Penfolds Collection 2023, including the new 2019 Grange

Peter Gago was in London to introduce the 2023 Penfolds Collection. This iconic Australian producer has been busy adding wines to its portfolio. Initially famous for Grange and the classic Bin Series wines such as Bin 389 and Bin 28, from the 1990s onwards new wines were added, frequently following the Penfolds model of blending across regions to produce something better than the sum of its parts. These days, Penfolds isn’t just an Australian brand, of course, and we also tried their French and Californian collaboration wines.

With so many different lines, tasting through the new releases is quite an undertaking. ‘We make too many wines now!’ says Gago, ‘so that’s why it’s not possible to taste through each wine one at a time.’ Instead, we had the wines in front of us to work though at our own pace, with Gago at hand to assist with specific queries. It felt like sitting an exam, but from my perspective I appreciate being able to taste at my own pace. ‘Nothing is double decanted,’ says Gago. They are opened and poured straight from the bottle with the exception of the four vintages of Grange we were shown.

Because this is also the time when the new vintage of Grange is released, and this time it’s the turn of the 2019 Grange, with three back vintages to compare with it. We finished off with the Penfolds/Thienot Champagne collaboration.

Penfolds Bin 51 Eden Valley Riesling 2023
Fresh, pure and intense with primary aromas of lime and spice, and some lovely floral detail. Zesty and fine with lovely precision and weight: a delicate wine, but one with presence and focus. Nice acid line. 93/100

Penfolds Bin 311 Chardonnay 2022
Nice bright, laser-sharp Chardonnay with subtle nut and cream notes under a core of lemony fruit, with crystalline acidity. Fine and precise with lovely delicacy and weight. Very expressive. 94/100

Penfolds Reserve Bin A Adelaide Hills Chardonnay 2022
This has a beautiful mineral core to the precise lemon and cherry fruit with a tapering mineral finish. Lovely intensity and purity here with a finesse and poise. Beautifully integrated oak and fine, direct citrus fruit. Long potential future. 95/100

Penfolds Yattarna Chardonnay 2021
This is beautiful with a precise, mineral, flinty edge to the citrus fruit. Some lemons, some grapefruit, some fine spices. Astonishing detail, with fine spices and minerals, and a juicy focus to the fruit. Mouth-watering acidity. Such precision. 96/100

Penfolds FWT 585 Cabernet Merlot Petit Verdot 2020 Bordeaux, France
Cabernet Sauvignon (52%), Merlot (41%), Petit Verdot (7%). Lovely chalk and gravel notes with sleek polished blackcurrant fruit. It’s fresh and quite mineral with nice tannins and a plush mid-palate. A really nice expression of Bordeaux in a ripe style. 93/100

Penfolds II Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot MV
A collaboration with Dourthe who made Merlot in Bordeaux in 2020, with Cabernet Sauvignon from South Australia in 2021. Gravelly, grainy, sleek and plush with ripe blackcurrant and berry fruits. Has a smooth texture and also some structure with a grainy, gravelly undercurrent and a nice tight finish. Very stylish, polished and detailed. Tastes luxurious but is still quite Bordeaux in character despite the Aussie input. 94/100

Penfolds Oakville Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2020 Napa Valley, California
This is gorgeous: ripe blackcurrant fruit with some hints of olive and tar, backed up by good structure. Concentrated and fine with lovely tannins and a slight saltiness on the finish. Ripe, but well balanced with nice focus. 95/100

Penfolds Bin 600 California Cabernet Shiraz 2020 California
Brooding, ripe, opulent blackcurrant fruit nose. The palate has nice concentration of bold, sweet black cherry and blackberry fruit with some nice spicy depth. Lovely weight here: some sweetness to the fruit, but a slight cured meat savouriness, too. 93/100

Penfolds Bin 704 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2020 Napa, California
Stylish, polished and quite elegant with refined blackcurrant and cherry fruit with some subtle salty hints and well integrated oak, adding some spice and cedar notes. Very fine and polished, offering ripe fruit but also a sense of balance. 95/100

Penfolds Bin 149 Cabernet Sauvignon 2020 California
Ripe and seamless with sweet blackberry and cherry fruit, with some blackcurrant. There’s a slight creaminess, a touch of spice, and hints of olive and meat, but the dominant theme here is bold, rich fruit with nice intensity and presence, finishing slightly salty. Very appealing and forward. 94/100

