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After a wait of over 40 years, Australian producer Penfolds has released Bin 620 Coonawarra Cabernet Shiraz 2008.
The last special bin wine was released in 1966, and the iconic producer travelled to Shanghai to unveil the latest version. The UK allocation will hit the shelves within the next few weeks.
Penfolds only releases limited bottlings of rare special bin wines from exceptional vintages, and only then when the quality of the flagship Grange and Bin 707 are not in any way compromised. The firm says that in 2008, Coonawarra enjoyed a near perfect vintage, allowing the team to hand-select parcels Bin 620.
Peter Gago, Penfolds chief winemaker, said: “Wines like the 2008 Bin 620 don’t come around that often. Our last was a mere 45 years ago. In Coonawarra we were blessed with a great vintage when the earlier-ripening Shiraz could be blended with the later-ripening Cabernet to highlight the best of both varieties, and their synergistic union. Cabernet, Shiraz, Coonawarra, Penfolds 2008, old vines — six variables optimised in this Bin 620 release. Bacchus is smiling.”
John Bird, former Penfolds senior winemaker and consultant from 1958 to present day, said: “In 2008, we tasted several rows of our Coonawarra blocks (5, 10 and 20) and realised that this had something extra, something unique. It transported me back to 1966 and the experimental Bin 620. The fruit profile is classic Penfolds. Having tasted many parcels of Coonawarra fruit it became apparent that we simply had to make this wine.”
The fermentation of this wine was primarily at Penfolds Nuriootpa winery using stainless steel fermenters with header down boards to submerge cap. A small component was also fermented at Magill winery in small open fermenters with waxed header boards. There were daily rack and returns.
The Special Bin 620 Coonawarra Cabernet Shiraz 2008 Penfolds will be available from luxury and specialist retailers rrp £750.
Story by Gemma McKenna
Courtesy of Harpers Wine and Spirit Trades Review