A relative newcomer to the Penfolds stable, Bin 150 is a stylish and contemporary expression of Barossa terroir. Sourced entirely from the highly regarded Marananga sub-region of the Barossa, Bin 150 is rich and fruit-forward typically showing plush blueberry notes with floral overtones. Maturation takes place in a mix of new and seasoned French and American oak for 14 months.
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. Fresh elderberry dark cherry, blackberry, mulberry praline aromas with herb garden notes. Inky deep wine with deep set dark cherry, blackberry paneforte flavours, plentiful fine chocolaty tannins, roasted chestnut notes and integrated fresh linear acidity. Finishes chocolaty firm with persistent dark berry/ aniseed/ chinotto notes. Elemental but rich, dense and powerful.
96 points (2020)
"A more recent addition to the Penfolds armoury, this was matured in both American and French wood, showcasing Barossa’s more floral and flamboyant side. Still, unashamedly full-bodied. Think lilac, blueberry, mulberry, cinnamon and star anise. Sumptuous. Exotic. The tannins, firm and an ample forebear to a bright future."
94 points (July 2020)
The inherently plush mood and deep purple allure of Manananga in a warm and dry vintage is scaffolded to compelling effect by Penfolds dexterity with both American and French oak and its signature tannin framework. The result is a deep and strong Marananga of medium-term promise that will wow lovers of Barossa density, gloss and polish.
93 points (July 2020)
Very deep, dark, concentrated purple/red colour. The bouquet has walnut, dried bayleaf and licorice aromas, a hint of charred oak, the palate very big, bold, full-bodied and chunky, with abundant tannins which firm up and extend the finish. A ballsy, chunky wine which makes up in guts for what it lacks in elegance. A long-term keeper.
93 points, The Real Review (July 2020)
A bold, tarry and rich expression with a deeply embedded, dark-plum and blackberry core of aromas that are framed in very nicely fitted oak. There’s a 50/50 split of American and French and both are equally split between 50% new and 50% one-year-old. There’s a move to puncheons here, too. The palate is breathtakingly deep and supple with such impressive, soft, plush ripe blackberries. Long, powerful and immaculately captured tannins. Bold and beautiful. Will age for two decades easily.
96 points, JamesSuckling.com (July 2020)
The raspberry and vanilla-scented 2018 Bin 150 Marananga Shiraz is a beauty. Aged in French and American hogsheads, it artfully marries fruit and oak, then blends in nuances of licorice, dusty earth and hints of black olives and roasted meat. Full-bodied and creamy textured, it's ripe while remaining fresh and lively, coming to a long, silky close.
95 points, Wine Advocate (July 2020)
Comes from a specific sub-region of the Barossa and from the time it was introduced into the range a few years ago, it has been one of my favourites. The regional stamp of ironstone minerally fruit is evident on the nose. Then the palate with its combo of French and American oak delivers a further statement of individuality, though still with that Penfolds watermark evident. Crushed ants on the nose with spicy dark plum and licorice with a palate of energy and generous fruit concentration. Love it.
96 points, The West Australian (July 2020)
Although recognisable as a true sub-regional signature of the Barossa, this wine doesn’t show the brute power of many Marananga predecessors. A very rich perfume has spice skipping over the edge of generous dark fruits – a comforting fruitcake cuddle that gets tighter as it lingers in the glass. Then cinders and soot start to bite in the deceptively firm back-palate. It suggests a long life, with many twists and turns ahead in the cellar.
94 points, David Sly, Decanter (July 2020)
Marananga sits at the centre (not quite geographically, but almost) of the Penfolds machine and Grange is certainly first in the queue when it comes to picking the most robust and noble fruit from this hamlet. But after Grange’s cavalcade has mooched back to the winery the Knights of Marananga gather the fruit for this superb thoroughbred. This is not a wine with the power or the bravado of 2010 or 2016 but it is a wine with sensational fluidity and velvetiness which is offset by minty freshness. This is a genial, elegant wine with terrific balance and singularity and there is enough fondant fruit in its core to, reasonably, drink now if you are desperate! But please hold, because while this is a Marananga anomaly, with less grunt and swagger than normal, it still needs time to open up and reveal its entire panoply of dark fruit tones. Bin 150 oscillates, encouragingly, year after year and because it is a non-blended wine, and so this honest reflection of its unique terroir makes it an outlier in this portfolio. In 2018, however, it is the beating heart of the collection.
18.5+ points (July 2020)
Penfolds Bin 150 is the ‘give ’em what they want and give ’em lots of it’ wine in the range. It’s plush, it’s creamy, it’s ballooned with sweet fruit, its tannin is soft to the point of melting. The vanilla notes here are clear, the plums are sweet and mushy, the aftertastes pulses with sweet, saturated fruit. It’s neat, it’s Penfolds, of course it is, but there’s a lot jammed in here.
93 points, The Wine Front (July 2020)
Very deep blackish purple. Impressive freshness on the nose coupled with some sweetness. Just the job! Combination of ripe, sweet fruit, a hint of Barossa boot polish and yet apparently natural acidity nicely integrated with the smooth Shiraz fruit.
17 points, JancisRobinson.com (June 2020)
Colonel William Light, the South Australian colony’s Surveyor-General, named the Barossa in 1837 after the site of an English victory over the French in the Spanish Peninsular War. In the mid-1800’s Silesian and English immigrants settled in the area. The Barossa itself comprises two distinct sub-regions: Eden Valley and the warmer Barossa Valley floor at 270m.The Barossa Valley enjoys a warm Mediterranean climate characterised by hot dry summers and relatively low rainfall. Cool sea breezes from the Gulf of St Vincent modify the temperature, however hot northerly winds can occasionally dominate creating considerable vine stress. Many older established vineyards are dry-grown, but supplementary irrigation is also extensively used. The valley is comprised of rich brown soils and alluvial sands. A long history of uninterrupted viticulture in the area means the Barossa valley is home to Australia’s largest concentration of old-vine Shiraz, Grenache and Mourvedre with many over 100 years old. Although most famous for Shiraz, the Barossa can also produce fragrant and deliciously fruity Grenache blends and beautifully rich, chocolatey Cabernet Sauvignons.
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.