Penfolds Bin 28 Kalimna Shiraz 2004 (14.5%, €20.00 at Sweeney’s – current vintages c. €35.00)
Like many large producers, Penfolds has distinct ranges of wine so that some sort of hierarchy can be recognised, especially when a handful of grape varieties are used for the majority of their best red wines. Bin 28 is part of the Penfolds Collection which includes the flagship Grange, Bin 707 and Yattarna wines.
Kalimna comes from the prestigious Barossa Valley Kalimna Vineyard which Penfolds bought in 1945 and was the original sole source of the grapes for this wine. Like the majority of Penfolds wines, it is now a multi-region, multi-vineyard blend, with that blend changing from year to year depending on the characteristics of the vintage and the fruit available to the winemakers.
Bin 28 was simply the name of the huge container that the wine was made in.
Although these wines are often drunk soon after release, the peak drinking window extends 15 to 20 years after vintage, so 2017 is a pretty good time to be drinking the 2004. Two rounds of duty increases plus a big swing in the AUD/EUR exchange rate mean that the €20 I paid for the 2004 some years ago looks like an incredible bargain!
The nose is full of fresh black fruit with a twist of spice, plus a slightly meaty edge. This follows through to the palate which shows blackberries and blueberries, lots of meat and black olive notes (umami heaven!) – though the fruit is still fresh rather than stewed or dried. There are still vanilla echoes from the American oak, though they are very much in the background rather than being dominant. There’s a little fine tannin remaining on the finish, but this adds to the savoury side rather than grippy.
This is a spectacular wine which is maturing but still has plenty of powerful fruit and could easily have lasted another five years.