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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.
2020 - 2046.
Much more than a first-wave impression of blackcurrant/cassis cabernet-driven aromatics...
• A second of chive, mustard spice, beeswax, lemon/honey tea and thyme flowers.
• A third of cherry-wood, sarsaparilla, aniseed.
• A fourth of wet cold steel and a wet peppercorn tree.
... all four unlocked, unravelled and liberated via time and air.
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.
97 Points - Tony Love
96 Points - Andrew Caillard MW
94 Points - Angus Hughson
“What can be meaningfully added to 57 years of Bin 389 commentary? Plenty!”
“Its oak/fruit balance and propensity to age? No, this is a given.”
“The symbolism of its Baby Grange moniker? No, overstated.”
"Just a great drink, year in, year out? Yes, that will do!"
- Peter Gago, Penfolds Chief Winemaker
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.