2021 Penfolds 'Bin 389' Cabernet Shiraz South Australia


Frequently dubbed 'Baby Grange,' Bin 389, created by Max Schubert in 1960, matures in Grange's previous vintage barrels. Unveiling complexing flavors, Bin 389 delights with savory notes of freshly sliced fennel, pan-wilted radicchio leaf, and pickled turnips. Pair with Moroccan lamb backstraps on eggplant relish, where red licorice and cherry offer a sweet counterpoint. Evolved tannins seamlessly shape the palate structure, promising longevity for those patient enough to wait many decades.

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.

Red Blend
Peter Gago
12 months
Oak Treatment:
American Oak 37% New
South Australia
McLaren Vale, Coonawarra, Barossa Valley, Wrattonbully, Padthaway
Total Varietal Composition %:
Cabernet Sauvignon (53%), Shiraz (47%)
Alcohol %:
SKU #:
750 ml Bottle



Baby Grange gets its moniker as components of the blend are matured in the same barrels as the previous vintage of Grange. But with Cabernet Sauvignon the main player (53% in this vintage), it is more a Baby 707, especially as it always benefits from wine originally destined for that cuvée as well as Grange. A beauty of a beast, whose imposing tannin structure and abundantly ripe fruit need time. Powerful, inky blue and black berry fruits dominate the nose and palate, alongside bergamot freshness, earthy tapenade, exotic spices, iron filings and lots of black pepper. Coconut richness from 12 months in US oak hogsheads (37% new) and fine cocoa powder tannins add grip and linger long.


James Suckling

The 'mini Grange', as it is known. Robust, with a core of molten raspberry, blueberry, tea leaf and anise, juxtaposed against something that feels cooler and fresher and compelling enough to reach for the next glass. Very Australian of feel. I have had old vintages of this, some very old. They are inevitably a rewarding experience. The generous oak framework, apposite in lieu of this latent wine's immense potential. Drinkable now, but best from 2027.