From Penfolds, in the Barossa Valley, Australia, comes this 2018 Kalimna Bin 28 Shiraz. Had a lot of bins (just a numbering system Penfolds uses, they have many bins, aka Batch Id Numbers) and never had one I didn’t like. I also adore the little food and wine bar that had decided to host a tasting: great wine, service and under five minutes from my house – the Newhall Press Room!
The Tasting Details
…we are exploring one of the oldest and most prestigious Australia wineries, Penfolds. Instead of creating a flight, we wanted to take a deep dive into the history of Australian wine making along with experiencing Penfolds Shiraz Bin 28. 94 points James Suckling, 93 points Robert Parker.
From Vivino on Bin28
Following the creation of Grange, Max Schubert’s vision was to create ‘a dynasty of wines which all had an unmistakable resemblance to each other. The first wine created in the series was Bin 28 Kalimna Shiraz in 1959, a wine initially made while Grange was still being crafted in secrecy. Originally a single vineyard wine, Bin 28 now characterizes Penfolds contemporary winemaking philosophy, with fruit sourced from premium vineyards across several regions, including the Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale.
What We Learned
Treasury Estates Representative Scott Bowden shared many things about Penfolds. New for me was that Penfolds has an “old world approach in the new world”, the use of seasoned American oak barrels, they are the oldest iconic winery in Australia, they benefit from both warm and cold climates and they’ve had a fair share of 90 to 100 point wines. For this bin 28: They use ten different growing regions, it’s 100% Shiraz and the original Kalimna fruit source dates back to 1959. One more thing: stay tuned to Penfolds in March for news about their collaboration with California vineyards!
The Tasting and My Takeaway
We decanted the wine at 5 pm, tasted at 5:30, 6:00 and 6:30. At the start it was all red fruit, earth, cigarette, stewed fruit, dust, fig and tannins. The next time the wine was more open with more red to blue fruit, more pepper, more richness and more “grip” according to Bowden. Then again, nearly 90 minutes later there was an incredible balance. Quite remarkable.
You might expect my takeaway to be about the wine…it is but in a roundabout way. One of the things Bowden mentioned, when I asked about his favorite Penfolds wine, is that it’s never just the wine, or the pairing or the company, but you have to have it all for it to remain in your memory as a favorite. For me, it was virtually chatting with NPR’s somm Laura Raden like we have done at the bar many times. It was two of the three bar owners, Charles “Chaz” Potter and Dan Zebrowski, calling me out to “unmute” as I “always have something to say during a tasting.” It was chatting with people that I had never met before, again something I did often at their bar. For me, the best Zoom by far for in making me feel those experiences again. Cheers to the Press Room indeed.
The Latest from Newhall Press Room
It’s been an interesting year for all of us. We started off with a super fun January with our 50% by the glass wine and quickly moved into a great Spring. Once March hit, we had all had to figure out what was next. Luckily we started our grocery delivery business in support of the community and we were able to spin up our order online and food delivery business. This opened the door for us to deliver wine by the glass and offer new to go bottle pricing that matched or beat retail wine stores. We’ve been working hard to expand the amount of wine we have by the bottle in addition to adding new features such as espresso, cheese boards to go, along with wine related gifts and retail items.
To date, we’ve been recognized by Elite Magazine and The Signal as the best wine bar in Santa Clarita, and we have been recognized with back to back 2019/2020 award of excellence by Wine Spectator Magazine 2019/2020.
Our Monday through Friday lunch service is back and strong as ever, and now you can order your food through our website or app for delivery or pick-up.
If you are looking to have some fun with friends, family or need food for an event or business meeting, we’ve got you covered. We love our community and look forward to see you soon! (Editor’s note: At press time we have learned that the Press Room has re-opened for patio dining as well has hiring a new Cordon Bleu Chef!)
Eve Bushman has a Level Two Intermediate Certification from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET), a “certification in first globally-recognized course” as an American Wine Specialist ® from the North American Sommelier Association (NASA), Level 1 Sake Award from WSET, was the subject of a 60-minute Wine Immersion video (over 16k views), authored “Wine Etiquette for Everyone” and has served as a judge for the Long Beach Grand Cru and the Global Wine Awards. You can email Eve@EveWine101.com to ask a question about wine or spirits.