x
  • Country ranking ?

    17
  • Producer ranking ?

    5
  • Decanting time

    1h30min
  • When to drink

    now to 2030
  • Food Pairing

    Roast Duck Breast with Dried Cherry Sauc

The Story

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”.

 

 

 

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Vintage 1962

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.”

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Average Bottle Price

2015 2013
5 845€ +57.9% 3 701€

This data comes from the FINE Auction Index, a composite of average prices for wines sold at commercial auctions in 20 countries. The average prices from each year have been collected since 1990. This chart plots the index value of the average price of the wines.

Latest Pro-tasting notes

17 tasting notes

Tasting note

color

Deep and Brownish

ending

Medium and Spicy

flavors

Mint and Spice

nose

Mature and Charming

recommend

Yes

taste

High tannin, Complex, Fruity and Sweet

Written Notes

For me, the best wine at Pekka’s extraordinary tasting in Helsinki in August (and may I be allowed a smidge of national pride that an Aussie wine has topped the comp two years in a row)! 

But then, this is a truly famous and fabulous wine. There was a time when every bottle seemed to be heaven-sent but in the last decade, the great ones have been not quite so apparent so often. Age? Corks? Luck? 

Fortunately, they simply don’t come better than the bottle we had this year. Glorious (the only thing better would be a Redskins Superbowl win followed by a Springsteen concert – at least we have Bruce touring in 2017 because fat chance of a Skins win in the foreseeable future). Black cherries, aniseed, mint, chocolate. This was in brilliant condition. Supple texture. Just stunning. The aftertaste lingered for minutes. How can this possibly be so alive? As good as I have ever seen it. I'm not sure wine can get much better.

Penfolds Bin 60A 1962 / 100 points. Thick, opaque, ruby colour with enormous viscosity. Big nose! Powerful, spicy and surprisingly vegetal with nutmeg and Asian spicy aromas. The full-bodied palate surprises again with moderately high acidity. Big chewy tannins are forming solid backbone to intense dark fruitiness. Spices, licorice, nutmeg and cacao with bitter chocolate flavours are all well pronounced in mineral finish. Big and sensitive wine with no flabbiness thanks to delightful minerality.
  • 100p
Tasted at a very generously supported Penfolds evening at Le Gavroche restaurant in London. The mix of French haute cuisine and Aussie “no guts, no glory” wines was atypical but nonetheless enjoyable. The extremely rare Bin 60A is Penfolds’ most successful show wine ever and is considered by some experts to be not just Penfolds’ but Australia’s greatest ever red wine. Expectations were therefore extremely high. This still has a good depth of purple at the core, fading to a brick red rim. The nose was a huge disappointment, slightly woody and dirty, but not due to TCA. On the palate, though, the structure was superb, with real concentration and outstanding length supported by a mellow and harmonious frame. Impressive and restrained, showing all the traits that distinguish truly fine wines from the rest. Pity about the nose, which prevents me from awarding a higher score, but with a wine of this age bottle variation is inevitable, and another bottle tasted from was much cleaner. 92
  • 92p

Information

Origin

Magill, South Australia

Winemaker

Max Schubert

Vintage Quality

Excellent

Value For Money

Very good

Release state price

1.67

Investment potential

Very Good

Fake factory

None

Drinking temperature

16

Other wines from this producer

Bin 128 Shiraz

Bin 150 Marananga Shiraz

Bin 23 Pinot Noir

Bin 2 Shiraz Mourvedre

Bin 389 Cabernet Shiraz

Bin 407 Cabernet Sauvignon

Bin 62

Bin 620

Bin 798 RWT Shiraz

Bin 7 Coonawarra Cabernet Kalimna Shiraz

Bin 8 Cabernet Shiraz

Bin 90 A

Bin 920 Coonawarra Cabernet Shiraz

Bin 9 Cabernet Sauvignon

Block 42 Kalimna Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

Cellar Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz

Cellar Reserve Pinot Noir

Cellar Reserve Sangiovese

Cellar Reserve Tempranillo

Grange Hermitage

Koonunga Hill Cabernet Shiraz

Koonunga Hill Chardonnay

Magill Estate Shiraz

Penfolds Bin 138 GMS

Penfolds Bin 138 Grenache Mourvèdre Shiraz

Penfolds Bin 169

Penfolds Bin 23 Pinot Noir

Penfolds Bin 28 Kalimna Shiraz

Penfolds Bin 311

Penfolds Bin 407

Penfolds Bin 51 Riesling

Penfolds Bin 707 Cabernet Sauvignon

Penfolds Bluestone Grand Tawny

Penfolds Grandfather's Tawny

Penfolds Great Grandfather's Tawny

Penfolds Koonunga Hill Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon

Penfolds Reserve Bin 09A Chardonnay

Penfolds RWT

QoN

Rawson's Retreat

Rawson's Retreat Bin 202 Riesling

Rawson's Retreat Riesling

Rawson's Retreat Shiraz Cabernet

Reserve Bin A Adelaide Hills Chardonnay

RWT Shiraz

St Henri Shiraz

Thomas Hyland Adelaide Hills Chardonnay

Thomas Hyland Sauvignon Blanc

Yattarna Chardonnay

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Wine Moments

Here you can see wine moments from tastingbook users. or to see wine moments from your world.

