Thursday, March 22, 2007

Penfolds Bin 389 Cabernet Shiraz 1998

A couple of posts ago I shared with you some of the goings-on at a recent dinner at our place. As a group we tasted 6 wines and I talked, in that post, about the St Hugo's 1998.

The other day I noticed the very good Dr Ed (
the Wino-sapien) recently gave his tasting notes on the 1998 Penfolds Bin 389. As this was one of the wines we tasted on that night I thought it would be good to share our (Scott, Robert, Ivan and I) notes and see how they compare.

Ed said:

"Dark, vibrant purple. Dense nose with blackberry, blackcurrant, malt, meat and the faintest hint of dried herbs and lavender. Rich, soft and structured. Lovely weight, length and shape in the mouth. Plush. The tannins are firm, chewy and lingering.Excellent.

18.5/20 (95/100).

Drink now - 2017."

Our notes (of January 2007) said:

14% alcohol. Deep red-purple with strong blackberry on the nose along with other big black fruit aromas. Luscious (it is hard to get all the adjectives that 4 tasters use into one note) and big (but not too bold) but smooth on the palate. Very firm tannins leading to a long dry finish. Well balanced and structured with plenty of time left to go.

Overall rating =92-94/100

Rating the individual components = 18/20

Interestingly enough I have notes of a tasting of this wine before-in July 2006 and I wrote about it.

I said (July 2006):

"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


and scoring the individual attributes


It is interesting that the latest tasting my rating has slipped back somewhat. Am I a harder marker no? Or, is it just a different bottle? Oh well - only one way to find out - MORE EXPERIMENTATION!!!


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