The Penfolds Collection 2022
Another highly anticipated Penfolds Collection lands on 4 August!
The inaugural Bordeaux release showcases that a vision of classic Penfolds winemaking makes for a compelling offering in the landscape of Bordeaux (scroll down).
And the Napa set is evidence that Penfolds’ fit here is a confident one, too.
For what it’s worth, the two wines that I’m buying myself this year are Penfolds Reserve Bin A Adelaide Hills Chardonnay 2021 and Penfolds Bin 704 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2019.
Penfolds Bin 51 Eden Valley Riesling 2022
$40. Eden Valley. 11.5% alcohol. Screw Cap.
The very first finished 2022 riesling that I’ve tasted tells the story of a mild season in Eden Valley, with long ripening infusing bountiful flavour and natural acidity. It strikes a wonderful mid-spectrum equilibrium that spans all we love about this region. There is great depth and presence here of granny smith apple and pear fruit, cut incisively with signature lime and lemon, lifted by wonderful apple blossom, even hints of fennel and white pepper. Mid-palate flesh guarantees immediate appeal and medium-term promise, while the 2021 patiently awaits its turn in the cellar! Versatile and irresistible, a showcase for another great season for Eden Valley riesling!
Penfolds Bin 311 Chardonnay 2021
$50. South-Eastern Australia. 82% Adelaide Hills, 14% Tasmania, 4% Henty and Tumbarumba. Matured 9 months in 38% new French oak barriques. 12.5% alcohol. Screw Cap.
Thanks to the wonderfully refined 2021 harvest, Bin 311 sports the largest proportion of Adelaide Hills yet, the balance made up predominantly of Tasmania, with a dribble of Henty and Tumbarumba. Precision, tension, tightly coiled texture and impeccably gauged struck flint reduction confirm one of the greatest vintages for Bin 311 yet. Grapefruit, lemon and white peach purity are elegantly framed in subtle, high class French oak.
Penfolds Reserve Bin A Adelaide Hills Chardonnay 2021
$125. Adelaide Hills. Wild fermented and matured on solids with regular bâtonnage. Full natural malolactic fermentation. Matured 9 months in 50% new French oak barriques. 12.5% alcohol. Screw Cap.
The elegance of the scintillating 2021 harvest has set off a Bin A profound more for its elegantly coiled restraint than for its exuberance, which is just as it should be. The focused, flinty, mineral acidity of this cool season carries dramatic persistence and an energy and endurance magnificent even by lofty Bin A standards. It’s set to go down among the longest-lived of them all.
Penfolds Yattarna Chardonnay 2020
$175. South-Eastern Australia. 68% Tasmania, 32% Adelaide Hills. Matured 8 months in 86% new French oak barriques. 12.5% alcohol. Screw Cap.
Tasmania and the Adelaide Hills come together in another Yattarna of soaring heights. It’s the juxtaposition of crystalline, pitch-perfect tension and deeply intricate, fine-boned texture that set it apart again this year. White fruits of all kinds are elevated by struck match reduction and carried long and strong yet ever pristine by 86% new French oak. In this year’s release, the contrast between Yattarna 20 and Bin A 21 is more pronounced than ever. Both are absolute sensations.
Penfolds Bin 23 Pinot Noir 2021
$50. Tasmania. Matured 8 months in 40% new French oak barriques. 13.5% alcohol. Screw Cap.
Hailing entirely from Tasmania for the first time, Bin 23 rises to new heights of elegant restraint in the pristine 2021 harvest. Poached strawberries and raspberries are gently brushed with rose petals, potpourri and a subtle backdrop of herbal complexity. Fine, supple tannins grace an approachable finish. Friendly, joyous and ready!
Penfolds Bin 138 Barossa Valley Shiraz Grenache Mataro 2020
$60. 65% shiraz, 29% grenache, 6% mataro. Matured 12 months in 12.5% new French oak hogsheads. 14.5% alcohol. Screw Cap.
The sweet berry fruit core of the Barossa is well set against the spicy mood of grenache. Fine-boned tannins contrast a supple mouth feel. Milk chocolate French oak (12.5% new) plays a confidently supportive role. Nicely balanced, with medium persistence.
Penfolds Bin 128 Coonawarra Shiraz 2020
$60. Coonawarra. Matured 12 months in 20% new French oak hogsheads. 14.5% alcohol. Cork.
