Created to reflect a contemporary winemaking approach, emphasising both regionality and maturation of cabernet sauvignon in fine grained French oak. A style that is immediately Penfolds, whilst simultaneously illustrative of its ongoing search for diversity and style separation. A classic reflection of the region and a testament of Penfolds longstanding commitment to the vineyards of Coonawarra.
Coonawarra enjoyed near long-term average winter rainfall, and slightly below average spring rainfall. Following a frost event on November 4th temperatures were generally warmer, +3.6°C above average thanks to a combination of high minimum and maximum temperatures. Coonawarra experienced 13 days greater than 35°C during the months of January, February and March, with the longest spell spanning 3 days (17th – 19th January). The hottest day recorded was 42°C on January 19th. From December to mid-April conditions were very dry, delivering only 50mm, which is half the normal rainfall. Subsequently, there was no disease pressure. Mild conditions prevailed over the harvest, allowing grapes to ripen with optimal flavour and fine tannins. An excellent vintage for Coonawarra cabernet sauvignon.
COLOUR: Bright plum red
NOSE: Fragrant, lively. Soars! Alluring – an innocent sniff certainly draws you immediately back to the glass, soon to tempt that hurried first ingestion. An array of glacéed fruits – red-infused jube and pastille notes. Aromas remind of flambé crêpe suzette with the faintest hint of (Grand Marnier) orange. A suggestion of oak – linked to scents of dry tea leaf (Earl Grey)? But an infant!
PALATE: Shouts Coonawarra! An immediate proclamation at first sip. Red fruits swamp the palate – raspberry, cranberry, redcurrant, rhubarb … and a little cassis. No mid-palate deficit – this cabernet’s mouth-watering acidity and succulence fill all gaps. Grainy, highly defined / high-resolution tannins – right across the palate, in tandem with supportive oak. A balanced density and volume. Expansive.
A very elegantly complex nose with meticulously fresh aromas that range from red florals to violets, blueberries, redcurrants, blackcurrants and such sweetly perfumed cedary-oak spice. The palate has a very elegant, focused and piercingly central delivery of fine tannins,carrying pristine redcurrant and blackcurrant flavors. Seamlessly long, super fine and really packed with concentrated, contained, red-cherry and redcurrant flavors. Impressive. Drink or hold. 97/100, James Suckling
In effect, this is to Bin 707 as RWT is to Grange, a single-region expression of a classic regional variety, aged in 100% French oak. Would that it were priced similarly to RWT, but production is more limited, and the Chinese have seemingly fallen in love in Cabernet. The 2018 Bin 169 Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon (there was no 2017 bottled) boasts sumptuous aromas of ripe cassis, accented by hints of vanilla, cedar shavings, tobacco and baking spices. It's full-bodied, plush and velvety, but with a firm spine at its core that drives home the lengthy finish and strong varietal identity. Ideally, it needs a few years in the cellar to show its best, with potential longevity of two decades or more. 96/100, Joe Czerwinski (Wine Advocate)