The Penfolds Collection 2019 Top 5
Friday, August 9, 2019 in News
The 2015 is the Penfolds Grange collectors have been waiting for since the first vintage reports from that year began rolling in. Four years on and the Big Red hasn’t disappointed with a gushing review from Andrew Caillard MW. However, there is so much more to The Penfolds Collection 2019 than the Bin 95 Shiraz. Explore the collection or read on to find out more.
The Penfolds Collection 2019 is notable for a number of wines, one of which isn’t there at all. Absent from the list is the Langton’s Classified ‘Exceptional’ Bin 707 Cabernet Sauvignon. Many might have hoped for a 2017 vintage release–particularly with the excitement generated by the 2016–but ‘17 was a challenging year in parts of SA. As a consequence, Bin 707 collectors can strike a line through 2017 in their ledgers.
One of the standouts from this year’s release is the Bin 150 Marananga Shiraz. Single region, this wine highlights the consistent quality that Marananga produces when it comes to Shiraz. Marananga is a small sub-region, roughly 4km square, lying slightly to the north and west of the centre of the Barossa Valley floor. This is the tenth release of this increasingly collectable Shiraz, and it is the best to date.
Now, on to our Top 5 from The Penfolds Collection 2019.
Penfolds Grange Bin 95 Shiraz 2015
This list is arranged in no particular order but Grange is still first up. 2015, what a year! In almost every corner of South Australia, vintage reports were glowing. It was as though Mother Nature dared the winemakers of SA to make a bad wine. In such great vintages, it’s easy for a winemaker to play it safe. The Penfolds way is one of exacting standards, extracting superlative laden reviews from the world’s wine media. The 2015 is such a wine and it has earned a perfect score from Rewards of Patience author and esteemed conceptualiser of terroir Andrew Caillard MW. Do you buy Grange? If so, you’ll want to go big on the 2015.
Penfolds St. Henri Shiraz 2016
It’s appropriate that St. Henri should feature after Grange in this list as it has lived in the shadow of the great wine ever since Max Schubert started experimenting in secret to create the future of wine. Our own Adrian Read describes this wine as Shiraz au naturel owing to the oak treatment it receives, which is to say, very little. The wine sees 12 months in large oak vats that are themselves 50 years plus in age. There was a time when St. Henri was the same price as Grange. These days, you can pick up a six-pack for the price of a single bottle of the Penfolds flagship. Langton’s Classified ‘Outstanding’, the 2016 is something of a standout compared to previous vintages. 98 points from Andrew Caillard MW, he describes the wine as the ‘spirit of style and the classic Penfolds multi-regional template. Delicious.’
Penfolds Bin 150 Marananga Shiraz 2017
We were fortunate to taste The Penfolds Collection 2019 prior to release. The diligent note-takers in the room highlighted and underlined the 2017 Bin 150 Marananga Shiraz. That it was one of the eight selected wines from the portfolio also shows Penfolds confidence in the wine. And they’re right to be confident. If the 2017 is anything to go by, Penfolds should be very confident in the future of Bin 150 Marananga Shiraz. Deep in colour and abundant with dark chocolate and blackberry, dark spice and toast oak. Andrew Caillard MW calls this a ‘ reference vintage’ and his ‘top pick of the 2019 collection.’ If you’ve not already begun, this might be a very good release to start your Bin 150 collection.
Penfolds Yattarna Chardonnay 2017
The Penfolds white wine answer to Grange. A multi-region blend of fruit from Tasmania, Tumbarumba and Adelaide Hills, remarkably the 2017 Yattarna is a step up from the 2016. Indeed, it is worth noting that in a release that includes both the 2015 Grange and the 2017 Bin 150, the most startlingly impressive wines might be two Chardonnays (spoiler alert for number five in this list). Andrew Caillard MW described Yattarna as ‘Grand Cru Australian Chardonnay without a doubt’ and sealed it with a 99-point score. ‘A balance of power and elegance’ might be a well-worn wine cliché, but if you’re looking to recalibrate your senses to what that is, look no further than the 2017 Yattarna.
Penfolds Bin 311 Chardonnay 2018
The final entry in our Top 5 was a close call between 2018 Bin 311 or the 2019 Bin 51 Eden Valley Riesling. Both wines represent some of the best value in The Penfolds Collection 2019. If the Yattarna is the white Grange, the Bin 311 is the white Bin 389. This baby Yattarna is, like its elder, a multi-region blend from the Adelaide Hills, Tasmania and Tumbarumba. Andrew Caiilard MW describes the wine as ‘absurdly complex and sophisticated.’ If Yattarna is Grand Cru Australian Chardonnay then, surely, the Bin 311 must be considered Premier Cru. Layers of complexity, grapefruit, stonefruit and almond meal. It’s textural, creamy and all shot through with a tight line of acidity. There’s a struck match note too which Peter Gago had said was on the way out a couple of vintages ago. Fortunately, it’s not entirely been banished.
These are just the five wines we’ve selected from the Penfolds Collection 2019. If you want to access the latest from Penfolds, rare and back vintage wines or large format and special bottles contact a broker.