The crunchy berry fruits, distinctive white pepper, fragrant, spicy overlay and fine-boned limestone mineral tannins of Coonawarra elevate shiraz to an exciting place. A core of blackberries and satsuma plums is impeccably framed in eloquently supportive French oak (20% new). A standout.
Penfolds Bin 28 Shiraz 2020
$50. McLaren Vale, Barossa Valley, Padthaway, Clare Valley. Matured 12 months in 16% new American oak hogsheads. 14.5% alcohol. Cork.
Peter Gago is rightfully circumspect about the 2020 vintage in South Australia. Ripe, spicy berry fruits and milk chocolate oak juxtapose firm, fine tannins, without the lift, definition, persistence, polish or distinction of the great Bin 28s of yesteryear.
Penfolds Bin 150 Marananga Shiraz 2020
$100. Barossa Valley. Matured 12 months in 24% new American and 23% new French oak hogsheads and puncheons. 14.5% alcohol. Cork.
The inimitable mood of Marananga contrasts the depth of glossy, ripe dark berry, black cherry and Satsuma plum fruit with all the impact of a firm, fine, intricate tannin undercarriage. American (24% new) and French (23% new) oak rally to lend strong support, making this a vintage for the cellar.
Penfolds Bin 407 Cabernet Sauvignon 2020
$120. McLaren Vale, Barossa Valley, Coonawarra, Padthaway and Wrattonbully. Matured 15 months in 24% new French and 12% new American oak hogsheads. 14.5% alcohol. Cork.
Classic South Australian cabernet and quintessential Penfolds that transcends a challenging vintage! All the blackcurrants, leaf and capsicum we expect, well boosted and elongated by finely structured, dark chocolate French (24% new) and American (12% new) oak. A crunchy redcurrant lift brings a brightness and a beauty to a long and harmonious finish.
Besides Grange, the only (Australian) Penfolds to see a price rise this year ($10). As is often the case, Bin 389 is a better buy (and now $20 cheaper than Bin 407).
Penfolds Bin 389 Cabernet Shiraz 2020
$100. McLaren Vale, Barossa Valley, Padthaway. 51% cabernet sauvignon, 49% shiraz. Matured 12 months in 33% new American oak hogsheads. 14.5% alcohol. Cork.
The fabled poise and endurance of Bin 389 elevate it above the surface of a hot, dry vintage in South Australia. The confidence with which this blend is engineered is something to behold. The fine-boned, enduring structure of cabernet (51%) meshes seamlessly with the black fruits depth of shiraz. Ever more classy American oak (33% new) lends more in structural scaffolding than flavour support. One for the cellar. Collectors, take note.
Penfolds St Henri Shiraz 2019
$135. McLaren Vale, Barossa Valley, Padthaway, Wrattonbully and The Peninsulas. Matured 12 months in large, seasoned oak vats. 14.5% alcohol. Cork.
The grace and effortless confidence of St Henri are set to a tune of dark, spicy berry and plum fruit of a warm, low-yielding season. Fine-grained tannins draw out a medium-bodied finish of graceful persistence. This is not a vintage of fireworks, but of comfortable and relaxed stature.
Penfolds Magill Estate Shiraz 2020
$150. Magill. Matured 15 months in 30% new French and 40% 1 year old American oak hogsheads. 14.5% alcohol. Cork.
The supple, slippery texture of this unique vineyard is well structured with fine-grained fruit and oak tannins. After a hot December, a mild autumn infused a core of sweet, spicy red and dark berry fruits, accented with anise and lingering with medium persistence, promising good potential.
$300. Coonawarra. Matured 17 months in 56% new French oak hogsheads 14.5% alcohol. Cork.
Penfolds Bin 169 Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 2019
The tightly-coiled reluctance of great cabernet in its youth brings great anticipation, and there is a classical confidence to this release. Textbook blackcurrants, cassis and cedar are wrapped generously in folds of firm, fine tannins and dark chocolate French oak (56% new). Grand line and length are set to carry it long and strong indeed. Patience is mandatory, and this is a vintage set to go down among the greats.
Penfolds Bin 798 RWT Barossa Valley Shiraz 2020
$200. Barossa Valley. Matured 16 months in 49% new French oak hogsheads. 14.5% alcohol. Cork.
From parcels chosen primarily for their aromatic qualities and plush texture, the black fruit depth and power of RWT rise to grand heights, declaring the Barossa in layers of spicy dark berries, Satsuma plum and black cherries. Impressive dark chocolate French oak (49% new) sets out a fine tannin profile and elongates a grand finish that will hold its confidence in the cellar for magnificent decades.
