2016 Penfolds Bin 389 Cabernet Shiraz
"It's dark and stolid, with notes of cassis and blackberry along with touches of vanilla and cedar. Full-bodied and dense, it's firmly in the Penfolds style and the style of this particular bottling, which always ages well."
- Joe Czerwinski, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
An immediate ascent of scent – no need to wait or to vigorously swirl this wine to tease out ‘what lies beneath’!
Dark berry fruits consistent to both varietal persuasions, (Cabernet and Shiraz), overtly courted by elements of ponzu, soy, sesame and dried shiitake mushroom.
Senses are easily conveyed to a forest after rain – wet bracken, liberated mulch, damp soils. Naturally (new and used) oak plays a (minor) role in this fanciful aromatic romp.
Flavors and textures akin to marbled Kobe beef and an earthy accompaniment of black licorice root and anise.
Structurally bold with little protruding – integrated, fine … and has comfortably already “settled into place”.
‘Appetizing’ acidity – a non-intrusive and refreshing granita-like bite/attaque.
Assam tea maltiness and tannins merge with impressions of wet slate, pencil lead/graphite … no doubt somehow linked to earlier partial barrel fermentation and oak maturation.
Needs time, as per most Bin 389’s at release. Perhaps a little longer for this vintage? Our recommendation – your choice.
Autumn and winter were dry and cool across South Australia’s growing regions. Record low rainfall prevailed through September to March. These conditions delayed the start of the growing season in the Barossa Valley and other warmer regions. However, in cooler Coonawarra, bud burst, flowering, veraison and harvest were all earlier than is usually expected. Warm conditions prevailed across all regions in the early part of the summer allowing vines to develop healthy canopies and good bunch set.
Late rain in January and early February was a welcome relief across South Australia. Temperatures in spring and early summer were above the long-term average, resulting in an early harvest for Shiraz. Cooler conditions followed from mid-February which suited the later ripening Cabernet Sauvignon. Grapes across all the main growing regions were able to ripen evenly and develop desirable flavors.
: Multi-regional blend, South Australia. From Barossa Valley, Coonawarra, McLaren Vale, Padthaway and Wrattonbully.
: 12 months in American oak hogsheads (37% new).
: Alc/Vol: 14.5%, Acidity: 6.9 g/L, pH: 3.64
: 51% Cabernet Sauvignon, 49% Shiraz.
“Certainly not a definitive example Bin 389 of yore – this 2016 vintage release retains style yet pushes Cabernet/Shiraz blend boundaries … ever so deftly!””
“Coincidentally or otherwise, a Japanese ‘demeanor’ unfolded during preview tastings – many Japanese-linked descriptors availed, some used, others not.”
“Quercus alba – are you sure?! …Savory, sandalwood nuances noted. No doubt, however, about this wine’s captivating sheen/poise.”
- Peter Gago, Penfolds Chief Winemaker