Penfolds Bin 149 Cabernet Sauvignon seeks out northern hemisphere excellence via meticulous vineyard and block selection, reinforced by flagship-worthy South Australian cabernet sauvignon. The result is distinctive, and of distinction. House Style is in the building blocks of Bin 149, a name derived from the percentage of South Australian cabernet sauvignon synergistically woven into the blend. Napa Valley regional sourcing seeks to showcase strong tannic foundations, dark fruit intensity but with the added dimension of a unique “worldly” disposition. Matured in French and American oak, this release highlights Penfolds commitment to quality.
NOSE: In order of appearance, yet not necessarily a measure of concentration: iced tea (the sweetness), caperberries (the savoury) and French polish (the Penfolds).
Opulence is facilitated via heady barrel ferment characters and brazen Penfolds markers … mocha and kirsch.
Aromas are focused, tapering to a precise point and include mentions of grated ginger, cola, green olive, caraway seeds and a richness that is reminiscent of Bordelaise sauce.
PALATE: Classically Penfolds in character, yet altogether different in structure.
Fine, close-knit tannins awaken the palate and a menthol lift surprises. Varietally-correct flavors are framed by typical oak offerings: cedar, sandalwood and roasted meats.
Alcohol is firmly anchored within the matrix, unobtrusive and in proportion.
Acidity is bright, offers plentiful energy and is undoubtedly responsible for the succulence and sustained finish.
COLOR: Bright deep red.
97 Points – James Suckling
”Lots of blackberry, currant, light chocolate and hazelnut. This is rather dense and plush, but shows impressive layers of tannins that have a rough-velvet texture. Juicy and intense fruit. The grapes come from the AVAs of Rutherford, Calistoga, Oakville and then spread across Napa. 14.9% comes from South Australia. A global wine. In the end, it’s nicely toned and curated. Needs three or four years to come together. Try after 2025.” – James Suckling, February 2021
96 Points – Vinous
”The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Bin 149 is a blend of fruit from Rutherford, Calistoga and Oakville plus 15% South Australia Cabernet. Inky, deep and unctuous, the 2018 is a total knock-out. Although quite opulent and rich in feel, the 2018 also has tons of backing structure to balance things out. All the elements come together effortlessly. It was aged in 100% new oak, 80% French and 20% American.” – Antonio Galloni, February 2021
95 Points – Wine Advocate
”A good portion, 85.1%, of this “Wine of the World” comes from America. In fact, the American component all comes from Napa. “There are some great vineyards going in here,” Peter Gago informed me. “We are buying some fruit for this, but most of it comes off our own vineyards.” By “own vineyards,” Gago refers to the considerable land holdings of Treasury Wine Estates, which now owns such iconic Napa names such as Beringer, Sterling Vineyards and Stags’ Leap Winery. The major component of this component, 28%, comes from Rutherford, with the other components “cherry picked” from across the Napa region. So, that is the American wine part of this wine. The remaining 14.9% of this wine is from Australia—A1 grade Aussie Cabernet Sauvignon from South Australia, to be precise. Then the wine was fermented in barrel, like Grange, using 80% American oak and 20% French oak, 100% new. It was matured in the oak for 16 months. Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Bin 149 slips gracefully out of the glass with notions of wild blueberries, blackcurrant cordial and mulberries with an undercurrent of Indian spices, sandalwood, cigar box and dusty soil plus a touch of garrigue. Full-bodied, rich and decadently played in the mouth, it has firm, rounded tannins and bold freshness supporting the voluptuous layers, finishing long and spicy. The adaption of some of the Grange “formula” (for want of a better term) of winemaking seems to lend more of an Australian style to this wine, although there is no mistaking the Napa Cabernet fruit profile in all but the texture of the tannins, which are more typical of Australia. It’s a true chimera!” – Lisa Perrotti-Brown, February 2021
95 Points – Wine Enthusiast
”This wine is a blend of grapes from Napa Valley (85.1%) and South Australia (14.9%). A tannic structure gives way to a welcome juiciness of tangy cranberry and currant flavors. French and American oak aging impart a moderate level of toast and vanilla tones, with accents of cedar, dried herbs and black pepper chiming in. The bright acidity lasts through a long, supple finish.” – Virginie Boone, February 2021