Bin 389 was often referred to as ‘Baby Grange’, in part because components of the wine are matured in the same barrels that held the previous vintage of Grange. First made in 1960, by the legendary Max Schubert, this is the wine that helped to forge Penfolds solid reputation with red wine drinkers combining the structure of Cabernet Sauvignon with the richness of Shiraz. Bin 389 also exemplifies the judicious balance of fruit and oak.
Red-currant and savory black olive notes followed by a generous mid-palate embalmed by integrated plush and slurry ripe tannins and notes of crème de cassis and blueberry fruits.
The personality of this warmer-vintage Bin 389 is big, bold and welcoming. Coal smoke and graphite intertwine with blackberry, cassis, woody and leafy notes. Some Chinese five spice, too. The palate is delivered with fine, sweeping and long, smooth tannins that carry a supple array of mainly blackberry and roasted-coffee flavors. Powerful yet silky, super long and smooth, building to an exceptionally tidy finish. This is an assembly of 51 per cent cabernet sauvignon and 49 per cent shiraz, sourced from Barossa Valley, Coonawarra, McLaren Vale, Padthaway and Wrattonbully. Long aging potential. Drink now or hold. - James Suckling 96 Points
The 2016 Cabernet Shiraz Bin 389 (51% Cabernet Sauvignon and 49% Shiraz) is a more reserved, concentrated effort that speaks more to potential at this point, even if it offers ample pleasure. Blackcurrants, smoked herbs, chocolate, and tobacco leaf notes all emerge from this very classic, medium to full-bodied, balanced beauty that I suspect will be at its best in 2-4 years and keep for a decade or more. - Jeb Dunnuck 92 Points
The 2016 Cabernet / Shiraz Bin 389 is a blend of 51% Cabernet and 49% Shiraz, the least amount of Cabernet you’ll ever see in this bottling. It’s dark and stolid, with notes of cassis and blackberry along with touches of vanilla and cedar. Full-bodied and dense, it’s firmly in the Penfolds style and the style of this particular bottling, which always ages well, even if it’s not the flashiest or most flamboyant offering from Penfolds. At more than 14,000 cases for the United States, it should be relatively easy to find. - Robert Parker 91 Points