Penfolds ‘Bin 169’ Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 2009

An addition to the Penfolds Icon and Luxury range appeared two years ago in the form of the ‘Bin 169’ Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 2008. It’s another regional and varietal expressive wine that sits outside the company’s mainstream blending-for-house-style philosophy, joining the more eccentric and focussed wines that still seem to sit comfortably alongside the core of Penfolds’ ranges. Such varietal and regional wines put Penfolds into both the traditional camp as well as the modern site and terroir reflective styles which are growing in recognition and popularity throughout the world. Penfolds has had the latter wines for a long time now and such wines are placed throughout the different tiers. The ‘Bin 128’ Coonawarra Shiraz is the oldest and most well-known, but the ‘Magill Estate’ and ‘RWT’ Barossa Shiraz are also single varietal and single region.

The ‘Bin 169’ is another interpretation of Cabernet Sauvignon that contrasts with the classical Penfolds style as represented by the ‘Bin 707’. Very much as ‘RWT’ does with ‘Grange, the ‘Bin 169’ Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon is a modern and very varietally expressive wine. Rather than using the staple American oak, it too is matured in new French oak. The very first ‘Bin 169’ was the one-off 1973, released in the early stages of the development of ‘Bin 707’ Cabernet Sauvignon. There was simply insufficient Cabernet Sauvignon to go beyond the requirements the then-all important ‘Bin 389’ Cabernet/Shiraz, and even ‘Bin 707’ was released sporadically. However the quality and singular style of the Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon fruit in 1973 warranted a special bottling. This label, ‘Bin 169’ was resurrected for the development of a modern ‘flagship’ wine, capturing the essence of the Coonawarra district in a very different style to ‘Bin 707’. Here I review the second release from the modern era, the 2009. www.penfolds.com


  • Penfolds ‘Bin 169’ Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 2009

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