La Place releases: Penfolds Bin 169 2018

  • Penfolds 2018 Bin 169 Cabernet Sauvignon has been released for £1,450 (12×75). 
  • It is the first Penfolds wine to be offered through La Place de Bordeaux. 
  • A “purist’s Cabernet” according to James Halliday. 

The Bin 169 Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon was released for €122 per bottle ex-négociant. It is being offered internationally for £1,450 per case of 12. 

Critical opinion

The wine has received solid scores from critics. Joe Czerwinski, writing for the Wine Advocate, awarded it 96-points saying: “It’s full-bodied, plush and velvety, but with a firm spine at its core that drives home the lengthy finish and strong varietal identity.” 

James Suckling gave the wine a score of 97, saying it was “seamlessly long, super fine and really packed with concentrated, contained, red-cherry and redcurrant flavors”. 

James Halliday called it a “purist’s Cabernet – turning its face on the mastery of the regional blending that is the birthmark of the Penfolds red wine style.” He also awarded it 97-points. 

Fair value  

Originally made as “Bin 169 Coonawarra Claret” in the 1970s, it was discontinued only to be revived in 2008 as a counterpart to multi-regional blend Bin 707. 

Czerwinski noted in his summary of the wine: “In effect, this is to Bin 707 as RWT is to Grange, a single-region expression of a classic regional variety, aged in 100% French oak. Would that it were priced similarly to RWT, but production is more limited.” 

Tracking the value of Bin 169 is difficult as it is not produced every year. It was not made in 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015 and 2017 for example. It is possible, however, that by committing to La Place Penfolds intends to make Bin 169 a regular part of its stable. 

The 2018 is also the cheapest of post 2008 vintages currently available.