Penfolds 2004 - Bin 60A Cabernet 750 ml.
The release of the 2004 Bin 60A following the epic 1962 Bin 60A is old news now, but the wine was looking very fine indeed when I tasted it so I thought I'd add a note. Blended of 56% Coonawarra Cabernet from Block 20 and 44% Barossa Shiraz from Koonunga Hill Block 56G and Kalimna Blocks 4 and 14, the wine was matured in 100% new American oak hogsheads for 13 months. Very deep purple-black in color, it offers restrained notes of game, smoked meat, earth, blackberry and black currant liqueurs, yeast, marmite-toast plus whiffs of dried lavender, cedar and bark. Very crisp, very tight and very firm, this taut medium-bodied wine is still all structure at this stage, going very long and earthy in the finish. Give it time and consider broaching it from 2014. It should drink well into the 2030s if not beyond. With a lot of changes happening around the Foster's Group, it is business as usual at PenfoldsÉwhich seems to operate within its own world. But this is no small world. The vineyard holdings here are vast and the connections with growers go back generations. Chief winemaker Peter Gago is the very well spoken front-man for the production team backed-up Kym Schroeter in charge of the whites and Steve Lienert crafting some very fine, consistent and sometimes inspired reds. If Champagne is all about the art of blending, then Penfolds is the Champagne of Australian wine. Those that think large companies producing wines that emphasize blending can't make great wines need to think about the Champagne model or simply try some of Penfolds top wines to become believers. That said - check out their recent single vineyard release: the very special 2004 Block 42 Kalimna Cabernet Sauvignon, the first release of a wine made purely from this 100+ year old single block (perhaps the oldest block of Cabernet in the world?) since 1996.
Wine Spectator: 96
There are approximately 1,000 cases of this wine, which blends 56% Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon with 44% Barossa Shiraz into a stunning combination of cassis and blackberries. Lifted bits of flowers on the nose resemble fine teas and dried herbs, adding the requisite complexity, while the mouthfeel artfully balances the weight of Shiraz with the structure of Cabernet. Mouthwatering and long, with fine, dusty tannins that bode well for aging. Drink 2014-2030.