 Ken Gargett, Wine Writer (Australia)  tasted  Penfolds Bin 60A Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz 1962  ( Penfolds  )

For me, the best wine at Pekka’s extraordinary tasting in Helsinki in August (and may I be allowed a smidge of national pride that an Aussie wine has topped the comp two years in a row)! 

But then, this is a truly famous and fabulous wine. There was a time when every bottle seemed to be heaven-sent but in the last decade, the great ones have been not quite so apparent so often. Age? Corks? Luck? 

Fortunately, they simply don’t come better than the bottle we had this year. Glorious (the only thing better would be a Redskins Superbowl win followed by a Springsteen concert – at least we have Bruce touring in 2017 because fat chance of a Skins win in the foreseeable future). Black cherries, aniseed, mint, chocolate. This was in brilliant condition. Supple texture. Just stunning. The aftertaste lingered for minutes. How can this possibly be so alive? As good as I have ever seen it. I'm not sure wine can get much better.

8m 23d ago

100p
 Tess Murray / Sommelier, Pro (Australia)  tasted  Penfolds Bin 60A Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz 1962  ( Penfolds  )

"Penfolds Bin 60A 1962 / 100 points. Thick, opaque, ruby colour with enormous viscosity. Big nose! Powerful, spicy and surprisingly vegetal with nutmeg and Asian spicy aromas. The full-bodied palate surprises again with moderately high acidity. Big chewy tannins are forming solid backbone to intense dark fruitiness. Spices, licorice, nutmeg and cacao with bitter chocolate flavours are all well pronounced in mineral finish. Big and sensitive wine with no flabbiness thanks to delightful minerality. "

1y 1m ago

92p
 Stuart George, Wine Writer (United Kingdom)  tasted  Penfolds Bin 60A Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz 1962  ( Penfolds  )

"Tasted at a very generously supported Penfolds evening at Le Gavroche restaurant in London. The mix of French haute cuisine and Aussie “no guts, no glory” wines was atypical but nonetheless enjoyable.

The extremely rare Bin 60A is Penfolds’ most successful show wine ever and is considered by some experts to be not just Penfolds’ but Australia’s greatest ever red wine. Expectations were therefore extremely high. This still has a good depth of purple at the core, fading to a brick red rim. The nose was a huge disappointment, slightly woody and dirty, but not due to TCA. On the palate, though, the structure was superb, with real concentration and outstanding length supported by a mellow and harmonious frame. Impressive and restrained, showing all the traits that distinguish truly fine wines from the rest. Pity about the nose, which prevents me from awarding a higher score, but with a wine of this age bottle variation is inevitable, and another bottle tasted from was much cleaner. 92"

1y 4m ago

100p
 Ken Gargett, Wine Writer (Australia)  tasted  Penfolds Bin 60A Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz 1962  ( Penfolds  )

"Around A$5000 at auction. This has a mature but still vivid, almost limpid. Gentle reds. Complexity abounds. Earth, truffles, animal skins, dry herbs, resting roast lamb. Even dark fruits emerging. Fragrant smoked meats.
Still appears to be in the first flush of youth. How can that be? A modern miracle. Extraordinarily complex. Perfectly balanced and still so fresh. Has great depth of flavour. The structure is in place and with no sign of fading. The finish is so gentle and subtle that it is almost not there, yet it lingers and lingers. Gossamer tannins.
The great Aussie blend – Cabernet and Shiraz – in spectacular form.
“Gentlemen, you will all stand in the presence of this wine”, announced Andre Tchelistcheff, the famous Californian winemaker, to a room full of his Napa Valley compatriots when Len Evans produced a bottle at a dinner there. Every time I have tried this wine, I wonder if I’ll ever have the privilege again. If I don't, then it certainly went out in a blaze of glory. Peter Gago suggests that time and closures mean that it is likely that only one in three bottles is still in the condition one would wish – a decade ago, it seemed every bottle was brilliant. This one answered every wish imaginable. Other bottles opened on the evening varied, some falling short. Only 425 cases made. A blend of 56% Coonawarra Cabernet from Block 20 and 44% Barossa Shiraz from Kalimna Blocks 4 and 14 and Koonunga Hill Block 53G. Believed to have been foot crushed. Fermented in wax-lined concrete fermenters at Magill and stainless steel static fermenters at Nuriootpa. Completed in new oak, then 12-15 months in American hogsheads. In its day on the show circuit, it won 19 trophies and 33 gold medals. Only one other 'Bin 60A' has ever been made – the 2004. it was the first Australian wine ever sold under the en primeur system.
Has been described as the greatest Australian wine ever made. With good reason. While individual bottles will inevitably vary, this example was truly great. If a good Bin 60A doesn't thrill you then it is impossible to imagine what might. May I suggest that if you don't give a wine like this 100 points (and change!), then you'll never give any wine a perfect score."

4y 6m ago

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