Penfolds Quantum Bin 98 Cabernet Sauvignon 2019
Another cross-continent collaboration, bringing together California and Australia. Bold and rich with bold spice and olive notes under the very sweet blackcurrant fruit. Some plum and cherry here, with the alcohol adding a salty, spicy detail under the fruit. Ripe, powerful and seamless with great concentration, but perhaps pushing ripeness a little too far? 92/100

Bin 23 Pinot Noir 2022
Fresh and supple with lovely sweet strawberry and cherry fruit, with a sour cherry tang. There’s nice silky texture here with a nice sweet core to the fruit, but also some fine spicy framing. Very stylish. 93/100

Bin 21 Grenache 2022
Lovely sweet core of fruit here: ripe, rounded, quite elegant, with a fine spicy edge, including a touch of ginger. Rounded and opulent with a bit of structure but no hard edges. Luxurious and seamless. 94/100

Bin 138 Grenache Shiraz Mataro 2021
A ripe, delicious, forward blend showing sweet cherry, plum and blackberry fruit. Rounded, full and more-ish with lovely weight and presence. This is very stylish and plum, but not fat. 93/100

Penfolds Bin 128 Coonawarra Shiraz 2021
Classic Penfolds style with ripe but enticing black fruits, a bit of creaminess, and notes of spice, dill and coconut adding some sweet interest to the lush but balanced fruit. Hard not to like this: finished detailed and salty. 94/100

Penfolds Bin 28 Shiraz 2021
Great concentration and depth here, showing bold berry fruits, a bit of ripe black cherry, and then some fine-grained tannins and a twist of sea salt on the finish. Fantastic depth, lots of ripe fruit, but also a sense of balance, with savoury in the mix as well as sweetness. Very impressive. 95/100

Penfolds Bin 50 Marananga Shiraz 2021
This has a savoury, spicy, slightly peppery edge to the vivid black fruits. There’s some saltiness, too, with good tannic structure and a bit of acidity adding freshness. Some angular notes: this isn’t as open early as some of the other wines, and probably needs a bit of cellar time. 93/100

Penfolds Bin 407 Cabernet Sauvignon 2021
A beautiful expression of Cabernet Sauvignon that’s ripe, but which retains its varietal identity and also a sense of balance. Lovely blackcurrant fruit with fine-grained tannins and good structure, with some blackcurrant bud, some tar and some cedar spice. Really well integrated and quite delicious. Should also age well. 96/100

Penfolds Bin 389 Cabernet Shiraz 2021
This combines sweet, ripe fruit with substantial structure, and is a true vin de garde that should evolve well in the cellar. Lots of stuffing here, with spicy blackcurrant fruit and some sleek cherry and blackberry, backed by well integrated spicy oak and a bit of tannic grip. 96/100

Penfolds St Henri Shiraz 2020
So stylish. This lacks a little of the polish and flesh of some of the other bottlings, but makes up for it with lovely structure and focus. Bold, nicely concentrated black cherry and blackberry fruit with pepper, cedar, olive tapenade and a slight salinity. Has the stuffing to go the distance, but also approachable now with the right food. 95/100

Penfolds Magill Estate Shiraz 2021
Beautiful balance here. Liqueur-like blackberry and cherry fruit with some sweet plums, but also good focus. Fleshy texture, with the fruit fully ripe but tending to elegance, and tapering nicely on the finish to reveal some supple black cherry. Really expressive and quite beautiful. 95/100

Penfolds Bin 169 Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 2021
No doubt about where this comes from: absolutely classic Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon with a nice green note on the nose alongside the blackcurrant fruit. The mouth combines concentrated blackcurrant fruit with substantial structure, and there are chalky, gravelly notes as well as some spice and a bit of spiky acidity. This is brilliant, and it should last a very long time. 96/100

Penfolds RWT Bin 798 Barossa Valley Shiraz 2021
Lush and expressive, this is very open, with sleek, liqueur-like black fruits and notes of olive and black pepper, as well as some Porty richness. Concentrated and really plush, this is quite delicious and is approachable now. Such a beautiful, forward expression of Shiraz. 95/100

