Bin 23’s name is derived from the place the wine matures, ‘Cellar 23’ at Magill Estate, where the wine is made. The first vintage was 2009, after a number of trial wines had been made, many of which were released under the ‘Cellar Reserve’ label. Bin 23 is an evolving style–the 2009 came entirely from the Adelaide Hills and with the 2018 vintage Victoria (Henty) and Tasmania joined the party, showing once again that…
Early vintages of Bin 23 were comparatively rich and voluminous but within 10 years the style had evolved to become lighter-bodied and more fragrant. Use of new oak has also been reduced (to less than 20%) for, typically, eight months. After crushing, the must is cold-soaked and batch-vinified in small open fermenters. Some components finish fermentation in barrel to optimise the blending options for what is ultimately a barrel-selection wine.
Medium crimson. Intense ripe strawberry, red cherry fruits with roasted walnut notes. Supple, slinky textured wine with lovely ripe strawberry, red cherry, mulberry fruits, fine al dente/ chalky tannins, lovely mid-palate viscosity and underlying ginger oak. Finishes long and sweet. Lovely definition, density and freshness.
93 points (2020)
"A mesh of Tasmania, Adelaide Hills and Henty fruit, this is quintessentially cool climate Oz: root spice, cola, bing cherry, cinnamon and orange zest curling their way across a gentle astringent waft of tannin. Some maritime acidity backing up the rear."
91 points (July 2020)
The second vintage of Bin 23 to venture beyond the Adelaide Hills, now a blend led confidently by Tasmania, Penfolds has long been the master of multi-regional blends, and it’s no surprise that this new recipe of Bin 23 has elevated it to new heights. It’s more fragrant, more refined, more bright in its acid line, less oaky, less tannic, less savoury, dare I say, with complete respect, less ‘Penfolds’. A core of pretty red cherry and strawberry fruit is fragranced with rose petal and violet perfume and accented with subtle spice, and fine, plush tannins. The most beautiful Penfolds pinot yet, it’s set to win hearts to Penfolds for the first time.
94 points (July 2020)
Medium to deep red/purple colour. The aroma is floral and herbal, with some green mint notes and dark cherry to dark plum nuances. The texture is supple and smooth, with a hint of savouriness. Good weight and texture, lovely balance and harmony, and the finish lasts well. The palate is complete and rounded.
92 points, The Real Review (July 2020)
This has a very perfumed nose with aromas of spiced bread, ginger, strawberries and red and darker cherries. The palate has plenty of rich, ripe-cherry flavors with a very intense and deeply flavorsome feel. Silky, long and cleverly extruded tannins here. Smooth, nutty phenolic flow at the finish.
93 points, JamesSuckling.com (July 2020)
A combination of Tamar Valley, Adelaide Hills and Henty fruit. Really profound strawberry and creamy aromas. The palate has a pristine life and energy with minerally, slightly graphite, notes adding complexity to the primary red fruit. Tannins are chalky and dry providing balance and backbone. One of the best under this Bin.
93 points, The West Australian (July 2020)
While I adored the 2018 Bin 23 with its open-armed, fragrant, pliable fruit, the 2019 vintage is a more considered wine. This does not mean, however, that I prefer it. The oak is certainly more strident and, right now, it looks a touch varnishy. The fruit underneath is quite powerful and pure and it reminds me of a youthful, sanguine Morey-Saint-Denis with its minerality and coolness. Tassie leads the way here and I feel that this fruit, while attractive, is wearing a rather powerful oak overcoat, and for a wine which is (only) fifty Aussie dollars its carpentry carapace is a little too ostentatious. With more flesh around the midriff, this wine would have no problem, but I feel it is a little too slender to cope. Still, thank you Penfolds for giving us a perfect wine to drop into Aussie (and world) Pinot line-ups and let’s see how it fares blind. I have a feeling that some will fall for its oaky perfume given there are many wines on the planet with this style of maquillage.
17.5 points (July 2020)
This is usually a weak spot in the Penfolds range. Let's see how this vintage shapes up. Pale crimson. Sweet, rather simple raspberry aromas with just a hint of oak. Not quite refreshing enough although there is certainly some Pinot character here. But the idea of a multi-regional blended Pinot just just doesn't cut for a serious fine wine for this European bigot, I'm afraid. Earthy chew on the end.
15.5 points, JancisRobinson.com (June 2020)
ADELAIDE HILLSLocated to the east of Adelaide,the Adelaide Hills is part of the Mount Lofty Ranges. Considered a cool-climate region, most vineyards are situated at elevations between 450 to 550 metres. Rainfall is relatively high and spring frosts often pose problems. Hot northerly winds also make bush fires a real threat in the region. Adelaide Hills is a jigsaw of meso-climates, with the best vineyards centred around Piccadilly Valley and Lenswood in protected sites facing north or north-east. Soils are derived from schistic and sedimentary rock; typically well-drained sandy loams over red clay interspersed with schistic gravels. A premium wine-growing region, Adelaide Hills is best known for crisp, lively Sauvignon Blanc and elegant cool climates styles of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Shiraz.
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.