WBW #30: Penfolds Bin 128 Coonawarra Shiraz 2003

Penfolds Bin 128 Coonawarra ShirazPrice: $22
Maker: Penfolds Wines, Magill, SA, Australia
Variety: Shiraz
Packaging: Bottle, natural cork
Alcohol: 14%
Our Rating: 9 out of 10

In honor of Wine Blogging Wednesday #30’s focus on New World Shiraz, we ventured upscale from our usual highly affordable range and tried Penfolds Bin 128 Coonawarra Shiraz 2003. We’d better not do this too often – we could get hooked on wines like this big Shiraz! The nose of this wine isn’t pronounced – there are mild berry, leather, anise, and spice notes. Don’t be fooled, though – on the palate, this wine is full-bodied and well structured. Blackberry and light oak lead into an impressively long, black pepper and spice finish. The acidity in the finish adds to the complexity and makes this an impressive wine indeed.

Penfolds Bin 128 Coonawarra Shiraz shouldn’t be confused with the very good but much more fruity low-end Aussie Shirazes. This wine is more balanced and complex, and has a finish that goes on forever. The Penfolds website comments, “Coonawarra typically produces zesty, spicy and supple Shiraz fruit that exhibits a richness of flavour and a mouth filling roundness on the palate.” We do suggest letting this wine breathe – immediately after opening, we thought the wine seemed rather muted and thin, but some oxygen greatly expanded the flavor. (Trivia buffs will be interested to know that before 1982, this wine was known as “Bin 128 Claret.”)

To me, Bin 128 Shiraz shows that “new world” wines can be as sophisticated and complex as those from the ancient wine producing regions of Europe. A big “thanks” to WineCast for hosting WBW #30, and choosing a theme that was both easy to fulfill and a great choice for a frigid winter day!

5 thoughts on “WBW #30: Penfolds Bin 128 Coonawarra Shiraz 2003”

  1. A cheap Aussie box would have been too predictable ;), and I couldn’t find a “better” boxed Shiraz in the local shops that I hadn’t already tried. Besides, WBW is a good excuse to “think outside the box”. 🙂

  2. Penfolds Bin 128 Coonawarra Shiraz 2003 yes its nice and good wine i try that and i like that taste and smoothness.shiraz always make good quality of wines there another brands is also good.

  3. Penfolds Bin 128 Coonawarra Shiraz 2003 nice bottle and rating 9/10 it mean its really good. i will try penflods bin 128 and taste this. but one thing if its came in boxes its looking very nice.

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