Penfolds made the line-up at a recent wine tasting. On the list were the following: Penfolds Koonunga Hill – South Australia, Penfolds Bin 138 – Barossa Valley, Penfolds Bin 2 – South Australia, Penfolds Bin 28 – Barossa Valley, and Penfolds Bin 389 – South Australia. Penfolds, famous for Grange, offers quality wines at a variety of prices.
Let’s begin with what these wines had in common. All were plump and juicy with a range of red and black fruits. All had relatively high alcohol. In the traditional Australian style, all had soft tannins that were easy on the palate. They were pleasant enough to be sipped alone with enough structure and acid to pair with a variety of foods.
How do the wines differ? The Koonunga Hill, with fresh fruit from Shiraz and structure from Cabernet Sauvignon, was the lightest. Still with plenty of fruit and acid to make it a great pairing for pastas with red sauces and vegetarian based dishes, part of this wine sees no oak and is therefore released for early, easy drinking. It has a pleasant price point to match – approximately $13.
In the mid price range are Bin 2 at approximately $17 and Bin 28 at approximately $28. Bin 2 is a blend of Shiraz – offering richness and fruit and Mourvedre supplying herbal notes, spiciness and tannic structure. Bin 28 is a wine in evolution. By the time it was poured, the table was ready for a breather and so coincidentally was this wine. I would recommend decanting the bottle or at least pouring the glasses 30 minutes in advance as the wine unfolded into one of the night’s favorites after it sat for a while.
Bin 138 is a Grenache, Mourvedre, Shiraz blend and is one of the more fruit-driven of the Penfolds line. Simply fun to drink and a great pairing for lamb dishes, duck with fruit compote, etc. Price point at approximately $45.