jamie goode's wine blog: A Penfolds pair

Saturday, November 28, 2009

A Penfolds pair


I grew up with Penfolds. When I was getting into wine, the likes of Bin 369, Bin 28 and Bin 128 were staples. Grange was cheap then (1993 = 35), comparitively speaking, but I wasn't ready to spend this much on wine, so I skipped it. Alas. There was a period when the Penfolds wines seemed to be less impressive, during the late 1990s and early noughties, but they seem to have picked things up a bit.

Two from the current Penfolds portfolio:

Penfolds Bin 128 Shiraz 2005 Coonawarra
14% alcohol, tin-lined screwcap seal, French oak. Cabernet is the variety more normally associated with Coonawarra, but Shiraz can do well here. This is very fresh, bright, a bit minty, meaty and has some spicy oak alongside the fresh blackberry and blackcurrant fruit. I like the fresh dark cool-climate-ish fruit character; I'm less convinced by slightly unresolved nature of the sweet oak and lemony acidity that currently stick out a bit. It's almost as if there's a disconnect between the sweetness of the dark fruit and the brightness of the (added) acidity. Still, it's a very well made, appealing wine that has a degree of seriousness to it. 88/100 (11.99 Majestic, Tesco.com)

Penfolds Bin 28 Kalimna Shiraz 2006 South Australia
14.5% alcohol, cork seal, American oak. This is quite lovely: a wine that is integrated and at ease with itself. A dark colour, it is concentrated with rich, spicy blackberry and blackcurrant fruit and some cedary complexity. The richness of the fruit works well with the American oak, yielding a dense, bold, spicy wine with some meaty depth to it. It will probably age quite well, although it's drinking now, in its own chunky way. A crowd pleaser, too. 89/100 (11.99 Majestic, Co-op, Tesco.com)

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5 Comments:

At 6:03 PM, Anonymous David said...

Interesting you say cork seal for the bin 28 - I bought a couple of the cases to lay down but they are all screwcap...

do you think that'll make difference re: aging?

cheers,
Dave.

 
At 12:36 AM, Blogger Martin said...

David, mine are also screwcap - although I had a choice at the shop. I guess it was an experiment to see what sold. The screwcap will age more consistantly but slower then the cork. For faster ageing the cork is OK but several of the bottles will be of a different or lesser quality then others from the same batch. The oak characters are more obvious also from cork sealed wines so if you want oak to dominate, should have chosen cork.

 
At 11:04 PM, Blogger stu said...

I can never get over the early prices of Grange. If only I knew of this wine then, rather than the $500 I paid for my one and only bottle to date. I kid myself that 389 is a baby Grange.

 
At 3:17 PM, Anonymous Jonathan said...

I was in Australia for a year in '66-''67.A local up-scale hotel was selling off a cellar established by Len Evans. Over the year we drank about a case and a half of '61 Grange starting at 90 cents, ending at $1.25(Aus). I have an '80 and an '82 in the cellar waiting for the right moment.

 
At 3:18 PM, Anonymous Jonathan said...

I was in Australia for a year in '66-''67.A local up-scale hotel was selling off a cellar established by Len Evans. Over the year we drank about a case and a half of '61 Grange starting at 90 cents, ending at $1.25(Aus). I have an '80 and an '82 in the cellar waiting for the right moment.

 

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