2018 Penfolds Cabernet Sauvignon Bin 707

Year: 2018
Appellation: Barossa Valley, Coonawarra, Padthaway
Country: Australia
Wine Spectator: 94
Wine Advocate: 97+
James Suckling: 98
Red Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 14.5%
Price :
$399.95

GEM MATERIAL!!....VERY LIMITED NEW RELEASE!!

"Intense and powerful, offering a vibrant mix of Kalamata olive, gunpowder tea, toffee, Szechuan peppercorn and dark chocolate notes. The dense and toothsome huckleberry, blueberry and maraschino cherry flavors are harmonious, showing plenty of oomph through the long, velvety finish. Drink now through 2037. 227 cases imported. -MW" (WS)

"In case readers weren't aware, Bin 707 is always aged in new American oak, like Grange. The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Bin 707 features plenty of vanilla on the nose, backed by concentrated cassis fruit. It's full-bodied, velvety and richly tannic, clearly meant to have two decades (or more) of longevity. Marked by ripe fruit, a notable lack of herbaceousness, and lavish oak, it's out of step with current trends in Australian Cabernet Sauvignon, but it's no less delicious and all the more unique for that.

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)

"This has a very expressive and intense feel with assertive, 100% new American oak, sitting in a bold, spicy layer with vanilla, bourbon and espresso notes, across the blueberries, blackcurrants and boysenberries. The palate has a very taut yet luscious delivery of rich plum and cranberry flavors. There’s such long and taut tannin and oak is driving this into tightly compressed shape with roasted-coffee tones to the very intense and long, ripe plums and black cherries. Powerful, commanding cabernet. This is a great Bin 707. Attractive now, but best to wait until 2025." (JS)

Winery Notes:
Bin 707 is a Cabernet Sauvignon reflection of Grange-intensely-flavoured fruit; completion of fermentation and maturation in new oak; expressing a Penfolds understanding of multi-vineyard, multi-region fruit sourcing. Bin 707 was first vintaged in 1964. The wine was not made from 1970 to 1975 when fruit was directed to other wines, nor in 1981, 1995, 2000, 2003 or 2011 (when fruit of the required style and quality was not available). Full bodied and with proven cellaring potential, Bin 707 retains a secure place among the ranks of Australia’s finest Cabernets.

COLOUR:
Supporting a purple rim and dense black core.

NOSE:
A pool of fruits (blue and black) unravel to reveal blueberry, mulberry, boysenberry and blackberry. Similarly, a colourful courtier’s adornment of florals and spice disrobe to release violet, wild flowers and anise, whilst shyly lowering a veil of cassis. Aeration liberates a coulis/compoté of candied fruits (incl. dried figs) and roasted beetroot, coated by an assortment of dusting powders.

PALATE:
Focus and definition-a palate continuum with no rough edges. Harmonious and luxuriant. A glycerolic density-texturally marrow-like with squid-ink concentration-thankfully without the commensurate flavour/source. Crème de cassis effortlessly cascades from nose to palate, collecting raspberry and dark cherry fruits in passage. An oak cacoon plied with overt ripe tannins attempts to frame the package, yet a seriously lingering flavour and tactile aftertaste refuses to be curtailed.