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.
Deep dense magenta.
The very first impression? Instantly Penfolds. Some barrel-ferment nuances perhaps? A formic lift, V.A., regressive oak? Maybe all listed are guilty partners!
Higher notes reveal custard tart and brûlée, courting meaty pan-scrapings/juices. Yet beneath, a darker edge – black pudding, sweetbread, asphalt.
Moreover, not just an ‘offal’ offering – an aromatic veil of satsuma plum, fig and quince paste aromatics liberally sprinkled above.!
Enticing, inviting. A taste continuum of assorted flavours and textures.
A spoil of fruits meshed with a grain-like paste – chaff/oats/barley/wheat germ…. At once chewy and succulent, heightened by a mouth-watering acidity and overt 2015 ‘elongated’ tannins.
Oak barely perceivable. An interesting ‘package’ whereupon nothing stands out! A ‘balanced completeness’!
Autumn and early winter rainfall were above the long-term average. Rain stopped abruptly in early August with only light showers observed throughout spring. The dry and cool spring period affected canopy growth early in the season. Warm and dry conditions during flowering and fruit-set resulted in rapid grapevine growth and early flowering.
A high rainfall event occurred in Coonawarra in January, mostly falling outside of veraison, and February delivered weekend heat spikes. Wrattonbully had a warm and generally dry ripening end to the season which allowed for the development on strong varietal flavours.