x
  • Country ranking ?

    32
  • Producer ranking ?

    19
  • Decanting time

    4h
  • When to drink

    2020-2035
  • Food Pairing

    Lamb

The Tb points given to this wine are the world’s most valid and most up-to-date evaluation of the quality of the wine. Tastingbook points are formed by the Tastingbook algorithm which takes into account the wine ratings of the world's 50 best-known professional wine critics, wine ratings by thousands of tastingbook’s professionals and users, the generally recognised vintage quality and reputation of the vineyard and winery. Wine needs at least five professional ratings to get the Tb score. Tastingbook.com is the world's largest wine information service which is an unbiased, non-commercial and free for everyone.

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The Story

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. 

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Vintage 2018

 At a glance summary

The Australian winegrape crush was 1.79 million tonnes – a decrease of 10 per cent from the record 2017 harvest. 

The crush was just above the long-term average of 1.76 million tonnes

The average purchase price across all varieties increased 8 per cent to $609 per tonne – the highest since 2008.

Average winegrape purchase prices paid increased across the board:The average for red varieties increased by 11 per cent to $768 per tonne and,

The average for white varieties grew by 5 per cent to $444 per tonne.

The total estimated value of the crush decreased by 3 per cent to $1.11 billion due to lower tonnages partially offset by higher average prices.

Red varieties overall decreased by 15 per cent in tonnage while white varieties decreased by 4 per cent, leading to a reduction in the red share from 55 per cent to 52 per cent of the crush, in line with the three-year average.

Shiraz tonnes crushed decreased by 17 per cent, Cabernet Sauvignon by 14 per cent and Merlot by 19 per cent.

Chardonnay was the only major variety to go against the trend, increasing by 9 per cent and restoring its share of the white crush to 47 per cent.

The crush in cool/temperate regions decreased by 20 per cent overall, while warm regions decreased by5 per cent and increased their share of the overall crush to 72 per cent.

The proportion of winery-grown fruit decreased from 33 per cent of the crush in 2017 to 31 per cent in 2018.

 

 

2018 Barossa vintage one to savour


Barossa 2018 vintage wrapped up at the end of April 2018, with grape growers and winemakers happy with a high-quality vintage and good yields.

“Flavours and colours in reds are wonderful, and natural acids in the Eden Valley whites surprisingly high, with early standout varieties this year including Riesling, Chardonnay, Shiraz, Grenache and Cabernet”, said Yalumba head of winemaking Louisa Rose.

The growing season started off well, with Winter 2017 rainfall around 10% higher than average. However, Spring rainfall was only 78% of average in Barossa Valley (BV) and 98% in Eden Valley (EV), and December rainfall was only 57% of average in BV (88% in EV).

Drier soils, combined with warmer than average October and November days (October 2ºC above average in BV (1.8 ºC in EV) and November 1.1ºC above average in BV (1.6 ºC in EV), meant the vine canopies grew quickly; flowering well and setting a good number of bunches.

January and February were warm and dry, with very warm temperatures in February slowing down the pace of ripening. January was slightly above average (1.4ºC during the day but closer to average at night) and February was about average during the day, but with significantly warmer than average night time temperatures in Barossa Valley (5.8ºC warmer).

With summer rainfall 50% of average, growers with access to water, soil moisture monitoring, good irrigation management and healthy soils experienced less stress – and subsequently delivered sound fruit and consistent yields.

The Indian summer of March and early April was ‘the icing on the cake’, with average temperatures, without extremes, perfect for finishing off vintage. The 28-30mm of rain on 14/15 April did not cause any major problems for picking – and was a welcome post-harvest watering for most Barossa growers.

Overall, in 2018, Barossa Valley crushed 56,970 tonnes*, down 22% from the 2017 vintage but 9% above the five-year average. In 2018, Eden Valley crushed 11,593 tonnes*, down 3% from 2017.

The total Barossa crush of 68,563 tonnes* contributed 9% of the total volume and 25% of the total value of the South Australian crush.

Average prices for Barossa Valley varieties remained steady in 2018, with Shiraz at $2252 per tonne 1% down on last year. In Eden Valley, the average price for Shiraz increased 11% to $2636 per tonne and Cabernet Sauvignon increased 15% to $2354.

*Wine Australia estimates the SA Winegrape crush response rate is 85%, so the actual total Barossa crush is estimated at 75,000 to 80,000 tonnes.

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Latest Pro-tasting notes

<10 tasting notes

Tasting note

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Written Notes

Given how well Penfold’s do their blends, it is a little surprising there are not more in the Collection. A perennial favourite, 389 celebrates its 60th anniversary with this release. Time in American oak hogsheads, 38% new. 57% Shiraz, 43% Cabernet. An assortment of regions – McLaren Vale, Barossa Valley, Coonawarra, Padthaway, Robe and Wrattonbully.

Allow me to start these notes by confessing that Penfold's do supply us with an all-info booklet. I'm always careful to do all my tasting and notes before looking at it, so as to avoid preconceptions and the power of suggestion. It is unfailingly interesting to then compare notes to ascertain whether or not one is thinking along the same lines. In this case, Penfold's have included a tasting note they “heard” for this 389, though no attribution is offered.

"Petrichor aromas graduating to silkworm-eaten mulberry leaf". I can further confess that if I had tasted a thousand bottles of this wine, I would never have come up with that (I had to look up ‘petrichor’). Mulberries perhaps, but a silkworm-eaten leaf? Are they different from untouched leaves? What about some other Attenboroughesque moment when something else chows down on the leaf? Would that be different?

For me, as mundane as it may now sound, wonderfully aromatic with chocolate, blackfruits, new leather, spices, mud cake. Warm earth and black cherries. A wine of balance, complexity and serious length. An absolute star. Good intensity, a flick of underlying acidity. There is a sweet and sour aspect to the wine. The more time in the glass, the more emerged and the longer the wine seemed. A wine with a great future ahead. 96.

  • 96p

Deep crimson. Intense pure blackcurrant, blackberry aromas with dark chocolate notes. Generously proportioned wine with dense inky cassis, blackberry mulberry fruits, plentiful chocolaty tannins, mocha espresso oak complexity, attractive mid-palate viscosity and superb mineral length. Finishes grainy firm. A classic powerful Bin 389 year with superb fruit complexity, density and attack. Should last the distance. Seal; screwcap 2025-2045 14.5% alc 98 points
 
An Australian wine tradition that rarely disappoints. The 2018 highlights exceptional sourcing and the beautiful partnership between cabernet sauvignon and shiraz where the wine represents far more than the sum of its parts. A landmark wine of the 2020 collection offering collectors and drinkers the quintessential Penfolds experience.
 
McLaren Vale, Barossa Valley, Padthaway, Coonawarra, Robe, Wrattonbully
 
Around 18 months in 38% new and 62% seasoned American oak hogsheads

  • 98p
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Information

Origin

Magill, South Australia

Other wines from this producer

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