FOR true believers, March 1 is a day that is looked forward to each year with an anticipation that goes well beyond the norm.
Because it's the day that Penfolds release their Bin range of wines, a collection of just a half-dozen or so labels that for a half century now have rewarded enthusiasts with a extra little something both in multi-regional blends, and in highly-stylised wines from individual regions.
And importantly, priced to be enjoyed at a luncheon or dinner that doesn't have to be a particularly noteworthy occasion to seek reason to pull one of these out of the cellar: the 2008 Bin 138 Barossa Valley Shiraz Mourvedre Grenache, for instance, is just $29.99.
Even the grand-daddy of this year's releases, the 2007 Bin 389 Cabernet Shiraz (often referred to as "Poor Man's Grange" because it was first made in 1960 by Max Schubert who created Grange, and components are matured today in the same barrels as the previous vintage of Grange,) is well-priced for its quality at $64.99.
(This 2007 Bin 389 was sourced entirely from South Australia's Coonawarra, McLaren Vale, Langhorne Creek, Padthaway and the Barossa. Nicely balanced full-fruit and oak flavours make it enjoyable drinking now, but you'd do well cellaring a few to truly enjoy in another five or so years.)
This year's Penfolds Bin releases also include two new wines, a 2009 Bin 23 Adelaide Hills Pinot Noir, and a 2005 Reserve Bin Aged Release Eden Valley Riesling – each priced at $39.99.
Others in the 2010 release are the 2007 Bin 28 Kalimna Shiraz ($33.99,) the 2008 Bin 128 Coonawarra Shiraz ($33.99,) 2009 Bin 311 Tumbarumba Chardonnay ($39.99) and the 2007 Bin 407 Cabernet Sauvignon ($54.99.)
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 NICELY priced: Penfolds' Bin Releases for 2010 include this Bin 28 Kalimna Shiraz at just $33.99.
 GRAND-daddy of this year's releases, the classic 2007 Bin 389.