Penfolds Bin 407 Cabernet Sauvignon

The rise and rise of Bin 407, culminating in the mind-blowing 2008, has been an enthralling spectacle. 2009 presents a different personality altogether. McLaren Vale leads here (with strong support from Coonawarra, Robe, Mt Benson, Adelaide Hills and Barossa Valley). The pronounced theme is of cool cabernet: lots of mint, lifted violets, blackcurrants, tobacco and coffee. The palate is a vector of linearity and definition, brilliantly crafted with fine, textural, mouth filling tannins. There is a restrained poise to this release, with oak taking a back seat (12 months in 27% new French oak, the remainder American, 7% new), allowing its blackcurrant fruit to leap forward and linger long. A $10 price rise is not out of place.