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Not referred to as the ‘baby Grange’ for nothing, Bin 389 is the insider's tip when it comes to each year's release from Penfolds. This blend of Cabernet and Shiraz is elegant and claret-like in 2021, with tons of complexity already. There's ripe cassis and plum, with graphite, slate, cigar box and earthy elements on the nose. Mid-weight, vibrant, and refreshing with mouthwatering acidity and silky tannin.
The 2021 Bin 389 Cabernet Shiraz is creamy and densely packed with flavor (packed!), and the American oak is a core part of the wine, both aromatically and in the mouth. The fruit is from McLaren, Coonawarra, Barossa Valley, Wrattonbully and Padthaway and comprises 53% Cabernet Sauvignon and 47% Shiraz. The cooler season has imbued the wine with a freshness and levity, which, if you asked me prior to tasting, I would have said it was impossible to imbue levity in the Bin 389! But there you have it. Epic intensity, present oak. Give it time. I have tasted 30-year-old Bin 389s in the past that have still been alive and fresh. So, the cellar is the place for this vintage. Drink 2023 – 2063. 14.5% alc
Very deep purplish crimson. Brooding nose suggests hidden depths. Very flattering start with great balance between the two major components and a velvety texture. Lots of oomph and pleasure before the trademark tarry finish kicks in. Drink 2026 – 2042. 14.5% alc
When you bring Shiraz into the picture in 2021, it tends to mask some of Cabernet’s greener traits while bringing a certain spiciness of its own, and so while I was expecting a smoother wine than Bin 407, this is even more backward and unresolved. Spice, blueberry notes, blackcurrants and pepper, five spice, mint, the list goes on – this is a fascinating wine, and the tannins are feisty and firm and so while it is not a lavish big black limo of a Bin 389 it is going to travel just as far! Once again, I really like the imperfections because they keep your palate ticking over, actively engaging with this wine. Drink 2030 – 2050. 14.5% alc
Baby Grange gets its moniker as components of the blend are matured in the same barrels as the previous vintage of Grange. But with Cabernet Sauvignon the main player (53% in this vintage), it is more a Baby 707, especially as it always benefits from wine originally destined for that cuvée as well as Grange. A beauty of a beast, whose imposing tannin structure and abundantly ripe fruit need time. Powerful, inky blue and black berry fruits dominate the nose and palate, alongside bergamot freshness, earthy tapenade, exotic spices, iron filings and lots of black pepper. Coconut richness from 12 months in US oak hogsheads (37% new) and fine cocoa powder tannins add grip and linger long. Drink 2025 – 2055. 14.5% alc
This 2021 Bin 389 is a reserved claret style made up of 53% Cabernet Sauvignon and 47% Shiraz from across South Australia. It is pretty embryonic and only hints at what is in store over the medium to long term. There is impressive complexity to start: cassis, slate, cola, gravel, spice box and baked earth aromas with good purity of fruit. The overall structure has an excellent vibrancy, which drives upfront impact and the overall style, with flavors currently sitting in reserve for their time to shine. Mid-weight and well-composed, the finish is lengthy, yet the wine is clearly not ready to enjoy and will need at least a decade in bottle to hit its straps.
Young 2024 - 2035
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Young 2024 - 2048
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