Sunday, March 15, 2020

Penfolds Gems

At a recent lunch, I sampled three Penfolds wines, none of which disappointed. The first was the 2013 Penfolds Bin 150 Marananga Shiraz. This is perhaps an underestimated brand, as it is newer than other Penfolds wines. However, the wine comes from perhaps the cradle of the Barossa Valley. The colour of this wine is purple with a slight, very slight orange tinge. The fruit is blackberry, even more blueberry. This is a full-bodied wine with good concentration, but more elegant than ripe flavours. French and American oak is significant, but well integrated. The tannins are dry, but surprisingly mellow, and the finish is smooth and long. This is a great example of a full-bodied Barossa Shiraz, full-bodied, with great flavour and some harmonic texture to boot.

Score: 96/+++

The 2009 Penfolds Grange is more of a beast. The colour is still black, the aroma smells of fruitcake. This is a pretty dense wine with very complex flavours; blackberry, black currant, mulberry, black olive, black pepper, sage. This is a full-bodied wine with big fruit weight and mouthfeel. The different elements of this underrated wine are pretty well integrated and balanced. This wine is not at its peak yet. The firm tannins still have a strong grip. The finish is very long. This is a ripe wine, but not outside the envelop of drinkability.

Score: 97/+++

Interesting to compare this with a  'baby' Grange, the 2008 Bin 389 Cabernet Shiraz. There are black and red currant flavours on the palate, but the fruit tastes dried. There is sweet vanilla oak on the palate of this full-bodied wine. Baby Grange is probably a correct naming; the wine is a little fat, not as layered. The tannins remain firm, and the finish is smooth

Score: 95/++

I could imagine still being satisfied drinking these wines in 5-10 years.

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