Video: Australia's most celebrated wine, the 1962 Penfolds Bin60A

I’ve finally written up my report on last year’s historic tasting of Australian wines at the Landmark Tutorial. You can read it here. We were fortunate to taste many rare and great bottles, but of these probably the most famous is the 1962 Penfolds Bin 60A. The film below shows Andrew Caillard and James Halliday introducing this wine, which many believe to be the greatest ever wine to have come from Australia.

On the show circuit, it won 19 trophies and 33 gold medals. It is a classic blend of Shiraz and Cabernet, with the former coming from the Kalimna vineyard in the Barossa Valley, and the latter from Coonawarra. When Max Schubert was developing Grange in the early 1950s he wasn’t really interested in Coonawarra. But he visited, was won over, and as a result Penfolds purchased some blocks here.

How is the 1962 60A holding up? ‘We are now in the realm of bottle variation,’ says James Halliday. ’10 years ago this wine was bulletproof.’ He adds: ‘at its peak, this was the all-time single great Australian wine.’ The feeling is that Bin60A is now beginning to enter its slow decline phase. ‘It’s starting to become a beautiful grandmother.’ Andrew Caillard says that this historic wine is now getting very rare. The auction price is around A$3500, although one sale netted a record price of $5500.

It is a red/brown colour with a browning rim. The nose is fresh, earthy, green and a bit herby with wonderful purity of fruit. It’s really elegant with some fruit still. The palate shows wonderfully fresh, pure red fruits. Really focused and elegant with vibrant, juicy freshness and hints of meat. Spicy, elegant and concentrated with hints of mint. Still some structure, but the tannins are soft. Now fully mature with some fine spice notes. A really beautiful wine. 97/100

2 comments to Video: Australia’s most celebrated wine, the 1962 Penfolds Bin60A

  • Jay

    My envy knows no bounds after reading this in your main section! Most of the 1996 or after wines sounded like they need 10-15 years. I am surprised at the 1996 Best’s Thomson Family, but I agree you’d expect to see a lot of upside on the Seppelt Peters 2002 — certainly based on some superb 1991s I had a few years back.

  • Heath

    I have had the humble pleasure on a few occasions to become intimately aquaintted with the 62 bin60A, moreover I have yet to sample anything even shoulder height close to it.

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