Top 5: The Penfolds Collection 2021
Wednesday, August 4, 2021 in News
The Penfolds Collection 2021 has arrived, and in its wake the usual rapturous flurry of critical acclaim, superlative adjectives, and near-perfect point scores. Here at Langton’s HQ, we have come to know it as the wine world’s Christmas. The annual release of these iconic wines is counted down to months in advance. ‘The first Thursday in August is the day I most look forward to,’ says Head of Domestic Buying Ramon Gunasekara. ‘We start anticipating this day months ahead. Grange is the wine, and Penfolds is the name that told the world we make great wine.’
Just like those manifold Christmas traditions, we have come to celebrate the Penfolds Collection release with our very own, year on year. So to our annual Top 5. These are the wines that have captivated our in-house tasting team from the very first sip, that show great promise, that tip their hat to Penfolds’ innate pedigree while demonstrating its perennial appeal.
And so, without further ado, Langton’s crowns its Top 5 crème de la crème of the Penfolds Collection 2021.
Explore the collection now, or read on to find out more.
Penfolds St. Henri Shiraz, South Australia 2018
From our very first tasting, the captivating 2018 St Henri stood out beyond the pack, even beyond its hero stablemate Grange. Ramon called this 2018 vintage, ‘one of the great St Henris of the past 20 years.’ A multi-regional expression, purity of fruit, a kiss of old oak influence, length and acid line meld into a Shiraz of quiet power and effortless seduction. A beloved Langton’s alum—and walking encyclopedia of wine knowledge—once referred to St Henri as ‘Grange au naturel’. Here at HQ, the moniker has proved resilient. Appropriately, it is this collection’s natural standout by many a mile.
For full reviews, see our 2018 St. Henri page.
Penfolds Bin 95 Grange Shiraz, South Australia 2017
The one, the only. The enduring symbol of Penfolds, this 2017 vintage marks the 67th outing for Grange. If there is ever a Top 5 that does not feature Grange, it seems unlikely that any of us reading today will live to see it. First, it’s worth knowing that this is only the seventh Grange vintage to be 100% Shiraz. In another out-of-the-box showing for this inimitable flagship, critics have been near universal in discovering a very particular quirk of the 2017 edition: it is, in fact, drinking delightfully right now. In his 98-point review, Huon Hooke says, ‘A quite magnificent wine and a great Grange.’ With all that considered: one for now, one for later?
For full reviews, see our 2017 Grange page.
Penfolds Reserve Bin 20A Chardonnay, Adelaide Hills 2020
While centre stage may be reserved for the reds in any Penfolds release, the pale sunshine gold of this year’s Bin A release beams warm and bright. An Adelaide Hills charmer from the hand of winemaker Kym Schroeter, this is a Chardonnay that makes its presence felt. It is ethereal, yet powerful. Rich in complexity, yet gloriously refreshing thanks to that fresh-struck match and mineral line. It has levity, it has length, it will keep us interested for many years to come.
For full reviews, see our 2020 Bin 20A page.
Penfolds Bin 389 Cabernet Shiraz, South Australia 2019
It may be known as ‘Baby Grange’ by reputation, but the 2019 Bin 389 is a towering presence in reality. Deep, dense… and best enjoyed in a decade. Indeed, as this year’s Grange release is 100% Shiraz, the contrast is even more compelling. 53% Cabernet and 47% Shiraz, you’d hardly expect anything enigmatic out of such a bold facade. Nevertheless, Andrew Caillard calls it, ’a dark horse vintage’ in his 96-point review. It is already beautifully integrated—a classic savoury expression rich in cassis, liquorice, dry tannins. To the cellar with this one!
For full reviews, see our 2019 Bin 389 page.
Penfolds Bin 407 Cabernet Sauvignon, South Australia 2019
Well, this is a stylish evocation of Bin 707’s little sibling. We have been quite taken with Bin 407 this year. It is a curiosity in and of itself, coming from an exceedingly warm vintage, yet retaining a sense of vital youth, balance and brightness. Blackcurrant, a lift of menthol, cedar, herbs. It’s dark, but it’s fresh. We can’t wait to experience where this enigmatic Cabernet will take us. Where will it lead?
For full reviews, see our 2019 Bin 407 page.
These are just five highlights from The Penfolds 2021 Collection – there’s so much more to experience. Discover the rest of the range, and access your favourites from the most highly-anticipated release of the Australian wine calendar.
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