Penfolds Bin 95 Grange Shiraz is Australia's most famous wine with a reputation for superb fruit complexity and flavour richness. An exquisitely perfumed, concentrated wine, Penfolds Bin 95 Grange Shiraz combines the intensely rich fruit and ripe tannins of Shiraz with the fragrance and complementary nuances of new, fine-grained American oak. A portion of Cabernet Sauvignon is used in some years to enhance the aromatics and palate structure.
Deep crimson. Highly defined meaty/gamey/plum/prune/licorice aromas and coffee/chocolate nuances. The palate is decadently rich with lashings of sweet fruit, deep set choco-plum/prune/mocha/licorice flavours, supple, ripe but pronounced tannins, plenty of underlying oak, building up to a firm finish. Certainly it is in the same class as the 1990 and 1991 with a cellar life of decades. 99 points, Andrew Caillard MW (2002).
This is so classy and amazing with such composure and finesse. All about fine grain and perfect tone. Sensational from the start. Full body, tight and silky. Will go on forever.
99 points, jamessuckling.com (February 2018)
Attractive berry aromas; deep and lush, some creosote and black olive aromas; very good wine; lots of character, complex and vigorous. Firm and tight, long-term. Stately wine. Now to 30 years+.
96 points, The Real Review (September 2007)
An outstanding bottle of an outstanding vintage. The colour is still youthful, deep and bright; the bouquet explodes from the glass with toasty, nutty, smoky oak and blackberry aromas, and coffee/mocha nuances, laced with traces of tar, licorice and even crushed-ants. The palate is mesmerising: amazingly powerful, concentrated and intense, yet never heavy nor clumsy. It has amazing presence, and is incredibly long, resonating for minutes after the wine has left the mouth. Undoubtedly a great Grange, still quite youthful at 21 years and will still be drinking superbly at 50, such is its vitality.
98 points, The Real Review (July 2017)
Medium to full red-purple, still bright after five years, vibrant cherry and plum fruit aromas more than handle the oak on the bouquet; the palate is sumptuous, but not heavy, the cherry and plum flavours tracking the bouquet. The wine has a very long finish, with fine, integrated tannins. Destined to become one of the great Granges.
97 points, Wine Companion (January 2001)
Perfectly profound Grange. As bouncingly youthful as can be imagined – though remarkably approachable too. Gorgeous plum-fruit depth, choc-and-vanilla richness, sumptuous depth and length and a terrific pull of tight, ploughing, statuesque tannins. Impeccable South Australian shiraz.
97 points, The Wine Front (January 2005)
This dark purple-colored wine exhibits notes of sweet plum, blackberry, and cassis intermixed with some licorice, chocolate, and espresso. It is a blend of 94% Shiraz and 6% Cabernet Sauvignon that tips the scales at 14+% alcohol. The wine is layered, unctuously textured, full-bodied with tremendous intensity, moderately high tannin, and a 40-second finish. The wine needs a good 4-5 years of cellaring. Anticipated maturity: 2006-2025. This Grange should ultimately merit a higher score when it is closer to its plateau of drinkability.
93 points, Wine Advocate (February 2002)
Ruby-red. Complex, high-toned, oak-driven aromas of mocha, flowers, spices, bourbon, peat, licorice, vanilla, cigar tobacco and earth. Juicy and penetrating, with strong mineral, lead pencil, espresso and tobacco flavors. Has a solid backbone and noteworthy grip, but shows no hard edges. Finishes with big, ripe tannins and excellent length.
92 points, Vinous (July 2001)
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.