Cabernet Sauvignon has provided a high point in Penfolds tastings through recent years, and this beauty seduces from the first whiff. Showing note-perfect varietal aromas, with a breeze of ripe purple fruit over fresh, leafy herbs and rich red earth, the perfume is full and persistent. The entry is sharp and arresting, with fruit purity on point and channelled down the right corridors by supple tannins and a clean acid seam. It shows exemplary balance through to the long finish.
- Decanter, 98 pts
An amalgam of redcurrant and blackcurrant aromas with cedary and leafy tones, dark berries and pepper and plenty of oak strut. The palate has a deep vein of black-fruit flavors, as well as plum and chocolate. Bold extract. A blend of Padthaway, Coonawarra, Wrattonbully, McLaren Vale and Barossa Valley. Drink now.
- James Suckling, 93 pts.
Dark magenta. Ripe cherry, cassis, cracked pepper and incense aromas are complemented by suggestions of menthol, pipe tobacco and woodsmoke. The 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Bin 407 shows firm tension and power in the mouth, offering sappy red and dark berry, vanilla, rose pastille and spicecake qualities and a sweetening cola nuance that emerges with aeration. Juicy and energetic on the long, gently chewy finish, which features well-knit tannins and lingering spice and bitter cherry notes. Raised in a combination of French and American oak hogsheads, 35% of them new. Best after 2026.
- Vinous, 93 pts
Polished from top to bottom, this red boasts fine-grained tannins, offering a generous core of blackberry and cassis flavors that show accents of cured black olive, sandalwood and vanilla-laced cedar, with a whiff of peppermint and dried sage, all harmonious on the long finish. Drink now through 2035.
-Wine Spectator, 93 pts.
Vibrant crimson red color. The aromas soars brazenly, immediately cabernet – tomato relish/chutney, cassis. Other fruits edge forward for shelf-space, like yellow fleshed plum (El Dorado?) and ripe persimmon. Intriguingly, other less assertive aromatics offer more complexity: sage soaked in butter/oil (pre-saltimbocca preparation); olive leaf/turmeric spices, caper brine. Reticent oak (cedar) noted – manifested as a seasoned/maturation character. On the palate the wine is medium-bodied and elegantly framed. No mid-palate deficiencies! Blackcurrant and plum fruits sit alongside mocha/chocolate/walnut flavors. Oak? A genteel (washed, older oak) character – affording a maturation, not a flavor imprint. Mouth-watering with fine, rounded/polished tannins. In sharp palate contrast – a finessed, varietally-driven alternative to the muscular and Grange-like Bin 707 Cabernet.