Wine Spectator 91 points - Expressive and deftly balanced, playing its bright, ripe currant and blackberry fruit against hints of basil and espresso on the appealingly transparent frame. Drink now through 2021.—H.S. (May 16 2012)
Created by the legendary Max Schubert - creator of Penfolds Grange - Bin 389 is often referred to as ’Poor Man’s Grange’ or ’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, this was the wine that helped to build Penfolds’ solid reputation with red wine drinkers. Combining the structure of cabernet with the richness of shiraz, Bin 389 also exemplifies Penfolds’ skill in balancing fruit and oak. A classic Australian style with a clear Penfolds identity.
|Rare roasted rack of lamb with garlic, rosemary and sea salt
Argentinean style beef
Ideal with hearty meat dishes
|Australia’s winemaking history of less than two hundred years is brief by European measures though, like Europe, punctuated by periods of extreme success and difficult times. From the earliest winemaking days Penfolds has figured prominently and few would argue the importance of Penfolds’ influence on Australia’s winemaking psyche.
Without the influence of Penfolds the modern Australian wine industry would look very different indeed. Sitting comfortably outside of fad and fashion, Penfolds has taken Australian wine to the world on a grand stage and forged a reputation for quality that is without peer.
Penfolds’ reputation for making wines of provenance and cellaring potential might suggest a mantle of tradition and formality is the preferred attire of a company with so much history to defend. But to label Penfolds as simply an established and conventional winemaker, would be to confuse tradition with consideration and to overlook the innovative spirit that has driven Penfolds since its foundation, and continues to find expression in modern times.
If there is anything traditional about Penfolds, it is the practice of constantly reviewing the wines it already does well, and continuously evolving and refining styles as vineyards mature and access to ever older and more varied vineyard sites improves.