2018 Penfolds Cabernet Sauvignon Bin 407

Year: 2018
Appellation: Barossa Valley
Country: Australia
Wine Spectator: 92
Wine Advocate: 92
James Suckling: 94
Red Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 14.5%
Price :

"Robust, with terrific density to the savory dried herb, cigar box and loamy earth notes, and an aromatic thread of sandalwood that meshes seamlessly with black cherry, blackberry and cassis flavors. The tannins are toothsome, and the finish is long and expressive, with touches of black tea. Drink now through 2034. 13,057 cases imported. -MW" (WS)

"The 2018 Bin 407 Cabernet Sauvignon is a blend of fruit from Coonawarra, Padthaway, Wrattonbully, McLaren Vale, Barossa Valley and Robe. Classically built, it begins with scents of mint, cigar box and cassis, later adding nuances of olive and chocolate. It's medium to full-bodied, with a smooth, silky yet unyielding feel on the palate, and it ends in a wash of dusty tannins. While approachable now, cellaring 2-3 years should result in greater harmony, and this admirably concentrated wine appears capable of aging well for more than a decade.

Even via videoconferencing software and the sometimes glitchy technology of the internet, the infectious enthusiasm of Penfolds's chief winemaker, Peter Gago, comes through. Given the quality of what's in the bottle, his excitement seems warranted. "It's one of the strongest releases since I've been here," he said. "And I've been here 31 years."

The headlines in most media will no doubt zero in on the release of G4—a $3,000 blend of the 2002, 2004, 2008 and 2016 vintages of Grange in undisclosed proportions, although Gago would allow that there's "double-digit percentages of each one." The 2016 Grange is similarly excellent, at less than one-third the price. For most consumers, the biggest news is the superb quality of the 2018 wines, starting with the $40 reds (Bin 138 Shiraz-Grenache-Mataro, Bin 128 Coonawarra Shiraz and the Bin 28 Kalimna Shiraz) and extending up through the range into the Bin 150 Marananga Shiraz and RWT Shiraz. If you're an inveterate Penfolds collector, you might see about putting in reservations for the 2018 St Henri and Grange now.

Big, corporate-owned wineries often take flak for being recipe-driven and not always treating their growers well, yet these wines—while they do share a certain "Penfolds style"—all show reasonably clear distinctions when tasted together. Gago also pointed out that the Gersch family—whose grapes appear in the 2016 Bin 111A (released last year) and 2016 Grange—recently delivered their 100th consecutive vintage to the Penfolds winery.

Given that Penfolds produces relatively large volumes of many of these wines (there are more than 18,000 cases of the Bin 389 for the American market alone, and nearly 900 cases of Grange for the US), it deserves enormous credit for flying the Australian flag and backing it up with high-quality wines." (WA)

"A very confident expression of cabernet sauvignon, this has a briary, red-toned core of fruit with redcurrant, raspberry and blackcurrant aromas, as well as a cedary-oak thread and some pomegranate notes. The palate has a very sleek, long and juicy feel with elegant tannins carrying fully ripe red-plum and dark-cherry flavors. A great 407. Will age well for 15-plus years. Drink or hold. Screw cap." (JS)

Winery Notes:
Launched with the 1990 vintage in 1993, Penfolds Bin 407 was developed in response to the increasing availability of high quality Cabernet Sauvignon fruit. Inspired by Penfolds Bin 707, Bin 407 offers varietal definition and approachability, yet with structure and depth of flavour.

A textbook Cabernet Sauvignon, the varietally expressive Bin 407 highlights the rewards of Penfolds multi-region, multi-vineyard blending, with a core of ripe fruit supported by a sensitive use of French and American oak.