This has moved to position itself firmly as a wine that trades on the strengths of Barossa shiraz, in an all-round way, while also incorporating McLaren Vale and Padthaway sourcing. Deep blackberries and redder fruit with a creamy, vanillin-laced nose and some cedar and tarry notes. The palate has a smooth build of fleshy fruit and silky, refined and polished tannin. Drink now or wait six years.
"A blend of fruit from Barossa, McLaren Vale and Padthaway, the 2017 Bin 28 Kalimna Shiraz is meant to replicate the Northern Barossa style of its namesake vineyard, with opulent dark fruit, savory spice notes of pepper and licorice and a full-bodied, plush mouthfeel. It's a delicious Shiraz for drinking over the next decade or so.
It's always a treat to sit with Chief Winemaker Peter Gago and taste through the latest releases from Penfolds. Despite losing one of his suitcases (thankfully, not the one with the newly bottled 2019 Bin 51 Riesling), he was in good humor, having just gone on a Manhattan clothes-shopping spree. The bulk of this year's wines come from the challenging 2017 vintage, but with the wide net Penfolds casts to source fruit, the winery seems capable of maintaining a remarkable degree of consistency. There are always a few wines from years on either side as well. Standouts this year include the dense, age-worthy 2016 St Henri Shiraz. This is a wine that never sees new, small-format oak, as it is aged in large oak vats. The 2017 RWT Shiraz (all Barossa Valley, all French oak) is a perennial favorite of mine, and it is reassuringly excellent. These wines differ stylistically from one another and from the flagship Grange, which is aged in new American oak hogsheads. This year's Grange release is the 2015, another strong effort. The biggest splash among this year's lineup is the debut of a new $1,700 Shiraz. The 2016 Bin 111A Shiraz is a blend of Clare Valley and Barossa Valley fruit previously ticketed for Grange, aged 18 months in new French hogsheads. It would be easy to dismiss it as another cynical marketing ploy, but it's yet another unique expression of Shiraz and the quality lives up to the lofty price tag. For the one-percenters lucky enough to snare a bottle or two, it'll provide immense pleasure for decades to come. - Joe Czerwinski"
"COLOUR: Crimson red, a shimmer of garnet on rim.
NOSE: Exuberant aromatics. At first, back to school - memories of black jelly beans, then a gentle spectral gradation to red liquorice and redcurrants.
PALATE: Well-balanced. Whirling black fruits and an oscillating shiraz disposition - Bin 28 by any other name, personally intact. Flavours akin to a consomme of dried porcini mushrooms; structurally embedded with grainy/sandy tannins. Additionally, tobacco, tobasco and tamarind noted."
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