Penfolds Penfolds Bin 707 Cabernet Sauvignon 2021
Concentrated and dense with a wall of sweet blackcurrant fruit, as well as substantial tannin. This is an immense expression of Cabernet Sauvignon that’s ripe and plush, but which also shows bold structure, and it should last a very long time. 96/100

Penfolds Grange 1989
Complex, evolved nose with sweet spices, some earth and leather, and minty black cherry and plum fruit. The palate is dense and quite mature with some iodine and malt, as well as sweet cherry and plum fruit and some resolved tannins. Minty and earthy, this is a very evolved expression of Grange and probably needs drinking up fairly soon. 90/100

Penfolds Grange 1999
This is in a good place, with some earthy, spicy hints, softened tannins, and sleek, ripe blackberry and plum fruit. There’s a touch of minty freshness, as well as some supple berry and cherry fruit on the palate, finishing long and smooth with a spicy flourish. 93/100

Penfolds Grange 2009
A ripe, supple wine with a core of sweet cherry and berry fruits, with some resolution to the structure, and lots of bass in the mix. Bold, lush fruit with notes of spice, mint and iodine, and finishing long and expansive. Has a slight salinity to it. 94/100

Penfolds Grange 2019
Immense concentration here with a mass of very ripe, lush black cherry, blackcurrant and plum fruit. It’s sweet and harmonious, with the weight of ripe fruit cloaking the substantial tannin. This is a very forward, ripe style, with a fleshy personality, a wide dynamic range, and a slight saltiness on the finish. Immediately impressive with a lot of fruit, and a long spicy finish. Hard to assess at this very early stage, because there’s probably a lot more to come when the mass of primary fruit recedes a bit. 96/100

Champagne Thiénot x Penfolds Blanc de Blancs Champagne 2013
Lovely aromatics here with some toast and nut savouriness as well as lovely citrus fruit, as well as a whiff of oyster shell. The palate is lively and precise with some toasty detail, crystalline citrus fruit and a bit of structure. Lovely balance here, with great acidity and poise. 94/100

Champagne Thiénot x Penfolds Blanc de Noir Champagne 2013
Fresh lemons and cherries on the nose, leading to a fruity palate showing table grape, cherry and lemon, with subtle toasty notes. Has a brightness and vitality to it, finishing with a little sweetness and a touch of mandarin. So delightful but with a hint of seriousness. 92/100

Pricing in UK

The Penfolds Collection 2023

Australian                                                                    £RRP (GBP)                

2019 Grange                                                               £670                           

2021 Bin 707 Cabernet Sauvignon                             £475                           

2021 Yattarna Chardonnay                                        £147                           

2021 Bin 798 RWT Barossa Valley Shiraz                   £141                           

2021 Bin 169 Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon*                  £175                           

*to be released globally via La Place de Bordeaux in March 2024

2021 Magill Estate Shiraz                                           £137               

2020 St Henri Shiraz                                                   £96                             

2022 Reserve Bin A Adelaide Hills Chardonnay         £80                             

2021 Bin 389 Cabernet Shiraz                                    £71                             

2021 Bin 407 Cabernet Sauvignon                             £75                             

2021 Bin 150 Marananga Shiraz                                 £69                             

2022Bin 23 Pinot Noir                                                £38                             

2021 Bin 128 Shiraz                                                    £42                             

2021 Bin 138 Shiraz                                                    £38                 

2022 Bin 21 Grenache                                                £38

2021 Bin 28 Shiraz                                                      £34                 

2023 Bin 51 Riesling                                                  £31     

2022 Bin 311 Chardonnay                                         £32     

2021 Bin 2 Shiraz Mataro*                                        £28                 

2021 Bin 8 Shiraz Cabernet*                                      £28     

*rolling vintages


2019 Quantum                                                           £652               

2020 Bin 149 Cabernet Sauvignon                             £167               

2020 Bin 704 Cabernet Sauvignon                             £64     

202 Bin 600 Cabernet Shiraz                                      £48                 

2020 Oakville Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon        $450 AUD (not available in UK / Europe initially)


Penfolds II Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot MV               £270   

2020 FWT 585 Cabernet Merlot Petit Verdot            £75