Penfolds Bin 389 2005

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I picked up this wine on a high recommendation that this was Penfold’s return to form on 389 – the wine also known as the ‘mini-grange’. I am glad I followed up on the suggestion.

This wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz and as such the nose combines smooth cassis and moderated, but very pretty Eucalyptus. The nose exploded upwards from the rim with one of the most powerful yet elegant bouquets I’ve nosed in a long while. The palate was long and complex with a full mouthfeel and lots of vegetable, rich black fruit, tar and licorice. I also sensed some earth and minerals here, but in a distinctly Aussie style.

This wine elevated itself above typicity of style while bringing in tons of flavour, terroir, and a truly unique style. One of the best wine’s I’ve tasted, and at an excellent price right now in BC.

$50 at BCLDB


  1. Edward
    June 5, 2008


    I’m impressed with how timely your reviews are. I think I bought my bottles of 389 only a few months ago, and am still to open and try any.

  2. Shea
    June 7, 2008

    I hope your experience with it will be as good as mine was!

  3. Joe
    June 9, 2008

    Had the 2000 back in March, a great wine that aged very well. The ’04 is $34.50 in QC…

  4. Shea
    June 9, 2008

    You like to depress me by pointing out BC taxes right? 🙂

    I just picked up the 04 and 05 actually for $40 each here. They seem to have lowered the price – a good thing.

  5. Joe
    June 10, 2008

    Hi Shea- not trying to depress you, just reminding you to pick up a few bottles when you are out east. By the way, the price differential is probably not tax – QC is NOT a low tax region, trust me!!! QC is Canada’s largest wine market due to higher per capita consumption (it’s a French thing – with 7 million people the SAQ has buying power. Moreover, there was a “scandal” about a year ago re: SAQ “gouging”, so they have become much more reasonable. When in BC I only buy weird stuff that I haven’t found out here (or something from the Okanagan…)

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