James Suckling Report
Tuesday, October 15, 2019
"Australia’s most famous wine brand Penfolds has had an action-packed 175th anniversary year."
They launched a collaboration Champagne project earlier in the year, delivered an exceptional collection of wines including a classically structured, 100-point Grange 2015 in August, and they have finished the year in regal style with a new Special Bin wine.
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The 2016 Penfolds Clare Valley Barossa Valley Shiraz 2016 Special Bin 111A is the first Special Bin wine in the history of the company to feature Clare Valley fruit, and has been awarded a perfect rating of 100 points by Senior Editor Nick Stock. It joins an elite club of rare and collectible Penfolds Special Bin wines that are only released when the conditions are perfect. “Clare Valley shiraz makes frequent appearances in Grange,” says Chief Winemaker Peter Gago. “And there are certain vintages for Penfolds where everything comes together. 2016 is one of those vintages where we can do many things and stay true to style.”
The 2016 Special Bin 111A marries fruit from the Botanic Vineyard in the Clare Valley, a vineyard that has featured in five of the past six Grange releases, with shiraz from the Gersch Vineyard in Moppa Springs, which has supplied grapes to Penfolds for 99 years. The end result is an opaque and silky powerhouse of deeply ripe blackberry, blueberry and dark cherry fruit delivered amid velvety and silky tannins.
Powerful and elegant Clare shiraz has been combined with powerful Western Barossa fruit to create a great full-bodied South Australian shiraz. The extreme age-worthiness of the wine follows the traditional values of Penfolds. The Clare Valley fruit makes up 54 percent of the blend.
Penfolds made 1,000 cases of the wine, and it was released for sale on October 10, 2019 at a recommended retail price of USD$1,000 per 750ml bottle. A 1.5l magnum format is also available.