Monday 14 March 2011


A NEW addition to Penfolds' ever-popular Bins range.


David Ellis

PENFOLDS' always-anticipated annual Bin releases are particularly interesting this year, not just because of the strength of these from the contrary 2008 vintage in South Australia, but because of a new addition to the Bins and the 50th release of that old favourite, Bin 28 Kalimna Shiraz.

There are a total nine wines in this year's collection, embracing Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Riesling, and a blend of Grenache, Shiraz and Mourvedre from the 2008 to 2011 vintages. But it's the 2008 wines that deserve attention.

These four, the 2008 Bin 389 Cabernet Shiraz, the new Bin 150 Maranangra Shiraz, Bin 407 Cabernet Sauvignon and Bin 28 Kalimna Shiraz, are the product of a vintage in South Australia that began exceptionally, and was then hammered by 15-days of extreme heatwave.

DON'T look beyond this cracker
Jim Barry Riesling with a crabmeat salad.
Much of the fruit came off older and generally earlier-ripening vines that have an uncanny ability to self-regulate themselves to the conditions, and was picked before the heatwave, and the remainder after. Chief Winemaker, Peter Gago says the result is wines that could well be the strongest of the Bins from the first decade of this century. It's an exciting prophesy.

ONE FOR LUNCH: Way back in the 1950s, the late Jim Barry and Douglas Lamb both championed the cause of food-friendly varietal table wines at a time when the market was dominated by fortified Sherries and Ports. So it was interesting that the Jim Barry Wines' 2010 Lodge Hill Riesling should take out the Douglas Lamb Perpetual Trophy for Best Dry-style Riesling 2010 and Older at this year's Royal Sydney Wine Show.

This wine from one of the Clare Valley's highest and coolest vineyards is all about intensity of flavour: mandarin, white peach and strawberry in particular. At just $19.95 you won't beat it with a crabmeat salad, white fish or pork.


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