Penfolds Bin 707 Cabernet Sauvignon

An earlier release date and the earliest media preview tasting yet do little to flatter the long-ageing Penfolds red style. This year the cabernets reflected this most emphatically, and none more than 707. I hung back at the tasting, long after everyone else had retired for Billecart-Salmon and consequently for lunch, just to give these wines every opportunity to emerge. 2013 is a 707 vintage for the long-haul, screaming out for decades in the cellar for fruit and oak to unite. It’s an impressively full, vibrant purple hue, the deepest colour of the release this year. 100% new American oak declares its presence from the outset, in both toasty, nutty, dark chocolate oak flavour and in a wall of oak tannins. At this young age, oak is more assertive than ever, but the fruit is up to it, with the integrity and confidence to emerge in time. It takes a good while for its purity of blackcurrant fruit to emerge in the glass, and when it does, it sure is worth the wait. Length is phenomenal, with a line and focus that project its potential decades into the future. A blend of Adelaide Hills, Barossa Valley, Wrattonbully and Coonawarra, 2013 is the first 707 with predominant Adelaide Hills fruit. It’s built around a more concentrated parcel than usual from a top grower for Bin 389 and St Henri between Williamstown and Kersbrook in the north of the Hills. 707 is the new Grange, with a price explosion from $350 to $500, the price of Grange eight years ago. And under screw cap, I reckon it just might outlive Grange, too. 15 October 2015 release.