Sequence sure as certain
PENFOLDS Shiraz has never had a sequence of vintages to match the fruit quality and winemaking of the recent 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2014 vintage releases.
Penfolds Bin 128 Coonawarra Shiraz 2014
Soft, elegant, long and classy, it has more body than many vintages and is gentle, low-keyed, young and seamless.
There are no corners and no edges and, while it is not a classic Coonawarra, this is a lovely and delicious upper mid-range shiraz with the potential to develop for 20 years.
Brilliant fruit and brilliant winemaking with an exemplary finish and aftertaste that is almost exciting.
Context is important and I have tried every Bin 128 Shiraz many times.
The greatest and best value was the 1986 and, despite some weak links (1989), there have been many stars.
In context this is one of the greatest. 18.5 points and $49.50
Penfolds Kalimna Bin 28 Shiraz 2014
Soft, plump, ripe, gentle and balanced, it has red berries mixed with, unusually for Penfolds, blueberries and it is delicious.
The 2013 was marvellous and this is better with a seamless, brilliant and almost exquisite finish and aftertaste.
While young and restrained, this has life and is one of the great Bin 28s ever. 18.5 points and $49.50 Penfolds Bin 150 Marananga Shiraz 2013
In restaurants, the customers love all sorts of things, but if you serve the right customer a plump, ripe, soft and seamless Barossa shiraz, the usual gratified response will be as good as it gets for the restaurateur.
The current 2013 release and the just about to be released 2014 are superior to the also highly recommendable prior releases.
The 2013 could be a typical high-quality, warm, round, gentle and delicious Barossa shiraz, except for the fact the oak handling is superior and the style more refined than most.
This is just a wonderfully satisfying drink.
And as for the 2014, it is less plump and less ripe, but of enormous length; mouth-filling, textural, seamless.
It has very high-quality fruit with a cleansing, lingering fine tannin finish and is brilliant winemaking.
At under $100, are these the best Barossa shiraz?
18.8 points and $99.50