x
  • Country ranking ?

    138
  • Producer ranking ?

    93
  • Decanting time

    2h
  • 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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Vintage 2018

 Very promising quality with the most bullish commentators declaring 2018 great in every region and for every variety. The more circumspect view is that early frosts reduced yields, but good, consistent weather throughout the second half of the growing season did indeed result in great potential.

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

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Written Notes

100% Coonawarra, which has seen 18 months in French oak hogsheads, half of which were new.

Having indulged in a bit of Cabernet bashing with the 407, it is great to be able to change tack. This is a cracking Cabernet. For me, everything good Cabernet can and should be. Tight, coiled, still very youthful but brimming with promise. A mix of red and black fruits, cassis, mulberry, touches of dark chocolate, high quality chocolate, raspberries. Coffee beans and tobacco leaves. An impressively structured wine, classic, with balance and concentration. Some lovely chocolate sweetness emerged towards the finish. A wine with a big future. 94.

24 hours later, it had emerged from the chrysalis (forgive me, but the mention of silkworms has sent me down paths of thought unintended) and was showing more richness, concentration and deeper flavours. A roast meat, beef stock note was developing, together with strawberries and cherries. 95.

  • 95p

For some reason there are no notes about this wine in the lavish booklet that accompanies the launch of the Penfolds Collection 2020 but this is what Peter Gago has to say about it in a press release: 'The Cabernet stable broadens this year with the sixth release of Bin 169 Coonawarra Cabernet, a contemporary 2018 expression of Cabernet which is released only in exceptional years. This 100% Cabernet dutifully puts its hand up to help champion the region. Vying for Bin 707 quality fruit, its Coonawarra badge and French oak lodgings hold sway. Built differently, dressed differently ... Aged for 18 months in French oak, which apparently illustrates the company's 'ongoing search for diversity and style separation'.
Veering Napawards in style on the nose ... though it's drier on the finish than any luxury California Cabernet is likely to be. Hint of blackberry fruit and still quite youthful plus a tiny bit of mintiness. For once I'm aware of the alcohol – unusual for wines in this Penfolds Collection 2020. Tannins quite insistent on the end. Just a tiny bit skinny. Nose and palate not quite integrated at present.

  • 89p

Deep crimson. Fresh blackcurrant roasted chestnut vanilla marzipan aromas with hints of sage/ aniseed. Lovely pure blackcurrant, blackberry, dark cherry fruits, fine grainy tannins. Lovely mid-palate density and plentiful mocha roasted chestnut oak. Finishes gravelly firm, sweet and long with a tannin plume. Beautiful wine with lovely concentration, volume, oak balance and mineral length. Keep for a while. Seal; Cork, Drink 2025 – 2045 14.5% alc 96 points
 
A classic Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon showing marvellous purity of fruit and regional expression. A wine that promises so much more with further cellaring.
 
18 months in 50% new and 50% seasoned French oak hogsheads

  • 96p
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Information

Origin

Magill, South Australia

Other wines from this producer

50-Year-Old Rare Tawny Series 3

802-A Superblend

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Bin 128 Shiraz

Bin 149 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley & South Australia

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g4

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Penfolds Bin 707

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Rawson's Retreat

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