Friday, March 5, 2010

Penfolds New Bin Releases

One of the advantages of being a truly independent reviewer is that I have no trouble being negative when required. This does not happen often, because I review mainly wines from my cellar most of which I have tried before I bought them. But I also review some tastings. So here goes...

If you like to drink trees, go for the new bin releases from Penfolds! These are mainly 2007 wines from a challenging vintage. While most wineries have toned down their oak treatment in recent years, Penfolds have stuck to it if not increased it. My feeling, though, is that the poor 2007 fruit set made the oak stand out more.

I had the opportunity to taste these wines at least after they had been double decanted and opened for a few hours. The poor souls who tried them at some retailers who just pulled the cork! Anyway, the 2008 Bin 128 Coonawarra Shiraz, the 2007 Bin 407 Cabernet and the 2007 Bin 389 Cabernet Shiraz are all disappointing. The argument is that they are made for cellaring and they will come around. I don't think the fruit is good enough, and the oak will continue to dull the wines. I thought the Bin 389 was particularly disappointing. The 2007 Bin 28 Kalimna Shiraz also had a lot of oak, but there is some solid Barossa plum fruit underneath.

I will stay away from these wines and would not have scored them anywhere near 90 points.

1 comment:

Chris Plummer said...

Some good calls here Alontin. On occasions the Penfolds ethos does look dated doesn't it?

I like your comment re the tasting; I had the poor luck of attending a Penfolds tasting once where a just released bottle of Bin 707 was freshly cracked and poured for the consumer, with about a second's worth of aeration! Hard to imagine that's the ideal way to sell a $200 bottle of wine!

Chris P