Bin 389 was 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. Exemplifying the judicious balance of fruit and oak, Bin 389 highlights the generous mid-palate Penfolds in known for. This release in 2020 commemorates the 60th anniversary since Bin 389 was first made.
Blend: 57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 43% Shiraz Winemaker Notes: A bright, crimson red color. The nose is lifted, fragrant and immediately Penfolds. Aficionados may quickly identify and proclaim 389. Aromas like that of layers of custard and port-wine dark jelly with flaked coconut and juniper/cassis. Or old-fashioned hummingbird cake, with coconut flakes and nutty flavors. Familial youthful Bin 389 oak – subtle matchstick and a hint of vanilla powder. As they say – what is there not to like?! The palate is a balance of the sweet (Cabernet) and the savory (Shiraz). The wine possesses what has now often been referred to as a black forest cake 2018 vintage flavor profile. Darker fruits – closer to that of a black cherry liqueur than a crème de cassis component of Kir. Oak and tannins absorbed. Both are certainly present, yet not at all demanding their own space on this Bin 389 stage. Substantial and intense. (97 Points) A blend of 57% cabernet sauvignon and 43% shiraz, this has a very impressively complete feel, a hallmark of the 2018 vintage wines, and there’s a myriad of characters with cabernet’s cedary and gently herbal notes sitting atop a core of rich red-plum and dark-berry shiraz fruit aromas. So integrated. The palate has a very silky texture, so plush and polished with a wealth of rich and intense dark-plum, dark-berry and blackcurrant flavors. The oak is completely soaked with ripe, fresh fruit. This is a great Bin 389. Drink over the next two decades. James Suckling (96 Points) Confident Cabernet (57%) leads this high-spirited, swirling dance, as a breezy wisp of blue and black berries waft over the earthy bulk of sturdy Shiraz. It’s a clever trick for such bright fruit to be contained by tannins in an interlocked embrace, without smothering the obvious exuberance of this marriage. Supple and nimble, it keeps shifting and changing in the glass. A truly beautiful blend. Source: Decanter