Penfolds 2018 Bin 149 Cabernet Sauvignon: Review

An American-Australian blend, Bin 149 is one of two ‘Wines of the World’ (WOTW) released by Penfolds as part of its new California Collection.

While winemakers today are generally working to showcase the unique terroir of their vineyards, Bin 149 ($220) and its stablemate, the flagship Quantum Bin 98 ($950) have taken Penfolds’ policy of multi-regional blending to a new extreme.

It appears to be a strategic move by Penfolds in its stated pursuit of becoming a global luxury brand, as opposed to a distinctly Australian winemaker.

You can bet that if Penfolds does execute its plan to make wine in Bordeaux, there will surely be some French-Australian blends added to the WOTW series.

The concept of these world blends will undoubtedly be ‘on the nose’ to many people who would never have bought them anyway.

But the wines speak for themselves. The Bin 149 I thought was a truly amazing wine and fairly priced (by Penfolds standards!).

Below are my tasting notes and scores jotted down somewhat hastily at the pre-release tasting in December.

Bin 600 Cab Shiraz 18 ($90)
Opulent soft dark fruit aromatics, spices and perfume. Medium-bodied. Delicate, velvety palate. American oak is deftly deployed. Supple tannins. Lovely stuff. 92

Bin 704 Cab Sav 18 ($120)
Perfumed spice with some savoury elements and cocoa, some chalk. Medium bodied with nice focus and drive on the palate, thanks to some assertive cabernet tannins. Good length. 94

Bin 149 ($220)
Extremely perfumed and seductive with exotic spices. Full-bodied, intense and powerful. A melange of beautiful fruits and spices, with lovely freshness and vivacity. Incredible length. 97

Quantum ($900)
Lovely primary fruit character. Some leafy cabernet notes. Somewhat understated, not perfumed. The oak is more opulent – 80% new American. Medium-bodied, a softer expression of cabernet. 96

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Author: James Atkinson

Journalist specialising in the food, drink, travel and hospitality arenas. Australian International Beer Awards 2017 Media Award Winner and Certified Cicerone®.

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