Deep crimson. Complex dark chocolate, chinotto, blackberry pastille, hint raspberry aromas with wax polish notes. Richly concentrated, voluminous and smooth with seductive blackberry pastille, blackcurrant, roasted coffee, mocha/malt flavours, fine grainy/cedar-like tannins, lovely mid-palate volume and fresh long acidity. Finishes chocolaty firm and long. A lovely wine with ample sweet fruit notes, richness and torque. Maturation for 17 months in new (40%) and seasoned American oak. Drink now to 2038. 14.5% alc
96 points, The Vintage Journal Penfolds Collection 2022 (July 2022)
This Californian version of the Great Australian Blend, combining Cabernet Sauvignon with Shiraz (grown from Penfolds’ South Australian vine cuttings) strikes immediate notes of familiarity. There's its spicy nose and easy harmony on the palate, seamlessly melding savoury comfort over a melange of rich red, blue and black fruit. Each component does its necessary work – the Cabernet bringing chew and texture and Shiraz giving a comforting cuddle until the blackberry grunt returns to deliver a stern final bass note. Released at A$90/bottle.
95 points, David Sly, Decanter (June 2022)
Beautiful intensity and texture, so smooth and svelte, and with just enough character to get you a bit excited. This is a fine wine. Pure blackcurrant, ripe plum, mint, woodsmoke, sweet meat and a gentle malt-like note. Harmony is its middle name; this wine feels seamless and true. Points aside, this is the Penfolds wine I would take home to drink (with St Henri).
94+ points, The Wine Front (July 2022)
Good depth of colour and an exotic mulberry, sweet berry aroma, traces of cranberry, the palate fruity and relatively diffuse, soft textured and open-knit, with very mild, gentle tannins. Its style is reminiscent of some Chilean reds. There are softly drying tannins that perisst on the aftertaste. Nice balance. A lovely wine and already drinks superbly.
94 points, The Real Review (June 2022)
We’re told: ‘In 1998, Penfolds imported a heritage selection of vine cuttings from South Australia’s esteemed Kalimna and Magill Estate vineyards and planted them in Californian soil. The original name of the Camatta Hills vineyard was called Creston “600” Ranch.’ Contains 17% of Paso Robles Shiraz, plus some Sonoma and Napa Cab. 17 months in American oak (40% new). TA 6.19 g/l, pH 3.81.
Mid to dark crimson. Toasty, lively nose with real polish and life. Sweet and fresh and more exciting than the 100% Napa Cab. Long. 14.5%
17 points, JancisRobinson.com (July 2022)
This Australian style “claret” out of three US west coast regions has a wonderful back story. In 1998, Penfolds planted a selection of vine cuttings from its South Australian Kalimna and Magill Estate vineyards in California, and now, in this wine, grapes from those original travellers take their time-honoured place. The blend is 83% cabernet and 17% shiraz from Napa Valley, Sonoma and Paso Robles, matured for 17 months in, unsurprisingly, American oak, 40% new. While the fruit notes are all about ripe, sweet, dark berries, this is more a celebration of savoury elements, olive paste especially, charcuterie as well. Palate flavours are rich and complete, enhanced with a wrap of sweet, baking-spicy American oak. Familiar and welcoming with classic Penfolds manners.
93 points, Wine Pilot (July 2022)
A selection of vine cuttings from Penfolds’ Kalimna and Magill Estate vineyards were planted in Californian soil in 1998, marking the start of the company’s foothold in the US. Grapes from that original planting form the basis of Bin 600. The Penfolds stamp is well and truly imprinted here. From the prominent role of American oak (including 40% new oak for 17 months) to the über-generous ripeness, it offers a rare insight into a Californian interpretation of the classic Aussie red blend. It’s big, soft, ripe and spicy. Anise, leaf, blueberry, blackcurrant mix with an earthy mix of spices on the bouquet. Immediately there’s a sense of savouriness. It’s confirmed on the palate together with the presence of rich, choc-malt oak and sweet, sweet fruit. My notes mention “blackberry clafoutis and spice.” Guess that sums up the mix of emotions associated with this wine. It’s quite a wealth of tastes. It could have easily been too much, over the top, but those tannins – so classy – preserve the integrity of the wine. All class.
93 points, Wine Pilot (July 2022)
The 2019 Bin 600 is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz. The Cabernet Sauvignon is from a selection of vineyards across Napa, "and there is a little it of Sonoma in there as well," says Peter Gago. The Shiraz is from the Paso Robles vineyard; it's a 78/22 blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz. The fruit heres is so sweet and plush—there is a distinct red berry character that settles and plumes on the mid-palate. Texturally, it is supple, silky and almost plump. 2019 was generally mild and good, and it has produced a suite of wines that are luscious and opulent. The tannins are the framework that drags the fruit back from the edge and brings balance and form to the wine. Smart.
93 points, Wine Advocate (July 2022)
The sweet fruit core of slow-ripened California cabernet and shiraz in concert with classy American oak distinguishes this wine from its Aussie and now French siblings of the same blend. Ripe berry fruits, even a touch of raisins, contrast fine, drying tannins and milk chocolate oak. True to its style, albeit something of a generous caricature.
93 points (July 2022)
Penfolds is probably the most extraordinary of the world’s wine brands with an enviable reputation for quality at every price level. The original Penfold was an English doctor who, in 1844, planted grapes at Magill, now a suburb of Adelaide. However, it was not until the late 1940s that Penfolds began to forge a reputation for red wine.
The Penfolds house style emerged from a fortified wine producing culture and evolved as a winemaking philosophy which has had a profound effect on the entire Australian wine industry. Many of the techniques initially adopted to make Penfolds Grange would become part of the wider Penfolds winemaking culture. The number of techniques employed in the research and development of Penfolds wines is astonishing. Max Schubert and his team pioneered: major advances in yeast technology and paper chromatography; the understanding and use of pH in controlling bacterial spoilage; the use of headed down/submerged cap fermentation and the technique of rack and return; cold fermentation practices; the use of American oak as a maturation vessel and perhaps most critically, partial barrel fermentation. Nowadays, the use of American oak and barrel fermentation for instance is considered traditional Barossa winemaking practice!
Today, Penfolds house style embraces the concept of multi-regional blending, optimum fruit quality, the use of fine-grained American or French oak, barrel fermentation and maturation. Overall, the Penfolds style is about highly-defined fruit aromas, fruit sweetness, ripe tannins, richness, power and concentration. The number of iconic wines that have emerged from the Penfolds stable over the years is remarkable. Bin 389 a Cabernet Shiraz blend released in 1960 is now considered the quintessential Australian wine blend. Bin 128 Coonawarra Shiraz and Bin 28 Kalimna Shiraz released in 1962 pre-empted the contemporary enthusiasm for regional definition by about 25 years. Improved vineyard management, site selection and winemaking brought about subsequent releases of Bin 707 and Bin 407 Cabernet Sauvignon. The Penfolds Wine Making Philosophy is the accumulation of more than half-a-century of knowledge and winemaking practice initiated by Max Schubert and subsequently refined by Don Ditter, John Duval and Peter Gago. Their collective commitment to multi-regional and vineyard blending contributed to a consistency of style and quality that has cemented Penfolds reputation as the foremost producer of premium age-worthy red wines in Australia.