Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Penfolds 389 Cabernet Shiraz

I reviewed the 2006 Penfolds 389 Cabernet/Shiraz in 2013. Today I will describe how it has evolved since then.

This is an attractive wine at 13 years of age. This full-bodied wine still shows plenty of primary fruit. Blackberry and plum flavours lead to a rounded mouthfeel. Six years ago, the wine was more powerful than elegant. The balance has now shifted. Secondary flavours of earth and meat are a support act. They add complexity, but stay in the background. The firm tannins have further mellowed.

Most Penfolds wines are drunk way too young. This wine is more satisfying now than at seven years of age. This is the Penfolds style. It takes many years for their better wines to develop complexity, to balance and become truly harmonious.

Score: 94/++


Anonymous said...

Hello Thomas,
One of the more impressive wines I've tried was a Penfolds Bin 389 1996 vintage. I was fortunate enough to be in the right place at the right time in 2010.
I haven't been able to replicate that experience with Penfolds since, with the exception of maybe, the occasional St Henri.
I often wondered if Penfolds lost access to the same fruit of the late 1990's Bin 389, as so often happens.


tonym said...

I've never had a bad 389 and I have had quite a lot but tend not to buy it now as the price has become a bit silly in the last few years

Alontin said...

Tonym, the price has certainly increased a lot. It is reflected in the increase of the Treasury Wine Estates share price. Maybe swap wine for shares?

Penfolds have certainly lost access to some great vineyards, for example Kalleske or Hickinbotham. However, they knew this would happen and have made efforts to replace these, e.g. by planting the very large Waltons vineyard in Marananga/Seppeltsfield. I can't say that there has been a systematic decline in this wine, but I do not have access to all vintages.