A Return to Kalimna

Fresh off the boat, the 2020 Kalimna under cork for the American market and thank dog this one hasn’t gone screwtop. Completely black and impenetrable–no clear rim–only a faint thinning of purple-blue. Fairly funky nose on opening, but time in the decanter massages it down into crisp vegetal and ridiculous black fruit. Smoky tobacco and dark chocolate lay richly on lavish American oak: a clean, fresh, glacial-type of mineral in a bouquet thick with black cherry, currant and pomegranate. I’ll have to look at my notes for 2019, but boy-oh-boy is this a monster–and seemingly well-balanced.

In the mouth, an exuberant display of density. Thick chalky walls of acid and structure take no time introducing themselves, the lavishness of stupidly-tight berry held close to the core of blistering tannin. This is the best Bin 28 I have tasted since maybe ’98, and loyal readers know this is my favorite Penfold’s. I’ve written several times in the past decade I felt the style was *flabbing up* a bit for the modern palate, but here we have an achingly-dense example from the olden days–on par with St. Henri from those same decades. Holy wow is this a blockbuster Syrah, going back to a day where this was UNTOUCHABLE on release, needing a half-decade to even BEGIN showing finesse. Here, finesse is everywhere, but wrapped in a shell of structure so perfectly tuned, this wine has 30 to 40 years of life. Buy three cases–drink one a year. Seriously, buy as much of this as you can afford. You’re gonna thank me.

2020 PENFOLD’S Bin 28 ‘Kalimna’ Shiraz South Australia 14.5


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