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Bin 389 is often referred to as ‘Poor Man’s Grange’ or ‘Baby Grange’, in part because components of the wine are matured in the same barrels that held the previous vintage of Grange. First made in 1960, by the legendary Max Schubert, this was the wine that helped to build Penfolds solid reputation with red wine drinkers.
Combining the structure of Cabernet with the richness of Shiraz, Bin 389 also exemplifies Penfolds skill in judiciously balancing fruit and oak.
Bin 389 is one of Australia’s great cellaring red wines. First produced in 1960, its history is connected with the development of Grange and Max Schubert’s ambition of creating a ‘dynasty of wines which all bear an unmistakable resemblance to each other’.
Named after its original binning compartment at Magill cellars, Bin 389 is the most popular wine in the Australian secondary wine market because of its heritage, consistency and reputation.
Australia / An uneven year with a wet winter prior to vintage, a cool January, followed by a hot, dry February and rain in March. The cool summer produced good white wines and medium weight red wines (although there were some outstanding exceptions).
In 1975 there were 7,958 hectares of vineyards in Barossa and 39,661 tonnes of wine grapes were crushed in that vintage.
Viticultural advisors promoted returning pruning cuttings to the soil for mulch and top grafting was also pushed as a cost effective method of changing varieties.
Winemakers started using high levels of the preservative SO2 (as high as 1000ppm) for juice storage.
Saltram (Dalgety) opened its central bottling hall connected to the winery by a pipeline which ran across the Angaston-Nuriootpa road. Winemaker Peter Lehmann made his first wines in new American Oak and remembers this as an outstanding year for Saltram Cabernet Sauvignon.
The Barons of the Barossa was formed as a wine fraternity with founding members Cyril Henschke, Sir Condor Laucke, Bill Seppelt, George Kolarivich, Wyndham Hill-Smith, Colin Gramp and Peter Lehmann.
The red wine boom was about to end as drinkers, urged by the Australian Wine Bureau, turned to white wine. Finally, table wine took over from fortifieds as the wine of choice for Australians.
Control from grape to bottle was lost at Leo Buring as the bottling line was relocated to Lindemans Cellars in Lidcombe, NSW. The company’s soft pack “bag in the box” packaging line was moved from Lidcombe to Chateau Leonay. In 1979 it was relocated again to Karadoc Winery, Redcliffs, Victoria.