This year has realised a change in Penfold’s distribution strategy, with them rightly giving pride of place to three of their finest wines, releasing them outside of their normal October releases, with Grange, St.Henri and the rest of their stable to release as usual later in the year. As such, today we are delighted to be able to release Penfolds stunning Bin 389, ‘Baby Grange’, 407 ‘Brother of 707’ and 150 their gorgeous multi-vineyard Syrah. Each respectively is ‘best in class’ and priced at £201 per case of six under bond. These are of the highest quality and the best value wines of their stellar range and demand attention.
Penfolds’ Bin 389 Cabernet Shiraz is better known or described as ‘Baby Grange’. It was also created by Max Schubert and is matured in the same barrels that held the previous vintage of Grange. It was first created in 1960 and helped to shape the reputation of Penfold’s prestige wines amongst drinkers. It is a magnificent blend that integrates the richness of Shiraz (around 43%), deriving suppleness and intensity, with the structure of Cabernet Sauvignon (approximately 57%). It represents a classic Penfolds Grange style and identity, beautifully balancing fruit and oak. It perennially displays lovely high notes of cassis, rosemary, dark chocolate, sweet spice, white pepper and cinnamon, along with black olives and figs. It even displays Pauillac-esque pencil-shavings on the nose, along with delicate cedar. For collectors that want to own Penfolds Grange but not pay £300 per bottle, ‘Baby Grange’ offers a wonderful tonic at £33 a bottle. Peter Gago, Penfolds eminent winemaker, is quoted as saying, “Through thick and thin, across all vintages, Bin 389 always delivers – benefitting from over half a century of practice!” Its other remarkable quality, considering the price point, is its ability to age, offering two decades of pleasure. The 2018 is released today for £201 and it pays to buy on release, as prices quickly rise above £300 a bottle. In 2018 Bin 389 has been awarded 93 points from Joe Czerwinski of The Wine Advocate, the joint highest of the last 10 years. James Suckling awards it 97 points, his finest ever. This is one of the world’s most compelling wines and collectors should buy this in droves, stocking up every year, it comes with our highest recommendation.
Penfolds Bin 407 is their Cabernet Sauvignon superstar, created in 1993, inspired by its older Cabernet Sauvignon brother Bin 707. By this time the Estate had enough very high-quality Cabernet Sauvignon grapes to produce another outstanding wine of Cabernet fruit, with incredible concentration, depth and varietal definition. Bin 407 benefits from Penfolds’ multi region/ vineyard blending to create a wine that provides superb quality, at a fraction of the price of Bin 707, in 2018 it has been awarded 92 points from Joe Czerwinski who says ‘Classically built, it begins with scents of mint, cigar box and cassis, later adding nuances of olive and chocolate.’ The price today on release is £201 per case of six in bond, which is superb as it rises quickly to £300.
The hamlet of Marananga lies close to the centre of the Barossa Valley floor, where dry conditions and rich red soils facilitate a focused and fruit concentrated wine. The wine is a sub-regional blend aged in French and American oak, both new and old, which produces a wine with a powerful nose of Juniper berry, coffee, tar, smoke, pepper and intense black fruits. The palate has liquorice, chocolate, amaretto and pistachio, finishing with an extraordinary berried pannacotta flavour. This wine will age for at least 5 years but offers immense pleasure now. The 2018 has been awarded a brilliant 95 points from Joe Czerwinski and 96 from James Suckling.
Each wine represents a different expression of the Penfolds range, each priced at £33 a bottle, each ready to wow this year, yet improve for a decade. There are very few wines that have the torque and class of the three above at this price point.