1962 2/3rd Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon – Sharam’s Block & Block 20, - 1/3rd Shiraz – Kalimna Vineyards – original Shiraz blocks.
Fermentation / Stainless steel tanks with wooden header boards to submerge cap. Temperature maintained at less than 22o C. Daily rack and returns. Vinification took place at Magill and Nuriootpa.
Maturation / Fermentation completed in new oak. Blending of components took place at Magill. Approximately 15 months maturation in American oak hogsheads (300 litres)
Comments / The legendary 1962 Bin 60A is the most famous wine ever produced by Penfolds. Similar vintage conditions inspired Penfolds to make 2004 Bin 60A, an homage wine.
1962 Penfolds Bin 60A Kalimna Shiraz, Coonawarra Cabernet is a legendary Australian wine. In a world where egos readily clashed, it unified wine critics and show judges. 1962 Bin 60A is Penfolds most successful show wine winning 19 trophies and 33 gold medal. It was a profound oenological, physical and philosophical achievement for its time. Still fresh and alive, it is a lasting model of Max Schubert’s groundbreaking winemaking practices and ideas of multi-regional, and cross varietal blending.
James Halliday, Australia’s leading wine author, gave 1962 Bin 60A the ultimate tasting note; “an utterly superb wine, a glorious freak of nature and Man; ethereal and beguiling, yet the palate is virtually endless, with a peacock’s tail stolen from the greatest of Burgundies; the fruit sweetness perfectly offset by acidity rather than VA. The 100 point dry red? Why not!”
The grapes were foot-crushed. Max Schubert fermented the wine in the classical Penfolds winemaking style using header boards and rack & returns. Towards completion of fermentation the wine was basket pressed and barrel fermented.
The fame of Bin 60A reached all corners of the globe. Max Schubert’s direct contemporary Andre Tchelistcheff (1901-1994), the founding father of the modern Californian Wine industry, once demanded of a room of startled Napa Valley vignerons; “Gentlemen you will all stand in the presence of this wine! Len Evans (1930 – 2006), who apparently brought that bottle to California. once described the wine as “one of the great reds I cut my palate on, and proved forever that the two varieties can blend beautifully together.”
1962 Bin 60A is the only Australian wine to reach Decanter Magazine’s Top 10 ranking “wines to try before you die.” Harvey Steiman, Wine Spectator’s veteran Editor-at-Large said it is “one of the greatest wines I have tasted anywhere”.
Bin 60A Story / “Joy Lake and I used to taste the first vintages of Grange with Max Schubert and Geoffrey Penfold Hyland in the lab at Penfold’s central office ay Magill. I can’t clearly recall how the connection began, but it had something to do with the fact that I had started writing about wine, and they liked the independence of an articulate surgeon giving opinions on controversial wines they were making. There is no truth on the fable that I got a lot of those early treasures, tops at half a dozen bottles.
Anyhow the friendship flourished, what with rare fine wines and private medical advice to Max. Which is how one morning soon after my own vineyard was producing some pretty handy wines in the Lower Hunter Valley I sat at Max’s desk in Adelaide confronted by a row of new Penfold cleanskins, produced for an opinion free of any company influence. This was quite a privilege as I regarded the company as the best consistent maker of red wines in Australia. I still do.
One of the wines on the table was a standout. I asked what was the chance of getting some. He looked hesitantly at the assistant. I knew instantly the problem was with show quantities. The Australian wine show system specifies a minimum quantity of an entry to be available for sale in each class. Otherwise some genius would make a spoonful of an ambrosial drop never to be seen by anyone else.
Penfolds had had an inspection in the recent past and were rather particular about meeting these minimal requirements. When it looked as though I was going to miss out, I offered to refrain from opening a single bottle until they gave me permission, however long that might be. And thus their total count would remain intact, to be called on if necessary. As they hadn’t definitely decided to make this a show entry, and my guarantee covered all the bases, Max agreed to let me have some of the wine.
Somehow we managed to pack fourteen cases of 1962 Bin 60A Kalimna Cabernet/Coonawarra Shiraz into our car. There was just enough room for me to drive, but otherwise it was stacked to the gunnels. And that is how I drove slowly and cautiously by the shortest main road to Sydney, the vehicle flat on its springs, the wheels fortunately mostly clear.The wine remained coolly maturing in my excellent cellar at home until that wonderful day when Max notified me it was out of embargo and OK to drink.
Over the next few years Joy and I got through about five cases of this magical potion, usually feeling compelled to share the experience with others of whom Leonard Paul Evans was one. The wine just got better and quickly entered my pantheon, shared with the Maurice O’Shea/Roger Warren Kings Paddock B76 1945, Colin Preece’s J34 Cabernet blend [’53 or ‘57], 1945 Ch. Latour, and Penfold’s own 1930 Dalwood Cabernet/Petit Verdot. The 60A led the field.
In the early weeks of this first phase of ‘60A-dom’ I realised I had never paid for it, and after a few letters and phone calls from me, Max confessed they had no idea what to charge for it, and would a book entry [by their accountant] of $1.67 per bottle be satisfactory? There was never a speedier delivery of a cheque. Fortune’s child, that’s me. And thank you Max. Wherever you are.”
Recommended glass shape
Average Bottle Price
|5 845€ +57.9%||3 701€|