Penfolds Bin 149 Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
Bright, deep red color. Iced tea (the sweetness), caperberries (the savoury) and French polish (the Penfolds) on the nose. Opulence is facilitated via heady barrel ferment characters and brazen Penfolds markers ... mocha and kirsch. Aromas are focused, tapering to a precise point and include mentions of grated ginger, cola, green olive, caraway seeds and a richness that is reminiscent of Bordelaise sauce. Classic Penfolds palate in character, yet altogether different in structure. Fine, close-knit tannins awaken the palate and a menthol lift surprises. Varietally-correct flavors are framed by typical oak offerings: cedar, sandalwood and roasted meats. Alcohol is firmly anchored within the matrix, unobtrusive and in proportion. Acidity is bright, offers plentiful energy and is undoubtedly responsible for the succulence and sustained finish.
VINEYARD / REGION / AVA
85.1% Rutherford, Calistoga +
Oakville AVAs, Napa Valley, CA
14.9% South Australia, Australia
Alc/Vol: 14.7%, Acidity: 7.32 g/L, pH: 3.66
16 months in new French oak barriques (80%)
and new American oak hogsheads (20%)
Lots of blackberry, currant, light chocolate and hazelnut. This is rather dense and plush, but shows impressive layers of tannins that have a rough-velvet texture. Juicy and intense fruit. The grapes come from the AVAs of Rutherford, Calistoga, Oakville and then spread across Napa. 14.9% comes from South Australia. A global wine. In the end, it’s nicely toned and curated. Needs three or four years to come together.
The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Bin 149 is a blend of fruit from Rutherford, Calistoga and Oakville plus 15% South Australia Cabernet. Inky, deep and unctuous, the 2018 is a total knock-out. Although quite opulent and rich in feel, the 2018 also has tons of backing structure to balance things out. All the elements come together effortlessly. It was aged in 100% new oak, 80% French and 20% American.
A 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, combining 85.1% fruit from the Napa Valley (predominantly from Oakville, Rutherford and Calistoga AVAs) and the remainder from several of Penfolds’ South Australian vineyards, moving it beyond the expected Napa Cab expression to instead exert its own unique personality. The Australian component introduces rich, lifted aromas of blueberry and blackberry, and a more opulent fruit presence. It adds freshness and vibrancy to the dense Napa body, resulting in a vivacious, cheery red still bound by firm tannins.
This wine is a blend of grapes from Napa Valley (85.1%) and South Australia (14.9%). A tannic structure gives way to a welcome juiciness of tangy cranberry and currant flavors. French and American oak aging impart a moderate level of toast and vanilla tones, with accents of cedar, dried herbs and black pepper chiming in. The bright acidity lasts through a long, supple finish.
Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Bin 149 slips gracefully out of the glass with notions of wild blueberries, blackcurrant cordial and mulberries with an undercurrent of Indian spices, sandalwood, cigar box and dusty soil plus a touch of garrigue. Full-bodied, rich and decadently played in the mouth, it has firm, rounded tannins and bold freshness supporting the voluptuous layers, finishing long and spicy. The adaption of some of the Grange "formula" (for want of a better term) of winemaking seems to lend more of an Australian style to this wine, although there is no mistaking the Napa Cabernet fruit profile in all but the texture of the tannins, which are more typical of Australia. It's a true chimera!