Paying $17.55 for Penfolds 2009 Bin 138 actually had me feeling kinda guilty, like I was doing my bit to assist the slow destruction of Australia's wine business. Andrew Caillard MW gave the wine 96pts in an eye-catching newspaper ad, but I was more taken by the honest opinion of another Andrew.
From what's shaping up to be a good year for South Australian grenache, Penfolds has produced an archetypal Barossa GSM of immense drinkability. It's floral, joyously ripened and fruity, with an air of cinnamon stick providing a lightly spiced lift to deep set, plummy scents of blueberries, raspberries, chocolate and even tar, without a shred of over-ripeness evident. Brightness and harmony exude throughout the palate, as everything just seems to fall into place seamlessly, like melting chocolate in your mouth. Expect juicy plum, choc-raisin and raspberry flavours; expressed with ideal ripeness, and pushed along a medium-medium/full body (which is far from heavy) by gentle spices and a charmingly resistant extract of gritty tannin, causing the wine to move in a more rustic manner down the back palate, before leaving the mouth with a faint taste of sweet and sour meaty flavour. Its judgement in the vineyard and winery seems..... beyond perfection for what I paid.
ü+ As a relatively recent entrant to the Bin range (the first Bin 138 came from the 1998 vintage, although Penfolds first made an 'Old Vine' Southern Rhône blend from 1992) I'm happy to say this is the best Bin 138 I've had; and I'm not usually a big fan. It's so on the money for the label. Drink to 2021.