Thursday, August 6, 2020

The Penfolds Collection 2020

This is a big week in Australian wine. Last night, the winners in James Halliday's Wine Companion 2021 were announced, but also Penfolds winemakers launched the new releases in an online tasting event. This post is a bit unusual, as I will briefly comment on this event without having tasted the wines. I will do this, because tastings are rarer these days, not many would have seen last night's virtual tasting, and yes - a Penfolds release is important.

The release covers five vintages, from a 2020 Riesling to 2016 Grange. I have to say this virtual tasting was incredibly professional. What needed to be said was said, and no extra waffle. I want to focus here on the 2018 vintage, which in previous posts I mentioned is pretty special.

At the value end are Bin 28 and Bin 128. Both wines appear to be pretty good. They are quite different from each other. Bin 28 Shiraz is a multi-region blend, with the Barossa claiming the lion share. As a result, and courtesy to the 2018 vintage, this is a full-bodied wine with red and black fruit characteristics. If you like your wine big and sweet, this one is for you. The Bin 128 Shiraz, in contrast, is from Coonawarra. It is medium-bodied and more savoury.

Then there is Bin 389, the classic Cabernet (57%)/Shiraz blend. The Cabernet fruit seems to be of particular high quality, expressing rich, dark and plush flavours. Power and elegance is how this wine is described. Like with Grange, fermentation finishes in barrel, which delivers a special sweetness to the wine and the Penfolds house style. Unfortunately, I missed the discussion of the RWT, as I had another commitment.   

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