Penfolds 2014 Bin Series Release

17-Apr-2014
Under the Treasury Wine Estates umbrella, Penfolds has not only maintained its identity and position as Australia’s premier premium red wine producer, but has flourished. This is evident in the exciting and ever-increasing portfolio, and the enthusiasm and growth of the personnel. One just needs to read the florid and evocative tasting notes written by chief winemaker Peter Gago on the 2014 Penfolds Bin releases. The 2014 release marks the company’s 170th anniversary, having been established in 1844. This is a wonderful milestone that is to be applauded. The Bin wines also share a great lineage, first created in 1951 by Max Schubert, to showcase classic styles of wines, while still displaying a family or house style. It’s a philosophy that has stood Penfolds in good stead, allowing the consolidation of the company’s different wines and overall brand for decades where consistency was arguably one of the wine industry’s greatest issues. Penfolds continue this approach of consistency today, and can be seen as masters of the art, and achieve this through sophisticated multi-regional blending. That’s why ‘Bin 128’, with 50 years of production is a classic, and why ‘Bin 138’ with 20 years behind it can be called one now.

The contemporary wine world has now championed expression of site and terroir, and this is at odds with the concept of blending, where a sense of place is mixed into the pot to even everything out. The question that can be asked is: Are consumers today more interested in how a site or region differs every vintage in a wine, rather than having a dependable wine that shows the same character and quality year-in, year-out? The ultimate way to put this to the test is to compare Australia’s greatest two red wines. Henschke ‘Hill of Grace’ with Penfolds ‘Grange’. The best wine will be whatever you prefer at the time. The reality is that there is a place for both paths, and an open-minded drinker can indeed accept and enjoy both.

Penfolds have not stood still with their Bin wines, and have always strived to at least keep up with consumer trends if not work ahead. The modern wines are more refined and elegant, with accessibility, showcasing their ripe fruit and style without being rustic or overly robust, structured or oaky. They certainly express what they’ve been designed to do, and retain the Penfolds house style. Looking critically at them, they do express vintage variation, but not as marked as in wines that don’t have the benefit of being blended for a more complete profile.
Over recent years, the Bin range has been extended. The releases nowadays encompass more than one vintage. If there is a more challenging vintage represented, then there is the benefit of having wines from a better year. This is the case with this 2014 Bin release which has wines from the excellent 2012 vintage along with those from the challenging 2011 harvest. In the 2014 collection sees the recall of ‘Bin 2’ in the form of a Shiraz/Mourvedre blend, and the introduction of a ‘Bin 9’ Cabernet Sauvignon. I’m sure these will become classics in due time.

Here, I review the new 2014 Penfolds Bin wines, noting the line-up does not include the ‘Bin 8’ Cabernet/Shiraz, not yet available in New Zealand. It is a good release, the 2012s generally showing sweet fruit. It is the remarkable standard of the 2011s which make their mark. While they may not have the ‘even year’ brilliance, they still show their intended style very well. www.penfolds.com

FEATURED WINES IN THIS REVIEW

  • Penfolds ‘Bin 2’ South Australia Shiraz/Mourvedre 2012
  • Penfolds ‘Bin 9’ South Australia Cabernet Sauvignon 2012
  • Penfolds ‘Bin 138’ Barossa Valley Shiraz/Grenache/Mataro 2012
  • Penfolds ‘Bin 128’ Coonawarra Shiraz 2012
  • Penfolds ‘Bin 28’ ‘Kalimna’ South Australia Shiraz 2011
  • Penfolds ‘Bin 150’ Marananga Barossa Valley Shiraz 2011
  • Penfolds ‘Bin 407’ South Australian Cabernet Sauvignon 2011
  • Penfolds ‘Bin 389’ South Australia Cabernet/Shiraz 2011

SUBSCRIBE
Latest wine reviews, news, events and more. 🍷
We respect your privacy.