The 2020 Penfolds Bin 28 Shiraz is a black ruby plum color. A magenta rim with black core. Benchmark Penfolds Shiraz. A generous kaleidoscope of warm-climate aromatics. Blackcurrant, black plum, ironstone, cocoa powder, dark chocolate, cola. Chocolate gateau, adorned with candied cherries. Earthy North African spices: ‘Ras El Hanout’ - paprika, cinnamon, pepper, cloves, and fennel. On the palate, always honest, warm, and approachable. Chocolate mud cake, cinnamon syrup, poached red cherries. Coconut shavings, milk chocolate... wait, a Bounty bar! Summer plum pudding with currants and crème anglaise. Bone marrow broth, Vietnamese Phò - layered complexity and texture. Turmeric, cinnamon, star anise clove. Cola with a suggestion of Chinotto bitterness. Sweet, layered fruit with earthy spices. Mouthcoating, chewy tannins. Cherry pip acidity.
Ripe and generous, but the aromatics take this to the next level, with notes of cardamom, paprika and dried rose petal, plus touches of candied violet and cocoa powder, to complement the core of fleshy blackberry, black cherry and cassis. The tannins are dense but velvety, and this finishes with warm chocolaty notes.
- Wine Spectator, 94 pts.
The Barossa has the ability to convey a sense of place, dirt and air in the glass. The trick is to not get in the way—a cooper does not terroir make. Despite not being the dominant region in this blend (for specificity: McLaren Vale, Barossa Valley, Padthaway and Clare Valley), the Barossa makes a potent contribution. Here, in the 2020 Bin 28 Kalimna Shiraz, the concentrated, dry and warm vintage is on show and provides a splay of earthy, dense fruit, stretched over a framework of savory tannin. Despite Penfolds's reputation for big tannins/big oak, the fruit here overpowers both and streams out over the long finish. The heart of Barossa is here. Very good. Will get better.
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, 94+ pts.
A homage to warmer-region, South Australian shiraz, this has a rich and smooth delivery of ripe blackberries and red-to-dark plums on the nose. The wine has taken its 12 months in American oak (16% new) well and truly in its stride. Plush and suave mouth-feel here, this is effortless and a style that sits right in the Penfolds sweet spot. A blend of McLaren Vale, Barossa Valley, Padthaway and Clare Valley. Drink or hold.
- James Suckling, 93 pts.