Penfolds Bin 389 Cabernet Shiraz

Every year I have the opportunity to judge Bin 389 pre-release in The Great Australian Red competition, and it never shows at its best at this young age. It’s predictably closed up like a trap on the eve of its new, early release date of mid-October 2014. Vigorous decanting and hours and even days of coaxing slowly draw out impressive layers of black fruits and reticent violet perfume, set within a rigid and finely strung cage of impeccable tannin structure. It is plainly apparent from the outset is that this is one of the benchmark, long-lived releases in the grand, 42 year lineage of Bin 389. Do not miss it and, above all, do not dare open a bottle in the next decade, and preferably the next two. This year, a blend of 54% cabernet sauvignon and 46% shiraz from Wrattonbully, Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale, Langhorne Creek and Robe.