Penfolds Grange 2018
$1000. Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale and Clare Valley. Matured 18 months in 100% new American oak hogsheads. Peter Gago: ‘I did my best not to attempt to influence those gathered on my fondness of this Grange vintage. Time will be the arbiter.’ 14.5% alcohol. Cork.
The inimitable, sheer power and towering grandeur that is Grange attain incredible depth and breadth in this warm and dry season. Untold layers of black fruits, liquorice, high cocoa dark chocolate, coal steam and crushed ants are toned by a mild autumn, brimming in bold, strong, new American oak. There is a sweet fruit core that propagates and surges, defining confidence, direction and assurance. Profound persistence and unrelenting determination characterise a monumental vintage; inimitably Grange and veritably delicious.
Grange has officially hit the uncharted territory of a four digit price tag, a bold move in the current climate, and particularly conspicuous in the first year in many in which Penfolds pricing has otherwise remained largely unchanged. Is Grange worth $1000? The going price for the legendary 2010 vintage at auction is still currently around $700.
Penfolds FWT 585 Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot Petit Verdot 2019
$120. Haut-Medoc. Inaugural release, made at Cambon la Pelouse Winery with Penfolds Senior Winemaker Emma Wood on the ground. 53% cabernet sauvignon, 34% merlot, 13% petit verdot. Matured 14 months in 44% new French and 14% new American oak barriques. 14.0% alcohol. Cork.
FWT is French Winemaking Trial, which begs the question of whether its name will stick for decades after it is no longer a trial (as is still the case for RWT). A Bordeaux blend, this is a classic claret style that captures the crunchy, dark berry fruits and herbal overtones of a warm season on the Haut-Medoc and frames them in firm, fine fruit tannins and high-class oak support. Fine-boned and framed for the long-haul, it captures a vision of classic Penfolds winemaking on the landscape of Bordeaux.
Penfolds II Cabernet Shiraz Merlot 2019
$500. Bordeaux, Barossa Valley. Inaugural release, made in partnership with Dourthe Bordeaux and blended and bottled by Penfolds in South Australia. 59% Bordeaux cabernet sauvignon, 29% Barossa Valley shiraz, 12% Bordeaux merlot. Matured 18 months in 70% new French and 30% new American oak barriques and hogsheads. 14.0% alcohol. Cork.
The great Australian blend goes global! And it works. Very well. The tension, focus and rigid framework of Bordeaux are fleshed out with the body of Barossa shiraz, without in any way diminishing the linear drive and confident tannin web that promise a future of Penfolds proportions. Super high class new French and American oak. Patience.
Penfolds Bin 600 Cabernet Shiraz 2019
$90. Napa Valley, Sonoma and Paso Robles. Including vines planted from Penfolds cuttings in 1998. Matured 17 months in 40% new American oak barrels. 14.5% alcohol. Cork.
The sweet fruit core of slow-ripened California cabernet and shiraz in concert with classy American oak distinguishes this wine from its Aussie and now French siblings of the same blend. Ripe berry fruits, even a touch of raisins, contrast fine, drying tannins and milk chocolate oak. True to its style, albeit something of a generous caricature.
Penfolds Bin 704 Cabernet Sauvignon 2019
$120. Napa Valley. Matured 17 months in 40% new French oak barrels. 14.5% alcohol. Cork.
If there is one wine this year that declares the potential and promise of the Californian venture of Penfolds, this is it. Napa Cabernet from a strong, late harvest is married with 40% new French oak in a beautifully toned and honed guise, the philosophical mirror reverse of Bin 407. Pristine blackcurrant fruit is tightly coiled in a fine shell of superb oak. Brilliantly confident yet perfectly polished tannins carry a finish of drive and determination, promising marvellous things in the decades to come. Singular evidence that the Penfolds fit in the Napa is a confident one. And for all it represents, great value, too!
Penfolds Bin 149 Cabernet Sauvignon 2019
$225. Napa Valley and South Australia. Matured 17 months in 80% new French and 20% new American oak barrels. 14.5% alcohol. Cork.
Napa Valley and South Australia in grand concert. The depth and richness of black fruits and enduring generosity of structure on show here are something to behold. French (80% new) and American (20% new) oak unite with confidence in a grand display of Penfolds polish and sheer longevity. Wondrous things are set to unravel in the decades to come.
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