The other day I had the opportunity to taste through the newly released vintages of the upper echelon in the Penfolds family.
A lot of quality here but what have they done with the prizes? 420 Euro for Grange?! 250 Euro for the Bin 707?! Have they gone mad?! I´m not byuing, but I´m glad I got the chance to taste them :-)
2015 Bin 311 Tumbarumba Chardonnay
This is a juicy, upfront Chardonnay with notes of lemon cream, summer flowers, almonds and some smoke. A nice nerve to it, Very good.
The taste is young and forward with lots of sweet lemon fruit and additional notes of smoke, minerals and almond paste. A good acidity. But there is a hint of warmth at the end of the finish when it gets a little warmer in the glass.
88p (tasted 2016/10)
2014 Bin 389
This 53% Cabernet Sauvignon and 47% Shiraz blend offers up a deep, warm, spicy nose with notes of ripe black currants, liquorice, smoke and some perfumed aromas. A warm earthy scent after a while. Open for business. Very good.
The taste is ample and warm with notes of peppered black currants, wood smoke, blood pudding and dark chocolate. A long, hearthy finish. For drinking now and the coming 8+ years.
90p (tasted 2016/10)
2013 St. Henri Shiraz
A deep, high toned, expressive nose with notes of ripe blueberries, starch, ink, meat stock and some dark perfume. A whole another style of Shiraz compared to the RWT and Grange, and better for it. Leaning more to a European style. Very, very good.
The taste is young, seedy and inky with notes of blueberries, bakelite, green peppers and hard liquorice. A very fine concentration. This is really good. Lots of polished tannins in the long, long finish. This will turn out great after at least 6 years in the cellar. Worth the tariff of 68 Euro. 96% Shiraz, 4% Cabernet Sauvignon.
94p (tasted 2016/10)
The RWT is 100% Shiraz from Barossa Valley, and it shows. A rich, lush nose with notes of (over)ripe blackberries, rosemary, toothpaste, sweet liquorice and dark smoke. Very deep. Dark, moist earth.
The taste is full bodied, warm and tight with notes of spicy blackberries, dark chocolate, wood smoke and black peppers. The finish is long, heady and intense, and maybe a tad so for poor, weak me... Very good though.
92p (tasted 2016/10)
2014 Bin 707
The Bin 707 (even though the price is insane) is a terrific bottle of wine. The nose is deep, intense and seamless with stunning notes of ripe blueberries, warm gravel, grilled peppers, mint and graphite. I would say that the nose is more of a Shiraz/Cab mix than a 100% Cab, but all the same, it is a great wine.
The taste is refined and gorgeously structured with notes of ripe black currants, mint, black cherries, warm tiles and some smoke. Perfectly polished tannins shows themself in the long, long finish. Will get even better with 8+ years cellaring.
96p (tasted 2016/10)
98% Shiraz and 2% Cabernet Sauvignon. Still a baby. The nose is very deep, warm and concentrated with notes of ripe blueberries, dark meat, forest floor, ink and smoke. Very complex, but ooooh so young. Somewhat withdrawn. Lots to unfold here, given time.
The taste is young, tight and intense with notes of ripe blueberries, hard cherry candy, ink, asphalt and dark violets. The finish goes of for minutes. Again, elusive. This will need at least a decade in the cellar.
94p (tasted 2016/10)