The classic Bin 28 Kalimna Shiraz, first vintaged in 1959, was originally a single vineyard wine. During the early 1960s it quickly established a strong reputation as an "authentic Barossa type red" which would develop "additional character" with further cellaring. Bin 28 has very clear ripe fruit definition, with plenty of fruit volume, ripe tannin structure and underlying savoury nuances. In exceptional vintages it can age for decades. The fruit is nowadays sourced from the Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale, Clare Valley, Langhorne Creek and Padthaway. Penfolds winemaking philosophy, incorporates a very strict level of fruit selection and barrel fermentation in seasoned American oak.
Ned Goodwin MW and Langton’s Head of Domestic Buying Ramon Gunasekara discuss the newly released reds, including Bin 28 Kalimna, Bin 150 & Magill Estate, from the Penfolds Collection 2020.
Deep crimson. The classic reference Australian shiraz with lovely intense blackberry, elderberry, dark chocolate aromas. Well concentrated and ripe with deep set blackberry, elder berry fruits, fine dense chocolaty slightly grippy textures and underlying roasted walnut notes, Finishes chocolatey and minerally with plenty of flavour length. The workhorse Penfolds red. Utterly reliable vintage-to-vintage with plenty of cellaring potential.
94 points, Andrew Caillard MW
This has moved to position itself firmly as a wine that trades on the strengths of Barossa shiraz, in an all-round way, while also incorporating McLaren Vale and Padthaway sourcing. Deep blackberries and redder fruit with a creamy, vanillin-laced nose and some cedar and tarry notes. The palate has a smooth build of fleshy fruit and silky, refined and polished tannin.
91 points, jamessuckling.com (August 2019)
Deep, bright purple/red colour, with a chocolate and fruitcake bouquet; vanilla and hints of licorice as well. The wine is full-bodied but far from a blockbuster. The tannins are firm and faintly sappy, with a thread of appetising bitterness, while the chocolate notes linger on. A good if not transcendent Bin 28.
92 points, The Real Review (July 2019)
Step into a field of vanilla, of florals, of blueberries and blackberries, of plums. The saturation of fruit here is excellent; there’s good rain behind the thunder. The finish isn’t jumbled but it’s not elite; the richness of the fruit rolls through regardless. No one will be disappointed. It delivers what it has to, in plain but effective fashion. Kalimna Bin 28 Shiraz has had its glorious moment but these days, year in and year out, the take home is that it’s a 92 point wine for 50 bucks.
92 points, The Wine Front (August 2019)
A blend of fruit from Barossa, McLaren Vale and Padthaway, the 2017 Bin 28 Kalimna Shiraz is meant to replicate the Northern Barossa style of its namesake vineyard, with opulent dark fruit, savory spice notes of pepper and licorice and a full-bodied, plush mouthfeel. It's a delicious Shiraz for drinking over the next decade or so.
91 points, Wine Advocate (August 2019)
Deep, bright crimson. The battle lines are there before you smell or taste the wine: Penfolds’ black-fruited depth and power on the one hand, the elegant vintage stamp on the other. Its balance and structure are the guarantee of a very long life.
96 points, The Australian (August 2019)
"The richer counterpart to Bin 128, this warm-climate blend of Barossa, McLaren Vale and Padthaway fruit (no Upper Adelaide or Wrattonbully fruit in this vintage) is a deep, primary dark ruby colour. And yet it's from a cool growing season, with the harvest finishing a month later than the previous year. It displays a subdued, spicy richness of aroma spliced with a hint of cooler vintage pepper. The palate though is typically generously fruited, with blackberry fruit infused with Penfolds’ trademark toasty vanillin American oak - an umami feel, it's underpinned by nicely resolved tannins that are very much present in the mouthfeel, gradually softening as the wine tapers towards its sumptuous conclusion. Bring on the chilli con carne or braised pork belly."
92 points, Decanter (July 2019)
South Australia is the driest state on the world’s driest continent. Covering almost 1 million (984 377km) square kilomteres, it represents 12.8% of the Australian land mass. Sweeping plains are intersected by a spine of relatively low lying ranges, the Mount Lofty/Flinders Ranges which extend through the heart of the State. Over 50% of the state is elevated at under 150 metres. The Great Artesian basin covers almost one-third of the State. The major river is the River Murray which lethargically makes its way into the Southern Ocean. This water mass has a moderating effect on climate, particularly in the southern regions of South Australia where most vines are planted.
Summers are generally hot and dry with relatively mild nights. Winters are cool. Rainfall occurs mostly during late autumn/winter (May, June, July, August). Drought and salinity are major concerns.
The principle wine regions in South Australia are; the Adelaide Hills, Barossa (comprising the Barossa and Eden Valleys), Clare Valley, Langhorne Creek, McLaren Vale, Padthaway, Coonawarra and the Riverland. Vineyard expansion has also extended to Wrattonbully, Mount Benson, Bordertown, Robe, Southern Fleurieu and the Flinders Ranges.
It is a tradition for many wine companies to make multi-district blends from South Australian fruit – the idea of house style taking precedence over regional definition. Penfolds pioneered this concept. The vagaries of vintage variation can be evened out by fruit selection, ensuring quality at a high level. However there is debate that this concept comes at the expense of the ‘soul’ of the wine. Penfolds Grange is probably the most famous multi-district blend and is an excellent counter-argument.Andrew Caillard MW, Langton's
Penfolds is probably the most extraordinary of the world’s wine brands with an enviable reputation for quality at every price level. The original Penfold was an English doctor who, in 1844, planted grapes at Magill, now a suburb of Adelaide. However, it was not until the late 1940s that Penfolds began to forge a reputation for red wine.
The Penfolds house style emerged from a fortified wine producing culture and evolved as a winemaking philosophy which has had a profound effect on the entire Australian wine industry. Many of the techniques initially adopted to make Penfolds Grange would become part of the wider Penfolds winemaking culture. The number of techniques employed in the research and development of Penfolds wines is astonishing. Max Schubert and his team pioneered: major advances in yeast technology and paper chromatography; the understanding and use of pH in controlling bacterial spoilage; the use of headed down/submerged cap fermentation and the technique of rack and return; cold fermentation practices; the use of American oak as a maturation vessel and perhaps most critically, partial barrel fermentation. Nowadays, the use of American oak and barrel fermentation for instance is considered traditional Barossa winemaking practice!
Today, Penfolds house style embraces the concept of multi-regional blending, optimum fruit quality, the use of fine-grained American or French oak, barrel fermentation and maturation. Overall, the Penfolds style is about highly-defined fruit aromas, fruit sweetness, ripe tannins, richness, power and concentration. The number of iconic wines that have emerged from the Penfolds stable over the years is remarkable. Bin 389 a Cabernet Shiraz blend released in 1960 is now considered the quintessential Australian wine blend. Bin 128 Coonawarra Shiraz and Bin 28 Kalimna Shiraz released in 1962 pre-empted the contemporary enthusiasm for regional definition by about 25 years. Improved vineyard management, site selection and winemaking brought about subsequent releases of Bin 707 and Bin 407 Cabernet Sauvignon. The Penfolds Wine Making Philosophy is the accumulation of more than half-a-century of knowledge and winemaking practice initiated by Max Schubert and subsequently refined by Don Ditter, John Duval and Peter Gago. Their collective commitment to multi-regional and vineyard blending contributed to a consistency of style and quality that has cemented Penfolds reputation as the foremost producer of premium age-worthy red wines in Australia.