine’s youthful profile tempered by softened and even tannins – from start to finish. And the judicious use of new oak.
Growing regions across South Australia experienced a cool and wet winter and spring, conditions which provided the vines with good soil moisture profiles. Several longstanding rainfall records across South Australia were broken. Spring was typically windy, which caused some challenges with fruit set, however it warded off any danger from frost. The prevailing cool conditions extended the growing season with flowering and veraison occurring later than the long-term average. Select regions took two weeks longer than usual from the advent of budburst to flowering. No heatwaves were recorded, with only a handful of days recording temperatures above 40 degrees. Warmer weather in March was welcomed, allowing grapes to finish ripening with great colours and varietal character.
"Elegant, smooth and supple, showing off cedar, black tea and sandalwood aromas, with plenty of restraint. The raspberry coulis, dark chocolate cherry and blood orange notes at the center are wonderfully pure. The tannins are polished and supple, and the flavors weave into harmony on the finish. Drink now through 2035. 18,086 cases imported." - MaryAnn Worobiec, Wine Spectator, Feb 2020
"The 2017 Bin 389 Cabernet Shiraz is only 54-46 in favor of Cabernet Sauvignon, yet it shows pronounced mint and cassis aromas. The Shiraz is more apparent in the mouth, where it fills out the full-bodied palate with velvety richness and plush tannins before fading a bit quickly on the finish. This vintage includes fruit from McLaren Vale, Barossa Valley, Padthaway and Wrattonbully." - Joe Czerwinski, Wine Advocate, Aug 8 2019
Peter joined the Penfolds winemaking team in 1989, initially in the craftsmanship of sparkling wines, before moving on to reds as Penfolds Red Wine Maker. In 2002 Peter became the fourth ever Chief Winemaker for Penfolds. Together with his fellow winemakers, Peter’s careful custodianship has ensured that Grange and the other ‘older’ members of the Penfolds family, have continued to set the benchmark for their style and quality, while new additions to the range push the boundaries ever wider.