Created to reflect a Penfolds contemporary winemaking approach, emphasising both regionality and maturation of cabernet sauvignon in fine-grained French oak. A style that is immediately Penfolds, whilst simultaneously illustrative of its ongoing search for diversity and style separation. An honest reflection of the region bearing testament of Penfolds longstanding commitment to the vineyards of Coonawarra.
In 2008, we decided to add a contemporary regional stablemate to the collection, a partner to the revered multi-regional Bin 707. Sourced from some of the same revered blocks as Max Schubert’s original 1973 Bin 169 Coonawarra Claret. A contemporary alternative to Bin 707 with a strong regional imprint. A sibling to RWT and a twin to Bin 150. This gorgeously scented and richly concentrated wine is steeped in the origins of our modern winemaking traditions. It was not made in 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015 and 2017.
The regional stamp is embedded deeply here. Redcurrant, blackcurrant, mint and leafy aromas with a core of very fine, lithe tannins that really chisel the palate into shape. The florals are here in red and violet shades, together with purple-olive tapenade, sweeter red berries and an almost raspberry-like core. The palate is bright, long and powerful with an elegant core of fine, assertive tannins in play. The warm wave of spicy oak into the finish is delivered with class and finesse. Long and regal. This is superb Cabernet Sauvignon and the shining star of this year's collection. Drink from 2022 and for two decades at least.
Leafy cassis notes mark the nose of the 2016 Bin 169 Cabernet Sauvignon. It's also floral yet dense and concentrated. Full-bodied and rich on the palate, it exudes class and balance at the same time. It's a super expression of Cabernet Sauvignon from one of Australia's premier regions for the grape variety, ending on lingering notes of cocoa, cassis and pencil shavings.
Vibrant dark red
Instantly, varietal Coonawarra, replete with terra rossa dust. Agreed, aromatically ticks all the regional/varietal boxes: primarily blackcurrant, crème de cassis, black olive, aniseed, and a hint of violet. Yet there’s much more to intrigue – cinnamon bark/stick, chocolate truffle dust/copha powder, dried porcini mushroom. Oak well hidden, hesitantly arising sometime later sitting in glass. Surely not ashamed at being completely new? And French. Unlikely.
Defined – structurally, an assertive firm line striding across a buffed core. And yet, still lively and vivacious – an intriguing palate that unfolds, or more aptly volatilises/sublimes. Flavours suggestive of Italian meats (shaved ham, prosciutto and venison), overlaying a cedar/spice base. Lively acidity and phenolics – cranberry and pomegranate the offending partners. Cranberry the major suspect, consorted by pomegranate. Rhubarb not reported. Sits confidently on palate. Balanced, complete.
Rainfall was significantly below the long-term average for the entire growing season, while above average temperatures prevailed. Budburst, flowering, veraison and harvest were all earlier than expected of Coonawarra. The time between budburst and flowering was the fastest on record at 58 days. December was especially warm with nine days recorded over 35°C. By contrast January and February were much milder, delivering an extended ripening period that was ideal for high quality cabernet sauvignon.
Peter joined the winemaking team in 1989, initially in the craftsmanship of sparkling wines, before moving on to reds as Penfolds Red Wine Maker. In 2002 Peter became the fourth ever Chief Winemaker for Penfolds. Together with his fellow winemakers, Peter’s careful custodianship has ensured that Grange and the other ‘older’ members of the Penfolds family, have continued to set the benchmark for their style and quality, while new additions to the range push the boundaries ever wider.
|Oak Treatment||13 months in new French oak hogsheads.|