Penfolds Bin 28 Kalimna Shiraz, South Australia 2017

Medium purple color; plum. blue berry, redcurrant on the nose; plum, blackberry, raspberry, redcurrant, tobacco on the palate.

Penfolds Bin 28 Kalimna Shiraz, South Australia 2017

Dry; rich and meaty in the mouth. A bit rough and disjointed on pop-and-pour, benefits from decanting. Nice acidity for a shiraz (3.58% pH). Mild, grainy tannins. Earth and spice on the relatively short finish. Flirts with smooth, but there is bite and sourness in the mid-palate that makes this more a serious wine rather than a simple easy drinker. That will play well with some palates, not so well with others; 14.5% ABV.

Penfolds is a legendary leader in Australian wine. After immigrating from England, Dr. Christopher Rawson Penfold founded his winery in Adelaide in 1844, just eight years after the founding of South Australia. A medical doctor (his wife, Mary, was the daughter of a doctor), Penfolds believed fortified wines had medicinal uses and carefully tended his grape vine cuttings on the journey to his new country in order to produce this medicinal resource in his new land.

Dr. Christopher Rawson Penfold

Penfold focused on fortified wines similar to sherry and port, creations Dr. Penfold favored for their medical benefits. When the doctor died in 1870, his widow ignored her son-in-law’s advice to sell the winery. Mary had been active in the winery since its inception and did not hesitate to take over running the entire operation. By the time Mary retired in 1884, Penfolds owned about one-third of all wine stores in South Australia. Her son-in-law, Thomas Hyland, assumed control and continued to build the family brand focused on fortified wine. The company went public in 1962, but the Penfold family retained controlling interest until 1976—132 years after its founding.

Penfolds shifted direction from fortified wines to table wines after World War II, led by chief winemaker Max Schubert. Schubert created Penfolds most famous and honored brand, Grange, in the 1950s in spite of instructions from his bosses to abandon the experimentations with Bordeaux and French style red wines. There is nice video about this part of the Penfold story on the website; link is below. Max Schubert is the giant in Australian wine, with influence far, far beyond Penfolds.

Winemaker Max Schubert-Penfolds

A beer brewer in New South Wales acquired Penfolds in 1976. A series of consolidations and re-alignments followed until Penfolds became part of the Foster’s Group (makers of Foster’s Lager) in 2005.

In 2011, Foster’s Group spun off its wine operations into Treasury Wine Estates, which since has become one of the world’s largest winemakers. Also in 2011, after the wine spinoff, Foster’s Group, the beer brewer, was taken over by SABMiller, the world’s second-largest bear brewer (behind Belgium-based Anheuser-Busch InBev). Treasury has wobbled some amid the changing fortunes of Aussie wine—hottest stuff on the planet, followed by glut of OK but not great (Yellow Tail and other ‘critter wines’). The Penfolds brand, however, waltzes on, Matilda.

Penfolds Bin 28 Kalimna Shiraz, South Australia 2017 is flush with juicy red fruit flavor. A nice, meaty, rich example of South Australia shiraz from historic maker. This is ideal pairing with rich red meats sizzling off the barbie; roast beef; big beefy stews; roast or grilled lamb; cheddar and other strong, hard cheeses. $30

Penfolds website

Penfold winemakers
Penfolds winery
Penfolds historic photo
Penfolds vineyards