Penfolds Bin 704 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
This is the first vintage of the Australian producer’s foray into Napa Valley. It is tightly structured yet supple, bursting in bright currant and strawberry flavors. Savory components of sage, dried herb and black pepper dot the palate alongside silky tannins and chocolate-laced richness. A fresh touch of blood orange arises on the finish. Enjoy from 2028 – 2033.
Streamlined and showing dusty tannins, this 100% Cabernet Sauvignon is 100% Napa Valley, with a winemaking signature that’s 100% Penfolds. Aged 16 months in 100% French oak, it shows a sleek mouthfeel in which lavender and peony converge with plum skin and jasmine. A few extra days of skin contact allow beefy, concentrated notes of cherry liqueur and dark chocolate to surface. Marked by spiced cedar, the finish is a satisfying immersion of power and elegance
Bright and vibrant in the glass with deep, dark aromas of black plum grasped in a tight-fisted blackberry glove. While the body is fashionably lean, the initially tight flavors relax to a plush embrace. More is revealed as the wine opens up in the mouth: sumptuous fruit that remains firm and politely behaved, a chew of tobacco and deliberate oak tannins that bite in the tail.
Having worked for decades with fruit from their Camatta Hills estate vineyard in Creston, east of Paso Robles, the Penfolds team more recently began to tap into the Napa Valley vineyard assets of Treasury Wine Estates, their parent company. Working with small blocks of fruit from some of Treasury’s top sites, adding some purchased from growers, Andrew Baldwin made this cabernet using the Penfolds winemaking protocols. It’s clean and friendly, the richness of its oak emboldening the red currant brightness of flavor. It may not taste like a Penfolds wine—being that it grows in Napa Valley rather than South Australia—but it feels like a Penfolds wine in its fine textural integration, a cabernet of silken elegance. There’s a hint of orange zest to the acidity, the finish ready to refresh mousse truffée or a wintry braise of duck legs in red wine and prunes.
"A hemispherical mirror image of Bin 407," Penfolds's chief winemaker, Peter Gago, said with a smile. It was only then that I got that 704 is 407 backwards. "We are able to access vineyards in Napa that others can’t access," he went on to say, referencing Treasury Wine Estates' considerable landholdings in this region. Beringer, Sterling Vineyards, Stags’ Leap Winery, Beaulieu Vineyards, etc. "We have sensitively used small amounts from our top vineyards—requested rows in the Burgundian model."
Penfolds has been producing remarkable wines since 1844 and indisputably led the development of Australian fine wine in the modern era. The introduction of Penfolds Grange in 1951 forever changed the landscape of Australian fine wine. Since then a series of stand-out wines both white and red have been released under the Penfolds masthead.
Peter Gago, Penfolds Chief Winemaker and only the 4th custodian of Grange, relishes the opportunity to bring Penfolds to the world stage and is an enthusiastic ambassador and natural educator. Penfolds came to the attention of the US market when 1990 Grange was Wine Spectator’s ‘Wine of the Year’. Since then, Penfolds Grange has become one of the most collectable wines of the world and was honored to grace the front cover, once again, of Wine Spectator, with declarations of Grange as Australia’s Icon.
One of the most prestigious wines of the world capable of great power and grace, Napa Valley Cabernet is a leading force in the world of fine, famous, collectible red wine. Today the Napa Valley and Cabernet Sauvignon are so intrinsically linked that it is difficult to discuss one without the other. But it wasn’t until the 1970s that this marriage came to light; sudden international recognition rained upon Napa with the victory of the Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars 1973 Cabernet Sauvignon in the 1976 Judgement of Paris.
Cabernet Sauvignon undoubtedly dominates Napa Valley today, covering half of the land under vine, commanding the highest prices per ton and earning the most critical acclaim. Cabernet Sauvignon’s structure, acidity, capacity to thrive in multiple environs and ability to express nuances of vintage make it perfect for Napa Valley where incredible soil and geographical diversity are found and the climate is perfect for grape growing. Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that express specific characteristics based on situation, slope and soil—as a perfect example, Rutherford’s famous dust or Stags Leap District's tart cherry flavors.