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Best Price Going for the 97-Point “Baby Grange” - 2015 Penfolds "Bin 389" - 11/06/2017 - Australia

Penfolds solidified their reputation as Australia’s top winery with their legendary “Grange” bottling. This benchmark and category defining wine has left wine drinkers the world over awestruck and amazed and, in the process, commanded top dollar. So when we saw their 2015 "Bin 389" Cabernet/Shiraz earned the same 96-point score from James Suckling as the current release of Grange, we knew we had to act. The “Bin 389” is dubbed “Baby Grange” for a number of reasons, but most notably because it is aged in the very same barrels as its big brother. Unlike Grange, however, “Bin 389” doesn’t sell well into the hundreds of dollars, but rather can be had for a market low price of $49.99. This is downright amazing when you consider vintages of Grange start at $400 and only go up from there. So, how is the wine? In a word: perfect. Compact, deeply concentrated, and highly evolved, it is every bit an exceptional rendering as we’ve come to expect from this illustrious estate. Given the unbeatable price, the laudatory press, the brilliant vintage, and the unparalleled quality, this easily counts among the best opportunities out of Australia in 2017. We cannot stress enough that this Cab/Shiraz blend is a wine you don’t want to miss. Built for the long haul, it will reward collectors for decades to come.

2015 Penfolds "Bin 389" Cabernet/Shiraz South Australia (Elsewhere $63) Price: Hidden

97 points James Halliday: "Matured for 12 months in American hogsheads (32% new). Unapologetically made with the don't fix if it isn't broken aphorism. It is tightly structured, with faultless attention to detail - wheels within wheels stuff, but inexorable in sending its black fruits (blackberry, blackcurrant) flavour message. Despite its full body, and its far-reaching longevity, it's tailor-made for the saltbush lamb shoulder of tonight's dinner. *Special Value Selection*"

96 points James Suckling: "Cabernet just has the upper hand in the blend at 53%; this continues as a rising star in the Penfolds family of reds, showing a very attractive fusion of Cabernet and Shiraz. Cassis, blackberry, red plums and red currant fruits, the palate isn't overplayed in terms of weight or extract, but it's very complete and nicely rendered. Best from 2020-2030+." (10/2017)

93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Blended of 53% Cabernet Sauvignon and 47% Shiraz and sporting a deep garnet-purple color, the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon/Shiraz Bin 389 South Australia has a bombastic nose of crushed blueberries and black currants with hints of vanilla pod, dried Provence herbs, lavender and cigar boxes. Medium to full-bodied, the palate simply sings with exuberant black and blue fruits, supported by grainy tannins and a refreshing backbone, finishing with a pleasant herbal lift. (LPB)" (10/2017)

92 points Wine Spectator: "A lip-smacking mix of vibrant berry and cherry flavors that give way to green tea, toasted herb and cedar notes. Finds plenty of harmony on the finish, with the juicy acidity blending in with the dense, chewy tannins. (MW)" (12/2017)

K&L Notes: 96 points Wine Front: "It’s a wine with a ‘wow’ introduction. It throws beautiful, beautiful aroma. It’s distinguished by it. It’s sweet, pudding-like, like fresh vanilla, like lemon delicious. I went to taste this wine and couldn’t get past the nose; I just wanted to go on enjoying its aromatics. It’s smells every bit Penfolds but every bit itself. The palate is true to established form, with blackcurrant and bay leaf notes rigged to a powerful motor of tannin. Creamy/vanillin oak gets on with business too but again the fruit stares it down. From every angle this is a belter of a Bin 389. It’s best consumed any time between now and the apocalypse, or thereabouts."

Staff ImageStefanie Juelsgaard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 05, 2017

What an unconventional, but genius combination of varietals to blend into one wine! Often what is missing from Shiraz can be the erathy tones and structure that Cab showcases so well, and Cab Sauv's fruit can be lost behind the tannin and savory notes. To combine these two perfectly balances the best qualities of both so the sum is greater than their parts. This has the fruit from the Shiraz that makes this big wine more approachable now, but the backbone from the Cab to hold up to whatever you pair it with. Nothing flabby or overdone here. Just extremely well-balanced, tasty, tasty wine.

Staff ImageRyan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 03, 2017

I have been eagerly awaiting the new Penfolds releases as the 2015 vintage has been turning out some stunning wines in South Australia. With Penfolds' unrivaled strength in depth across the premium growing regions of the state I suspected their wines would be some of the best from them in recent years (or decades). Once the scores started to drop I couldn't wait to get my hands on some bottles to see if the wines tasted as good as the hyperbolic reviews suggested. Finally this week I got them in my glass and across my palate, and boy are you in for a treat. This Bin 389 is often a top pick from the stable. Affectionately known as "Baby Grange" this wine is matured in American Oak Hogsheads that held the prior year of Penfolds' iconic "Grange". This means top notch oak, the best money can buy, polishing this wines long, fine tannins. Bin 389 is a selection of premium parcels of Cabernet and Shiraz from vineyards in Coonawarra, Barossa, McLaren Vale and Wrattonbully. The Cabernet provides and beautiful structural framework and the Shiraz fleshes out the rest. Aromas of black and blue fruit, huckleberry, tobacco leaf, mint and cedar. On the palate the fruit is generous, juicy, bright; the wine is medium-bodied with a long, linear mouth feel. Fine tannin focuses the wine and perfectly tempers the expressive the fruit. Here's a wine that will be very long lived; this can be kept 15+ years but is also delicious now. Classy, delicious, complete

Staff ImageChristina Stanley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 03, 2017

Your holiday wine is here! Penfold's "Bin 389," or "Baby Grange" is a nearly even blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz from Coonawarra and Barossa, aged in ex Grange barrels that add depth, heft and weight to the texture. 389 has heady aromas of dill, rich leather, roasted habanero peppers, bright menthol and spearmint, grilled plum and violets, with an expansive, condensed palate laden with cassis and tart cranberry, finished with a persistent tannin that will break down the richest ribeye.

Staff ImageAndrew Stevens | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 03, 2017

Penfolds is a name familiar to many and enjoys a well deserved reputation. The 2015 Bin 389 should add another feather to an already full cap featuring Cab from the Connemara and Shiraz from Barossa in a full bodied ripe red blend that can be enjoyed now until one no longer drinks wine. Menthol and eucalyptus from the cab meet some earthy gamy notes from the shiraz. What is remarkable here is the balance of rich fruit, acid, and structure that manage to all harmonize. A perfect compliment to any lamb and mint dish or any upcoming holiday dinner for the next couple of decades.

Staff ImageDavid Driscoll | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 02, 2017

On the surface, the Penfold's Bin 389 is everything it's described to be: a ripe mouthful of South Aussie Shiraz with the structure and dark-fruited density of Cabernet. It's a well-blended and beautifully-balanced bottle of red wine, pure and simple. When you dig deeper, however, and you learn that Penfolds ages the 389 in ex-Grange barrels for one year; as you can imagine they're not using cheap cooperage for their $700 bottles of Grange. Only the best barrels are used for the Grange and those same barrels are used to mature the 389 once the Grange has been emptied, hence the name "Baby Grange." I found the wine to be utterly spellbinding, a combination of easily approachable, fleshy red fruits with serious depth and complexity underneath: notes of eucalyptus and brush with dusty tannins. I've been lucky enough to drink a few bottles of Grange in my life, but for my money I'd rather have a case of the 389. It's luxury within reach.