2018 Penfolds “Bin 704” Napa Cabernet
96pts and 95pts, Inaugural Release from Creators of 100pt “Grange”
Blue Chip Aussie Winery Makes Move to Napa!
Australia’s Penfolds is one of the greatest wineries in the world. They are best known for the iconic Grange bottling, which was introduced in 1951 as a “radical” idea and didn’t reach the global and critical acclaim until 1962. Today, it is one of the most sought after and collected wines in the entire world, with countless 100pt scores from every major critic, with a modest asking price of $800-$1000 a bottle, and going up from there at auctions. Winemaker Peter Gago is considered a visionary and one of the world’s greatest living winemakers. “Grange” is synonymous with innovation, excellence, prestige, and sophistication. Penfolds is not stopping in their inventiveness, and today’s offer is the inaugural release into a land they have only dreamt of making wine in: California.
Penfolds “Bin 704” 2018 Napa Cabernet is a true work of art, and completely blindsided me with regards to its excellence. This is as concentrated, layered, and multidimensional as their $200+ offerings and is made with a dialed up level of intensity that lets you know you are drinking something from Penfolds. This is a caliber of Napa Cabernet that does not exist at the price. “This is not us marching into California to show people how to make wine,” Gago told Wine Spectator. “It’s made with respect.” The wine received massive press from all pundits, with a 96pt score and Cellar Selection from Wine Enthusiast, and a sparkling 95 points from Decanter Magazine. Not only does it have incredible press, but Penfolds wants every lover of Napa Cabernet to taste it, allowing us a one time introductory price, $20 off its original list pricing. This is a collector’s piece, will age out tremendously, and belongs in every cellar in the world.
Founded in 1844, Penfolds has become one of the best-known Australian wineries, producing a wide range of bottlings, some of which show off single vineyards, some show regional snapshots while others are more encompassing blends that feature particular grapes and barrel regimens. “The lovely thing about our house styles, or stylistic templates, is that you can do projects in other regions,” explained Gago. “But we’re not trying to create a Coca-Cola. These are just standalone and different.
For skeptics of the project, Gago points out that the Grange bottling, which was introduced in 1951, was considered radical at the time and didn’t get critical acclaim until 1962. “It took 11 years for the Grange to be acknowledged,” said Gago, adding with a laugh, “I’m hoping it takes 11 days for these.” The mirror image of its Australian Bin 407 stablemate, Penfolds Bin 704 Cabernet Sauvignon seeks to showcase California fruit through the lens of Penfolds winemaking tradition. Mindful of regional nuances and regional essence, it redefines all that Napa Valley Cabernet can be.
This is the first vintage of the Australian producer’s foray into Napa Valley. It is tightly structured yet supple, bursting in bright currant and strawberry flavors. Savory components of sage, dried herb and black pepper dot the palate alongside silky tannins and chocolate-laced richness. A fresh touch of blood orange arises on the finish. Enjoy from 2028-2033 – Wine Enthusiast
2018 Penfolds “Bin 704” Napa Cabernet
A beautiful, aromatic wine with blackcurrant, cool fruit and hints of mineral and tar. Full-bodied, yet polished and really well manicured. Long and creamy. Shows tension, energy and refinement. Drink after 2024, but so beautiful already. Hard not to drink. – James Suckling
Bright and vibrant in the glass with deep, dark aromas of black plum grasped in a tight-fisted blackberry glove. While the body is fashionably lean, the initially tight flavors relax to a plush embrace. More is revealed as the wine opens up in the mouth: sumptuous fruit that remains firm and politely behaved, a chew of tobacco and deliberate oak tannins that bite in the tail. – Decanter Magazine
Savory expressions lead the charge in the form of carpaccio-styled red meats, seared beef with a mind pepper crust, bay leaf, an wild thyme. Following is a Penfolds soul of Black Forest cake, glazed cherries, and dark chocolate. Dark Cabernet fruit transfer from the nose to the palate with a silk-like flow. Animated and lithe yet still somewhat restrained, it has a humble personality, but with the quiet conviction of Napa. – Winery