Most consumers have heard of Penfold’s, and unfortunately have mostly tasted their somewhat generic, everyday Cabernet and Shiraz blends. But their Bin Series bottlings, made from a more exclusive, higher tier of fruit, are simply breathtaking (and worth the extra $8 or so). Established in 1962, Penfold’s Bin 128 Coonawarra Shiraz series is made from grapes grown on Penfold’s-owned land and produces a consistently tasty wine vintage after vintage. Watch the winemakers’ video on the 2009 release.
This wine is loaded with complexity and layers of flavors: Ripe plum, black cherry, licorice, black pepper, espresso, concentrated tar, black currants, dusty soft couch leather and wet herbs. Basically, something for everybody but in a koom bahyah sort of way. (Expressive fruit? Check. Manly tannins? Check. Food-friendly acidity? Check.) Impressive in its balance of acidity, alcohol and tannins, with none of these components overwhelming the senses. Simply a beautiful red wine worth seeking out.
Sweetness: 1 out of 10
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
Price: $18 – $26
Where tasted: Blind tasted at a wine party
Availability: Independent wine shops and online
Food pairing: Grilled red meats, pot roast, roasted lamb, chili con carne