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The Penfolds Collection 2022 Top Six

It’s that time of year again, the wine release that stops a nation, The Penfolds Collection 2022. We look at our Top Six wines of the release in a year where expectations – and therefore the pressure – for Penfolds were sky high for Bin 95 Grange and for a portfolio that drew ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’, applause, acclaim and not a little ire. Here we present the wines that stood out, the wines we loved and those that you should add to your cellar.

Explore our Penfolds Portfolio now.

 

1. Penfolds Bin 95 Grange South Australia Shiraz 2018

 

We present our Top Six wines of The Penfolds Collection 2022 in no particular order. Except for our first pick, that is our number one. And no surprise. The long-awaited 2018 Bin 95 Grange is not just the top wine of this release, it would take some beating in any year. Critics delivered a resounding suite of reviews with three 100-point scores under embargo prior to release. The long awaited Grange 2018 hasn’t disappointed. Time will tell, but this may go down as one of the all-time greats. Fill your boots.

Buy Penfolds Bin 95 Grange South Australia Shiraz 2018

 

2018 Penfolds Bin 95 Grange

2018 Penfolds Bin 95 Grange

 

2. Penfolds Yattarna Chardonnay, Tasmania, South Australia 2020

 

One step closer. Ever closer to that coveted No.1 spot, but Grange has done it again. We’re not comparing apples with apples, however. One is red, one is white, and the vintages aren’t the same. If this 2020 Yattarna was presented against anything other than a great Grange release, it would be the wine of vintage. Playing Penfolds word association, we think ‘Grange’ or ‘Shiraz’, and we definitely think red. Perhaps, we have another think coming. As do those who argue about what Australia’s best Chardonnay is without considering Yattarna.

Buy Penfolds Bin 144 Yattarna Chardonnay 2020

 

3. Penfolds Bin 407 Cabernet Sauvignon, South Australia 2020

 

The first vintage of the Bin 407 landed in 1990 and was developed by Penfolds as their deep SA Cabernet resources presented the opportunity. Continuing the tradition of the calling wines 'baby' this and that for the 2nd wine iterations of the Penfolds Icons, we could possibly calling this the 'Baby Boeing' being that it was inspired by Bin 707. This is rich and structural wine drives the bombastic SA Cabernet fruit across the palate. It's worth noting the consensus on this being 96 points from Jeni Port, Tony Love, and David Sly. 

Buy Penfolds Bin 407 Cabernet Sauvignon, South Australia 2019

 

‘A Penfolds Collection release is always marked by someone voicing a contrarian opinion...’
4. Penfolds Bin 389 Cabernet Shiraz, South Australia 2020

 

The ‘Baby Grange’ moniker is more of a vibe than anything to do with the blend, but its value and proximity and pound-for-pound value next to its big brother is always worth noting. A Penfolds Collection release is always marked by someone voicing a contrarian opinion, a note of dissent, or a point of controversy. This year, David Sly, Decanter’s Europe Australian critic awarded Bin 389 97 points. A very strong score and noteworthy in itself but what courts controversy is that it is two points more than he awarded Bin 95 Grange. To paraphrase, Mr Sly is saying that Bin 389 is better than Bin 95, at a tenth of the price. The minimum price of entry to this argument is a side-by-side tasting of both wines. Fun!

Buy Penfolds Bin 389 Cabernet Shiraz South Australia 2020

 

5. Penfolds St Henri Shiraz, South Australia 2019

 

Our wine of the year in 2021, St Henri (or Grange au naturelle) is back with a strong vintage. Not known for exaggeration in his awarding of points, Huon Hooke rates the wine as his joint second on 97 points (the same as Grange and Magill Estate) and only one behind RWT. But the real reason it makes the cut for the top six is pure internal bias of the author. The neutral application of French oak (unlike its big brother) doesn’t frame, bolster or burnish the fruit, rather it lets it shine. Penfolds has the pick of the bunches when it comes to the finest SA Shiraz, and this may just be the finest expression of the variety as a statewide or even nationwide concern. Pure and expressive, St Henri is the fillet of Shiraz.

Buy Penfolds St Henri Shiraz South Australia 2019
6. Penfolds FWT 585 Bordeaux 2019

 

Although they are compelling, forget the reviews for a moment, that’s not why this wine has made our Top Six. The FWT 585 makes the cut because of where it’s from; the Medoc. FWT is a nod to RWT (Red Winemaking Trial) and it has gone rather well. The philosophy that drives Penfolds winemaking is the pursuit of technical perfection as they see it. This is not new. The Champenoise do it, and you’ll find it in the great wines of the Douro, Jerez, Madeira, even the great wines of Bordeaux. They, unlike Grand Cru Burgundy or GG Riesling are not cartographic winemakers, looking to provide precise OS coordinates where through the perfection of the senses they get to find where ‘X’ marks the spot. This FWT may be a trial or, like their Napa Cab, or their Champagne, it might be a warning to the wine industry that the already panoramic scope of Penfolds ambition is expanding.

Buy Penfolds FWT 585 Bordeaux 2019

 

Penfolds new 2019 FWT 585

Penfolds new 2019 FWT 585  

There you have it. Our Top Six wines of The Penfolds Collection 2022.

Explore our Penfolds Portfolio now.

 

 

Further Reading

The Penfolds Collection 2022

The Penfolds Collection 2022

The Penfolds Collection 2022 release has proved to be a Grange year.

Penfolds California: Are They Dreaming?

Penfolds California: Are They Dreaming?

The most noted name in Southern Hemisphere wine has looked to the Northern Hemisphere.

James Halliday’s favourite Penfolds bottle of all time

Q&A: James Halliday’s favourite Penfolds

James shares with us some insights from his decades as Australia’s wine oracle.

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