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2016 Penfolds "Bin 389" Cabernet-Shiraz South Australia (Previously $70)

SKU #1385014 96 points James Halliday

Outer quote mark A 51/49% blend from the Barossa Valley, Coonawarra, McLaren Vale, Padthaway and Wrattonbully, matured for 12 months in American hogsheads (37% new). Good colour, although not as striking as some of the other wines in the range; Likewise retains some elegance despite the clarion call of the cascade of fruit flavours. The fruit, oak, tannin and acid balance is impeccable, as is the length and drive of the palate. The savoury subtext is equally good. Inner quote mark (10/2018)

96 points James Suckling

Outer quote mark The personality of this warmer-vintage Bin 389 is big, bold and welcoming. Coal smoke and graphite intertwine with blackberry, cassis, woody and leafy notes. Some Chinese five spice, too. The palate is delivered with fine, sweeping and long, smooth tannins that carry a supple array of mainly blackberry and roasted-coffee flavors. Powerful yet silky, super long and smooth, building to an exceptionally tidy finish. This is an assembly of 51 per cent cabernet sauvignon and 49 per cent shiraz, sourced from Barossa Valley, Coonawarra, McLaren Vale, Padthaway and Wrattonbully. Long aging potential. Drink now or hold. Inner quote mark (11/2018)

94 points Decanter

Outer quote mark The so-called ‘Baby Grange’, Bin 389 is a Penfolds icon and a peerless example of the traditional Aussie blend. It's matured for 12 months in American oak, partly in previous-vintage Grange casks. Behind the youthful ruby hue lies a terrific red whose gently smoky, spicy cedar and liquorice aromas are highly perfumed and intense. On the palate it shows a promising youthful vigour in its richly concentrated, opulent cassis and blackberry fruit. It has a fine, smooth texture, with chocolatey depth, good complexity and spice aplenty, all supported by a fine spine of damson acidity and the sinewy tannin structure that awaits instructions to settle down. One for bollito misto and salsa verde. Drinking Window 2023 - 2040 (AR) Inner quote mark (9/2018)

92 points Jeb Dunnuck

Outer quote mark The 2016 Cabernet Shiraz Bin 389 (51% Cabernet Sauvignon and 49% Shiraz) is a more reserved, concentrated effort that speaks more to potential at this point, even if it offers ample pleasure. Blackcurrants, smoked herbs, chocolate, and tobacco leaf notes all emerge from this very classic, medium to full-bodied, balanced beauty that I suspect will be at its best in 2-4 years and keep for a decade or more. Inner quote mark (12/2018)

92 points Wine Spectator

Outer quote mark Generous, intense and juicy, with vivid blueberry cobbler and maraschino cherry flavors. Plush, smooth and appealing vanilla custard, cigar box and spice notes linger on the finish. Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz. Drink now through 2033. -MW Inner quote mark (5/2019)

91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

Outer quote mark The 2016 Cabernet / Shiraz Bin 389 is a blend of 51% Cabernet and 49% Shiraz, the least amount of Cabernet you'll ever see in this bottling. 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, even if it's not the flashiest or most flamboyant offering from Penfolds. At more than 14,000 cases for the United States, it should be relatively easy to find. (JC) Inner quote mark (10/2018)

Jancis Robinson

Outer quote mark Fruit from Barossa Valley, Coonawarra, McLaren Vale, Padthaway, Wrattonbully. 51% Cabernet Sauvignon, 49% Shiraz. Shiraz harvested earlier than usual due to a warmer vintage. TA 6.9 g/l, pH 3.64. 12 months in American oak hogsheads, 37% new – a tiny bit more than usual. Interesting blend with richness and saltiness. Very sweet and round and flattering. Dry end. Inner quote mark (9/2018)

K&L Notes

Winery note: "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 forge Penfolds reputation with red wine drinkers by combining the structure of Cabernet Sauvignon with the richness of Shiraz." 96 point The Wine Front.


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By: Stefanie Juelsgaard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 10/31/2018 | Send Email
The Penfolds "Bin 389" is an elegant red from one of the most sought-after producers in Australia. The Shiraz provides a juicy mouthfeel with beautiful lift, while the Cabernet lends length and structure to help balance the dark fruit. Penfolds has struck the perfect balance between the two varietals, creating a wine that is unbelievably smooth with fine tannin and vibrant fruit notes. The American oak complements without adding any unnecessary flavors and the underlying spice and herbs help bring balance and complexity. Though this wine comes off a touch tight initially, it opens up beautifully to reveal lush blackberry notes and soft cocoa. This is a great way to get a part of the 'Grange' for a fraction of the price.

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