2019 Penfolds, Bin 704 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, California, USA
The fruit for the 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Bin 704 is from across Napa Valley, and the classy fruit is shaped by French oak (40% new) and firm tannins through the finish. This is supple and sweet and shows blood plum, raspberry, red licorice and even cocoa. The wine is long and lingering and shapely. Sophisticated.
Drink 2022 - 2037
Erin Larkin, Wine Advocate (July 2022)
Brighter and leaner than the inaugural 2018 vintage of Bin 704, this has more immediate approachability yet remains muscular and serious. An opulent berries-and-cream nose befits the lively red fruits that caress the mid-palate, but then black storm clouds roll in, changing the personality of this wine abruptly, as dark fruits and soot drive hard to the finish. A proud spine of acidity ensures that cassis and wild blackberry notes persist.
Drink 2022 - 2036
David Sly, Decanter (Jun 2022)
More fruit-centric than their 600, but less overtly Napa than many. Sweet spice from oak on the length, and very supple texture. Gorgeous lengthy liquorice character.
Drink 2023 - 2043
Richard Hemming MW, jancisrobinson.com (September 2022)
About this WINE
Penfolds enjoys an iconic status that few New World producers have achieved. Established in 1844 at the Magill Estate near Adelaide, it laid the foundation for fine wine production in Australia.
The winemaking team is led by the masterful Peter Gago; it has the herculean task of blending the best wines from a multitude of different plots, vineyards and regions to create a consistent and outstanding range of wines. Its flagship wine, Grange, is firmly established as one of the finest red wines in the world.
Under Gago’s stewardship, the Penfolds range has evolved over time. Winemaking has moved away from New World heat and the sort of larger-than-life style that can mask individuality; the contemporary wines instead favour fine balance and typicity for the region or grape.
At 72,000 hectares, South Australia is the engine room of the country's wine industry, responsible for 43 percent of its vineyards and encompassing some of Australia’s most famous fine wine regions.
One of the most important areas in qualitative terms is the Barossa Valley, beginning 50km north-east of Adelaide, and famous for its full-bodied Shiraz, as well as for its Grenache and Mourvèdre. To the east, the cool Eden Valley is home to some really fine Riesling and top-class Shiraz, such as that made by Henschke. To the north of Barossa is the Clare Valley, also a source of good Riesling but home to well-structured reds as well.
South-east of Adelaide lies the delightful vineyard area of the Adelaide Hills, where fine Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Riesling and Pinot Noir are produced by wineries such as Petaluma and Llangibby Estate. Langhorne Creek to the east of Adelaide has earned a reputation for its Cabernet Sauvignon, Verdelho and Shiraz while, between Adelaide and the sea, McLaren Vale is a noted area for red wines.
The unique vineyard region of Coonawarra lies 400km south-east in an area of pure limestone topped by a loose, red topsoil. Cool enough to resemble Bordeaux, this area produces great Cabernets and Merlots and is much in demand. Slightly to the north and to the west lie the regions of Padthaway and Mount Benson respectively, which enjoy similar success as sources of great white wines, especially Chardonnay. Wrattonbully however is known for its fresh, varietally-pure Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.
However it’s the less-distinguished Riverland region that accounts for 50 percent of the state’s wine production.
The most famous red wine grape in the world and one of the most widely planted.
It is adaptable to a wide range of soils, although it performs particularly well on well-drained, low-fertile soils. It has small, dusty, black-blue berries with thick skins that produce deeply coloured, full-bodied wines with notable tannins. Its spiritual home is the Médoc and Graves regions of Bordeaux where it thrives on the well-drained gravel-rich soils producing tannic wines with piercing blackcurrant fruits that develop complex cedarwood and cigar box nuances when fully mature.
The grape is widely planted in California where Cabernet Sauvignon based wines are distinguished by their rich mixture of cassis, mint, eucalyptus and vanilla oak. It is planted across Australia and with particular success in Coonawarra where it is suited to the famed Terra Rossa soil. In Italy barrique aged Cabernet Sauvignon is a key component in Super Tuscans such as Tignanello and Sassicaia, either on its own or as part of a blend with Sangiovese.
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Notes of red plum and wild berries waft from the glass alongside vanilla and baking spices from the 40% new French oak. The palate is elegantly framed, with a nice freshness that balances out the ripe fruit well. The tannins are fine-grained and effortlessly integrated. The lingering finish leaves you wanting more of this splendid expression of Napa Valley Cabernet, from one of the world’s leading fine wine producers.
Drink 2023 – 2040
Liam Mckeown, Account Manager, Berry Bros. & Rudd (March 2023)
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