Bought my yearly half-rack of Kalimna the other day and naturally had to pop one for *reasearch*. The most startling thing–besides us umericans getting corks–is the word “Kalimna” has diappeared from the front label for 2019. A decade or so ago, there was another big change, when a ® appeared next to Kalimna and wording on the tech sheet clearly was changed to indicate the wine was no longer vineyard-designate. That made me sad. Now I am sad again. Assuredly, marketing is to blame for this weird word going away–which is counter-intuitive to the current goals of the Wine Demystification Industry, where education, personalization and *sense of place* are the alleged goals. One step forward–two steps back. Checking now: “Kalimna” does not appear ANYWHERE on the bottle. “Bin 28” is just so concise and clean; “Kalimna” makes house-wife brows furrow.
Despite this new additional vaugeness of source, I will try to be fair, though my psychology smells a rat. Honestly, the fruit-source *probably* isn’t changed a lick from that of the Kalimna® bottles, therefore I sully on, adding 5 to my long vertical. Always my favorite Penfold’s, and with the recent tripling of St. Henri prices, my only label of theirs in the cellar.
Dark, staining, nearly impenetrable purple, the edges glowing with florescent Syrah fervor. Beautiful nose: meaty and flush with dense cherubic fruit and angular baby fat. A robust kiss of American oak spices the dusty ripe blackberry warmth. Eucalyptus is hinted at, but both it and equally shy doses of blood-orange and earth are years from polishing to the surface.
Brilliantly young and concentrated in the mouth, though it maintains classic un-slutty restraint: never going toasty; sunshine held in check with ample acid; cherry and berry and sapling blood and peach-pit raspy and bitter: clamoring with adolescent angst against lollipop societal conformity, finally settling into a tannic stew NOT for the faint-hearted. I like it. PLEASE don’t ever change this wine.
2019 PENFOLD’S Bin 28 Kalimna Shiraz South Australia 14.5