Penfold’s BIN 389

IMG_1414Have you ever considered the meaning of “adult beverage”?  What comes to mind?   Well alcohol of course!  Today’s wine, Bin 389, does contain a grown-up amount of alcohol, about 14.5%, but that isn’t what makes this an “adult” beverage.  So I ask you, what makes an adult?  There are biological and legal definitions to be sure, but what do you think when you say adult?

Not a kid, mature, not frivolous, serious, how about knows their way around, worldly, fully grown or capable.

I would have to describe Bin 389 one of the most adult beverages I have ever sampled, and is certainly in the top 3 wines I have ever enjoyed.  This wine was a milestone for me in my wine drinking.  Frankly I can’t wait to tell you about it!

Bin 389 is often referred to as ‘Poor Man’s Grange’ or ‘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 was the wine that helped to build Penfolds solid reputation with red wine drinkers. Combining the structure of Cabernet with the richness of Shiraz, Bin 389 also exemplifies Penfolds skill in judiciously balancing fruit and oak.

The color is a beautiful deep purple, the nose refined, measured, and absolutely fantastic.  I got fig and dates.  As for the taste, well that was something you had to sit with and think about.  This  is not a overly complex wine, but it is one that requires time and concentration to fully appreciate.  The 389 is a wine that, if you respect it, it will respect you back.  This wine requires mindfulness.  I loved it.

The blend is simple–51% Cabernet, 49% Shiraz–but the results are exceptional.  Matured for 14 months in 40% new, 20% 1 year old and 20% 2 year old American oak hogsheads, this Penfolds wine will last 20 years in the bottle.  At $60 this is not a pizza wine, but it’s not out of the question for whenever you feel like treating yourself to something special.  This wine also give you a glimpse into Grange, you know, the $800 Grand Master of Penfolds.

Mindful drinking is a concept that I’m exploring and I want to write more about as it develops.  I enjoy wine, but by being deliberately conscience of every sip I heighten my wine experience and enjoyment. “Awareness in every sip”.  I know, to some this sounds like work, but to be honest its pretty cool.  Plus it has the added benefits of making you a better wine drinker and increasing your enjoyment of wine.

“The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it”.


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