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. Intense dark cherry, blackberry, graphite tarry aromas with mocha espresso notes. Dense blackberry pastille, dark cherry fruits, plentiful, vigorous fine muscular/ chalky tannins and mocha dark chocolate notes. Finishes brambly firm and long. An assertive Bin 28 with plenty of richness, volume and torque but should settle down with a few years of bottle age. One to keep for a while.
94 points (2020)
"An historic site of old vine material melded to American oak. A paean to a traditional Australian approach that remains a paradigm of inspiration. Glossy opaque. Black cherry, plum, charcuterie, baking spice, anise, black olive and a curl of creamy coconut-vanillin. Unashamedly rich and heady, in the vein of fine examples of yore. This wine has an attractive build, growing in stature with each sip and a bit of air. Expansive, palate-staining and dutifully long. Compellingly concentrated and intense."
94 points (July 2020)
Led confidently by the Barossa and McLaren Vale, this is a classic South Australian shiraz, brimming with supple black and red berry fruits and bountiful milk chocolate and coconut American oak. Peter Gago considers this warm and dry vintage ‘terrific’ for Bin 28. It’s given birth to a succulent and glossy style, braced with Penfolds classic firm, fine tannins, built exactingly to the Kalimna recipe – yet for me lacking the lift, purity are stamina of the most alluring seasons.
92 points (July 2020)
Deep, dark red/purple colour, with a smoky, toasty-charred oaky bouquet, with underlying blackberry and dark plum fruits. Traces of star anise and graphite, the finish lingering with drying tarry tannins. Fleshy and deep, a wine with potential to reveal more in time. A stylish wine with stuffing as well as elegance. (Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale, Padthaway, Wrattonbully & five other regions)
92 points, The Real Review (July 2020)
A strong vintage for warmer-climate shiraz and this wine is certainly reaping the benefits. The nose has such eclectic fruit aromas that run a full spectrum, from the lighter spiced red-fruit aromas to red plums, through blue fruit to darker blackberries and plums. The palate has impressively layered flavors that run the same broad spectrum as seen on the nose and the tannins are so well groomed and run very, very long. Holds fruit flavor deep. Will age very well for 15-plus years.
94 points, JamesSuckling.com (July 2020)
While named for a Barossa vineyard/locale, the 2018 Bin 28 Kalimna Shiraz, like other recent vintages, is blended from various South Australian GIs. With its rich, dark-berried fruit accented with vanilla, it does a more-than-credible job re-creating that northern Barossan idiom. It's full-bodied, concentrated and plush without going over the top, finishing long and velvety. While it may not have single-vineyard snob appeal, it's a delicious wine for drinking over the next decade and a relative value.
93 points, Wine Advocate (July 2020)
A famous wine from the Penfolds stable at the relatively budget priced end. This is a blend of lots of South Australian regions and really shows the Penfolds winemaking DNA from the first engagement on the nose through to the generous opulent palate. It's all matured in seasoned American oak for 12 months and such concentrated fruit needs that oak treatment. The creamy vanillin oak marries neatly with the fruit. A wine for the cellar and one of the best of these in recent years.
95 points, The West Australian (July 2020)
I am a long-term fan of this wine. While it had a ‘quiet period’ for a few years it bounced back several years ago when finer quality fruit was sent its way to restore its reputation and reward its fans. It always seems such a hard-working wine, making effort on the nose and palate to entertain, but it doesn’t need to summon up extra effort in 2018 because this is a fabulous success. In addition to the lush, open, generous fruit there is another factor which I greatly admire. On the finish, there is a savoury, adroit, mineral-soaked element which adds gravitas to the whole experience. Bin 28 acolytes will miss this, as they will be gulping down the expressive fruit at speed, but if they slow down, there is a finish, seemingly stolen from a more serious wine, which is bolted onto the end of this well-meaning creation. There is precision here – I have never written this about Bin 28 – and it is not borne of muscle or intensity but it is crafted to give just that bit more élan to proceedings, and it works.
18 points (July 2020)
Lots of texture here. It’s creamy and smooth, all vanilla, dark chocolate and cloves, with blackberry and plum-like fruit as the conveyor. It sits on the warm side of medium weight and while its style is clear so too is its balance. They know what they’re doing at Penfolds. Tannin is firm but well placed and length is decent. This ticks all the boxes and is reliably good.
92 points, The Wine Front (July 2020)
Glowing deep crimson. Well it sure doesn't have a regional imprint on the nose! Seems just a bit weak and bland. Soft in the middle and then very tart on the end with some oak spice. Not really very energetic. Soft'n'easy – until the finish. Peter Gago is suggesting drinking this til 2035. Its charms and vitality are passing me by, I'm afraid. Muddy impact.
15.5 points, JancisRobinson.com (June 2020)
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.