Often called ‘Baby Grange’ in the world of Penfolds fans, the components of Bin 389 are matured in the same barrels that previously held Grange in their oaken embrace. The nose is lifted, fragrant, and immediately identifiable as classic Penfolds with layers of custard and port-wine dark jelly over hints of coconut and juniper. The palate is a balance of sweet and savory with the 2018 black forest cake profile and black cherry liqueur. It’s substantial and intense, but already delicious.
Penfolds has a very long and meandering history, and represents generations of winemaking knowledge in action. In 1844, Dr. Christopher and Mary Penfold planted vineyards at Magill Estate near Adelaide. The first Penfolds wines, from the 1800s, were made from newly established vineyards around Adelaide and made for the enjoyment of new South Australian colonists. During the first part of the 20th century, Penfolds gradually added significant acreage and became a household name across Australia. It exported table and fortified wines throughout the Commonwealth. After a visit to France in 1950, Penfolds chief winemaker Max Schubert dreamed bigger, wanting to dramatically expand the winery’s export presence, as the French had. The iconic Penfolds Grange came forth in 1951, leading to a remarkable parade of wines that would bring Penfolds wines worldwide acclaim for their richness, consistency, and longevity.