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, by the legendary Max Schubert, this was the wine that helped to forge Penfolds solid reputation with red wine drinkers. Combining the structure of Cabernet Sauvignon with the richness of Shiraz, Bin 389 also exemplifies the judicious balance of fruit and oak.
Matured for 12 months in American hogsheads (32% new). Unapologetically made with the don't fix if it isn't broken aphorism. It is tightly structured, with faultless attention to detail - wheels within wheels stuff, but inexorable in sending its black fruits (blackberry, blackcurrant) flavour message. Despite its full body, and its far-reaching longevity, it's tailor-made for the saltbush lamb shoulder of tonight's dinner. Drink to: 2045; Price: $95.00; Date Tasted: Aug 2017; Alcohol: 14.5%; Rating: 97 Points & Special Value Star; James Halliday; James Halliday Wine Companion
Deep crimson. Intense perfumed cassis, blackberry, nougat, praline aromas with herb garden notes. Beautifully concentrated wine with dense cassis, blackberry fruits, some brambly notes, fine supple dense chocolaty tannins, superb mid palate generosity and perfectly balanced roasted chestnut oak complexity. Finishes chocolaty with lovely bitter chinotto mineral length. A classic vintage with brilliant aromatic complexity, proportion and balance. The cabernet sauvignon sings while the shiraz hums. Very impressive wine with all the hallmarks of the Penfolds style. The lines between Bin 389 and its more famous compatriots are blurred. "Pound for pound", probably the wine of the 2017 release. 12 months in American oak hogsheads (32% new, 37% 1-y.o., 31% 2-y.o.) 53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 47% Shiraz. Drink: 2020-2040; Rating: 98 Points; Andrew Caillard MW
It’s a wine with a ‘wow’ introduction. It throws beautiful, beautiful aroma. It’s distinguished by it. It’s sweet, pudding-like, like fresh vanilla, like lemon delicious. I went to taste this wine and couldn’t get past the nose; I just wanted to go on enjoying its aromatics. It’s smells every bit Penfolds but every bit itself. The palate is true to established form, with blackcurrant and bay leaf notes rigged to a powerful motor of tannin. Creamy/vanillin oak gets on with business too but again the fruit stares it down. From every angle this is a belter of a Bin 389. It’s best consumed any time between now and the apocalypse, or thereabouts. Tasted: Oct 17; Alcohol: 14.5%; Price: $95; Closure: Screwcap; Drink: 2022-2035+; Rated: 96 Points; Campbell Mattinson; The Wine Front
Wrattonbully, McLaren Vale, Barossa Valley, Coonawarra, Robe, Padthaway. 53% cabernet sauvignon, 47% shiraz. 12 months in American oak hogsheads, 32% new. It’s at 389 where the magic really begins in the modern Penfolds line up, and the great 2015 season has produced a wine as dark, vibrant and enticing as ever. Cabernet and shiraz embrace harmoniously in a confluence of blackcurrant and blackberry depth, magnificently supported by classy dark chocolate American oak. Fine-grained tannins effortlessly yet confidently promise a grand future. Another of the greats in the magnificent lineage of Bin 389. Drink: 2030-2040; Rating: 96 Points; Tyson Stelzer
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