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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. Bin 389 also exemplifies the judicious balance of fruit and oak.
Drinking well now, but will improve with time. Peak drinking 2018 - 2036.
Bright crimson, deepening/darkening towards core.
Much to intrigue here – a flash of baker’s sourdough rises above; beneath - crackling/crispy duck skin and basting juices.
Old-Garden fruits - rhubarb/quince/fig to the fore… New-Kitchen savouries, sesame oil/pinenut follow.
Pencil shavings oak, stylishly legitimised by a classic graphite/ironstone-metal blackness.
Smokey, gunflint, shale descriptors abound – a reminder that there’s more to Bin 389 than just crushed grapes!
A tasting-slurry of red-currant/eggplant/black olive induce a darker/savoury flavour pool.
A generous mid-palate embalmed by integrated plush and ripe tannins.
The ferrics lurk - an iron-laden meatiness intriguingly verging towards a knife-sharpening stone primed with olive oil. What?
Varietal credibility redeemed by crème de cassis and blueberry fruits … but only just!
Origin: Multi-regional blend, South Australia. From Barossa Valley, Wrattonbully, McLaren Vale and Coonawarra.
Maturation: 12 months in American oak hogsheads (53% new, 27% 1-y.o., 20% 2-y.o.).
Variety: 53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 47% Shiraz.
Above-average winter and early spring rainfall offered the vines in South Australia healthy soil moisture profiles for the growing season. Late spring and summer were dry and warm with significant heat records being set. Warm weather prevailed during summer and throughout veraison, allowing grapes to develop evenly and with good intensity.
These warm conditions came to an abrupt halt in the Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale in mid-February with significant rainfall allowing long slow ripening of the fruit in very good ripening conditions. Wrattonbully had a warm and generally dry ripening end to the season allowing development of strong varietal flavours.
Bin 389 is one of Australia’s great cellaring red wines. First produced in 1960, its history is connected with the development of Grange and Max Schubert’s ambition of creating a ‘dynasty of wines which all bear an unmistakable resemblance to each other’.
Named after its original binning compartment at Magill cellars, Bin 389 is the most popular wine in the Australian secondary wine market because of its heritage, consistency and reputation.