penfolds bin 707 97 98 bottle shots

Penfolds Bin 707 Cabernet Sauvignon: 1997 -v- 1998

penfolds bin 707 97 98 bottle shots

The festive period is a great excuse to dig deep in the cellar and pull some vinous Christmas crackers.  Take this mini-vertical of Penfolds Bin 707 1997 and 1998 which I enjoyed at the weekend.  What a difference a year makes. My notes below but here’s the headline – enjoy the ’97 now; stash away the ’98 for a decade or two yet.

On a different ‘what a difference a year makes’ riff, my last post of the year on Wednesday will highlight some of the memorable wines which made a difference to my year.   The surprises, the sublime ones.  Don’t miss it!

The Wine Detective will then be taking a short break until 5 January.  Meantime, wishing you all happy holidays & the happiest of New Years.  And thanks for reading.

Penfolds Bin 707 Cabernet Sauvignon 1997 (South Australia)

An aubergine skin core with a marked, lighter plummy rim.  The nose and palate is expressive with kid glove leather oak, rich panforte and, as it opens up, sweet dried plum.  Drier tapenade and squid ink lend a savoury, sanguine quality, as do eucalyptus and, just starting to show, black boot polish to the long finish. On a very enjoyable plateau, but I’d encourage you to pull this Christmas cracker soon.

Penfolds Bin 707 '97 to the left, '98 to the right

Penfolds Bin 707 ’97 to the left, ’98 to the right

Penfolds Bin 707 Cabernet Sauvignon 1998 (South Australia)

As you can see, the ’98 is a brighter, much deeper, purple hue with more concentrated (formidably so), very intense, inky, perfumed cassis, black olive and, with time in glass, star anise, liquorice and earth.  An underpinning of firm but fine tannins and firm acidity (wish it was a bit less firm) bode well for a decade or two ahead, when this impressive Cabernet might be a little more at ease and less of a tease!  A good thing.  So keep this one for at least another five years and, if you have a few bottles, eke them out over the next couple of decades.

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