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A new addition to the Penfolds lineup, the 2016 Bin 111A Shiraz is a blend of Clare (51%) and Barossa (49%) fruit from vineyards that have previously contributed to Grange. Aged in 100% new French oak, it's a rich, luxuriously textured wine that's packed with ripe fruit and finely textured tannins. Hints of grilled meat and exotic dried spices accent red raspberries and redcurrants in this full-bodied but exceptionally silky and elegant red that meets the high expectations for such a pricey bottling.
|Score: 100||Joe Czerwinski, Wine Advocate, August 2019|
Made only in extraordinary circumstances, Special Bin wines represent the pinnacle of winemaking endeavour, using only the most exceptional fruit parcels from the very best regional sources. It has been almost a decade since Penfolds last released a Special Bin wine, a testament to the quality, criterion and craftmanship required to craft a wine of this stature.
Special Bin 111A is a superb example of contemporary Penfolds winemaking philosophy; an impressively concentrated wine with balance and character, feasibly destined to become an Australian classic. Blended from not one but two esteemed South Australian Shiraz vineyards, the wine is an altogether new style and at once ‘special’: aromatically, structurally, texturally, cerebrally.
Following in the footsteps of the fabled 1962 Bin 60A, perhaps Penfolds most renowned Special Bin, the new release has already caught the attention of wine critics globally, lauded a perfect 100-point score from Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate.
“Bin 111A is an authentic Penfolds Special Bin, rare and true to the Penfolds ‘House Style’. Special Bins are pathfinding vintages and are only released if they offer something extra, different and unique. These wines make a very important statement about Penfolds and they also represent a heritage of curiosity, experimentation and Australian wine making innovation first started by Penfolds 175 years ago,” said Peter Gago, Penfolds Chief Winemaker.
Named after the wine’s oak maturation stack number, Special Bin 111A is the first Special Bin blend of Clare Valley and Barossa Valley. Grapes were carefully selected from the Botanic Vineyard in Clare Valley and the Gersch Vineyard in Barossa, South Australia. Botanic Vineyard fruit has been included in five of the last six Grange blends. The Botanic Vineyard lies between Auburn and Leasingham at the southern end of Clare Valley. Grapes were handpicked from Blocks 4B and 8.
In 2020, the Gersch Vineyard in the Moppa district of the North-Western Barossa Valley will commemorate an uninterrupted centenary of supplying grapes to Penfolds. Gersch Vineyard fruit has been included in four of the last ten Grange blends. Fruit from Blocks 2 and 7 were selected for this wine. Independent grape growers have been supplying Penfolds for over one and a half centuries. While Penfolds owns substantial vineyard properties across South Australia its relationship with growers, sometimes extending to several generations, is of key importance.
The 2016 vintage provided an ideal opportunity to create a bonafide Penfolds Special Bin, rare and true to the Penfolds ‘House Style’. Two special Shiraz single-vineyard parcels were blended to create something beguilingly beautiful and different. The impact of the much- touted 2016 South Australian vintage on two vineyards from time-proven Grange growers has produced a Penfolds Shiraz of superb structure, balance and varietal definition. Both single-vineyard parcels reveal their own regional truths, highlighting the spoils of Clare Valley and Barossa Valley. This wine sensorial and structurally delivers more than the sum of its parts. Framed by French oak, the assemblage of Shiraz is altogether different. Indeed, an authentic Penfolds Special Bin that will reward and evolve with careful cellaring.