Penfolds, for a number of reasons, is primarily associated with the Barossa Valley. Yet is has significant holdings in Coonawarra. Its over 100ha are all located on the famous terra rossa limestone soil and are mostly Cabernet Sauvignon. The fruit from these vineyards does not fit the regular portfolio too well, as it has cool climate characteristics, not so much the ripeness and generosity expected in Penfolds wines. Therefore, the source for the Bin 707 is mainly the Barossa Valley.
But then it was decided to produce a separate Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon with different characteristics. And what a wine this 2008 Penfolds Bin 169 Cabernet Sauvignon is!
The colour of the wine is deep purple, and the aroma is of strong blackcurrant. This leads on to the palate with concentrated blackcurrant fruit. Yet the wine is fresh, with abundant vibrancy. This wine, after eight years, is still characterized by very pure, strong primary fruit, accompanied by some mocca on the back palate. This is a great expression of cool climate Cabernet Sauvignon, near perfect. There is a bit of a gap on the mid palate, but it is quickly overcome by firm tannins and strong flavours on the finish.
A revelation! Where does this leave other Coonawarra producers?