Bin 138 draws its inspiration from the wines of Southern Rhône, where shiraz, grenache and mataro (mourvèdre) are blended in varying proportions to create full-bodied wines possessing rich and heady perfume. Each year fruit for Bin 138 is sourced from old Barossa Valley vines (some more than 100 years old) and then matured for 12 to 15 months in seasoned oak hogsheads to allow the different varietals to shine through. The first vintage release of this varietal blend was the 1992, labelled ‘Old Vine Barossa Valley’ – it was then elevated to Bin status with the 1998 vintage.
|Varietal||Shiraz Grenache Mourvedre|
|Winemaker||The Penfolds Team|
|94 points||Tony Love|
|93 points||Andrew Caillard MW|
|93 points||Angus Hughson|
|91 points||Huon Hooke|
|93 points||Ralph Kyte-Powell|
When the winemaking team’s own tasting note says it all in just four words: “A juicy/fruity succulence”. This Barossa Valley trio is led by quite a dominant 68% Shiraz in the blend volume ratios, but the 23% Grenache and 9% Mataro make a huge impact in the aromatic and flavour game providing their usual rustic, rocky, garrigue earthiness, their full array of spice rack characters and a distinctive deli-meat shop tone as well. The ’17 vintage comes to life throughout with underlying salivating acidity. I always gravitate to this Bin as one that often is overshadowed by its more famous siblings. This release is a cracker.
Andrew Caillard MW
Medium deep colour. Traditional Penfolds style with choco-berry graphite aromas with some herb garden notes. Generous and inky with attractive redcurrant, red plum flavours, fine loose knit slinky textures, underlying savoury roasted walnut notes and fresh long integrated acidity. Sturdy and “Penfoldsian” in character with attractive buoyancy of fruit and underlying vigour. Will keep but best to drink within a three or four-year time frame.
“… Originally launched as “Old Vine Barossa Valley” with the 1992 vintage, this traditional blend became Bin 138 when the 1998 arrived.
This 2017 68% shiraz, 23% grenache and 9% mataro is a great example of the marque. It smells of crushed berries, spice and earth with lovely fruitcakey richness. There’s excellent depth and balance in the mouth, with a tight tannic backbone that will mellow as it develops over the years. I bought a dozen of the original 1992 wine when it was released and those bottles gave years of enjoyment; I reckon this 2017 is a worthy descendant. “
Comfortably embedded in the savoury spectrum – scents detected of charcuterie cold meats, a balsamic reduction.
And, alike all 2017 Penfolds reds, fresh fruits elude with air. At this stage aromas of pencil lead, dried muscatel and seared pink peppercorn crusted beef do not offer overt Barossa regional cues. Palate notes below hopefully more compliant!
No oak to speak of ...
Not noted aromatically on 19/6/19, but certainly immediately tasted - earthy Barossa elements abound, coupled with earlier detected savoury red meats. An agglomerate of assorted tannin shapes derived from the trio of shiraz, grenache and mataro set the textural stage – in parallel with a juicy/fruity succulence.
A deconstructed Massaman Thai curry accompaniment – direct from the recipe book: cardamom, cinnamon, clove, star anise,
cumin, bay leaf and nutmeg.
All three varieties carry their weight, all three generously add to the mix. Bin 138.
Just one hour’s drive from South Australia’s capital, Adelaide, lies its gourmet capital (and wine Mecca), Barossa. One of the country’s most beautiful and historic wine regions, Barossa is a magnet for lovers of fine food and wine. Its classic Mediterranean climate, and free-draining red brown soils, makes the region ideal for growing grapes. Barossa produces excellent Shiraz, Cabernet, Grenache, Mourvèdre, Riesling and Semillon.
In stark contrast to the previous year, winter and spring rainfall was well above the long-term average setting the vines up for a strong start to the growing season. Most of the spring rain fell during September, with long-standing records broken. Windy
conditions in October helped dry out the vineyards, and ensured there were no significant frost events to concern viticulturalists. The temperatures over the growing season were generally cool, with only March being above the long-term average. It was the
second hottest March recorded over a 30-year period. From late March the weather cooled significantly creating Indian summer conditions that extended ripening. Although berry and bunch weights were up on average, flavours were well developed thanks
to the extra hang time.
Key to the success of Penfolds has been a lineage of visionary winemakers. There have only ever been four Chief Winemakers at the helm of Penfolds – Max Schubert, Don Ditter, John Duval and Peter Gago, each a custodian of a rich winemaking tradition that goes back for more than 170 years.
Our current Penfolds winemaking team has more than 100 years between them as Penfolds winemakers. They are constantly refining and improving their work, whilst honouring the winemaking techniques of their predecessors.
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