I was looking at the Port Douglas Carnivale website the other day and noticed that it mentioned they will feature the first ever North Queensland release of the Penfolds Bin 389 and Bin 407 wines. This will be Queensland’s first public release of the “baby Grange” outside of Brisbane. This would be an awesome way of trying these wines along with several others all matched to fine food…..I’d book a ticket now, along with a detox course to follow….
Penfolds are doing some interesting things lately with their wines, built around a novel concept …making seriously good booze, and doing it at various price points too.
The 2008 Bin 389, a Cabernet Shiraz blend, continues the trend of even-numbered years being exceptional. First made in 1960, Bin 389 has a reputation for consistency and longevity, it’s known as the “baby Grange” from the time it spends maturing in oak hogsheads used for the previous vintage of Grange. The Shiraz takes the lead on the palate, with plum, pepper and dark chocolate, with the cabernet fleshing out nicely with blackcurrant, tobacco and a touch of capsicum. It finishes with ripe tannins and is balanced by savouriness as the cabernet again takes charge. This is an outstanding Bin 389, with the ability to cellar for around two decades, its well worthy of the “baby Grange” tag.
The 2008 Bin 407 Cabernet Sauvignon is a brilliant drop too. Arguably the easiest to drink 407 I think I have tried. In fact I think that there’s never been such a chest thumpingly good version of the Bin 407 before. Coonawarra and its surrounding areas have given this vintage every classic cabernet character to make a wine that is unmistakably cabernet. There is berry fruit built around a frame of ripe tannins, with a touch of oak on a long lingering, blackcurrant finish, that lingers so much that you can’t help but grab another glass. This is one of those drops to be savoured in the cooler months that are approaching, buy up quickly, and drink it slowly….out of really large glasses so you don’t need to share.
The Bin 407 is the probably the Penfolds Bin wine that generally causes the most uncertainty in the range and tends to divide opinion the most. There are no such issues with the 2008; this could well be the vintage that will win Bin 407 the most fans yet.
Both wines will be served as part of the Long Lunch at Carnivale. If you can’t make it and still want to try these out for yourself, grab them from your local independent bottle shops for $54.99 for the Bin 407 and $64.99 for the Bin 389.