Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Penfold's Bin 389 Cabernet Shiraz 1998

I apologise for the tardiness of my posting. In my office at least August is traditionally our biggest month of the year and it has been hard to find time to do anything but work. A few coincidences have given me the time to write this short piece.

Firstly, after the biggest week in our office's history I came down with a bad headcold. Secondly, a good friend decided to have his wedding on a Tuesday (yesterday) at a small mountain hideaway. Thirdly, today is a public holiday in Brisbane and if I hadn't been (1) recovering from the cold and (2) recovering from a huge day and night yesterday, I would have gone into the office today to catch up on some work.

The wedding we went to was a magical event. The ceremony was held on a rotunda that was out in the middle of a small mountain lake. Just a beautiful setting. This was followed by High Tea (consisting of tea, coffee, cucumber and cream cheese sandwiches) whilst the happy couple had their photographs taken. To entertain the guests during this period a magician came around and performed at the various tables scattered on the verandah of this Tudor styled manor in the mountains. There was also an artist whose job it was to caricature every guest on the one big sheet of paper to present framed to the bride and groom.

The dinner, held in the dining room, of what was a very English style pub, was a great event. We were entertained throughout the meal by 3 actors playing Manuel, Basil Fawlty and Sybil Fawlty (of Fawlty Towers fame - that John Cleese made famous). They served dinner, in character, and had everyone in stitches. The food was wonderful served with 3 good wines. A 1996 Grosset Chardonnay, 1998 Petaluma Chardonnay and a 1997 Penfold's Bin 28 Kalimna Shiraz.

But I digress - on to the wine review. The better half and I drank the 1998 Penfold's Bin 389 on 30 July 2006 and I can't recall the occasion and why I chose this wine. However I suspect that it had something to do with tasting the 1998 Bin 407 and wanting to see how the 389's were going.

The wine had BIG berry and blackfruit aromas (maybe even blackcurrents). I was still very dark, dark red with maybe a touch of purple (but I might have been wishing that into the wine but the lighting is not the best in our dining room at home and I remember doing the tasting notes there).

There is no mistaking that this wine is full bodied with big berry taste, plenty of tannins and good acid. It is smooth but powerful and obviously will last another 6-10 years. I hope I am right on this as I still have around 14 bottles left.

I loved this wine but interestingly it doesn't seem to scream 'Barossa', or any other place for that matter. This is something I am only starting to become aware, of in a limited way, recently.

On an overall rating I gave it 93-96/100

and scoring the individual attributes

18.5-19/20





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