I thought I might interrupt the posts on NZ Pinot Noir for a moment. Not everybody is into it.
Tonight, I opened a bottle of the 1998 Penfolds Bin 707 Cabernet Sauvignon. It is not often that a wine sets a new benchmark on a particular dimension, but this one did. I do not think I have experienced such a strong bouquet jumping out of the bottle as from this one ever. Black fruit and vanilla was the quite overwhelming scent.
The depth of the fruit on the palate was typical premium Penfolds: incredibly intense, dense, and lasting. Blackcurrants and meat were the dominant flavours. Is this a typical Cabernet? No, it is a typical Penfolds wine, Penfolds DNA written all over it. The American oak is very strong on this wine, while the tannins have pleasingly softened.
This wine is quite unique and amazing, and will easily hold, and possibly improve for another ten years. This Arnold Schwarzenegger style is not what I favour, but it is a great wine.