Penfolds `Block 42` Kalmina Cabernet Sauvignon 1996 (1 x 750mL)5 Star Prov

Provenance: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Planted around 1888, Block 42 is located at the edge of the Kalimna Vineyard in the Barossa Valley and is home to Cabernet Sauvignon vines of ancient genetic origins.

The 10-acre Block 42 comprises what are believed to be the oldest plantings of continuously producing Cabernet Sauvignon vines in the world. For over 120 vintages these vines have produced flavour-intense, mineral-rich fruit with exceptional concentration and balance.

Providing ‘lift and structure’, Block 42 Cabernet Sauvignon was blended into many early bottlings of Penfolds Grange. The Block 42 vineyard continues to be an important component of Bin 707, providing backbone and substance to the overall style.

There have only been a handful of releases across the decades due to the low-yielding nature of the Block 42 site. The most recent was made from the 2004 vintage and was sold en primeur - Penfolds was the first Australian winery to use this selling method made famous by the chateaux of Bordeaux.

With a bit of luck, ideal weather conditions, the right parcels of fruit and when the fruit is not required for Bin 707, Block 42 will continue to be periodically released – potentially more than once in a decade.

Overview

Provenance: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Planted around 1888, Block 42 is located at the edge of the Kalimna Vineyard in the Barossa Valley and is home to Cabernet Sauvignon vines of ancient genetic origins.

The 10-acre Block 42 comprises what are believed to be the oldest plantings of continuously producing Cabernet Sauvignon vines in the world. For over 120 vintages these vines have produced flavour-intense, mineral-rich fruit with exceptional concentration and balance.

Providing ‘lift and structure’, Block 42 Cabernet Sauvignon was blended into many early bottlings of Penfolds Grange. The Block 42 vineyard continues to be an important component of Bin 707, providing backbone and substance to the overall style.

There have only been a handful of releases across the decades due to the low-yielding nature of the Block 42 site. The most recent was made from the 2004 vintage and was sold en primeur - Penfolds was the first Australian winery to use this selling method made famous by the chateaux of Bordeaux.

With a bit of luck, ideal weather conditions, the right parcels of fruit and when the fruit is not required for Bin 707, Block 42 will continue to be periodically released – potentially more than once in a decade.

Region:
SA - Barossa
State:
South Australia
Country:
Australia

Expert Reviews

“Medium to full red-purple; a paradigm of everything Cabernet Sauvignon should be: the fragrant cassis/redcurrant fruit and perfect oak integration of the bouquet is followed by an intensely flavoured yet elegant wine on a very long palate flooded with cassis and redcurrant fruit, and crowned with fine tannins on the finish.” - 96 Points (James Halliday, March 21 – 2000)

Planted around 1888, to visit the Penfolds' Kalimna vineyard is to realize how very special this block of ancient is - it exudes history. A single block 42 wine has only been made from the fruit in 6 vintages: 1953, 1961, 1963, 1964, 1996 and 2004. I tried it twice within the last year and both times it was clear the wine is still youthful and has more to give, though this bottle was faring slightly better. Very deep garnet-black colored, it offers pronounced menthol and eucalypt notes over warm blackcurrant and spices, with hints of dried roses, lavender and Provence herbs. Solidly structured in the mouth, it has a firm level of chewy tannins and crisp acid with plenty of mid-palate flesh and a long finish. Built to go on and on.

Rating 93 - Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, In Asia (JAN/2012)

Winery Tasting Notes

Exceptional vintage conditions in the Barossa Valley in 1996 presented Penfolds winemakers with the opportunity to make this one-off, special bin wine in the tradition of the legendary Bin 60A, Bin 7 and Bin 90A.

Penfolds Block 42 is a captivating example of a single block of high-quality Kalimna Cabernet Sauvignon, featuring concentrated varietal flavours, complexity of balanced oak and a fine tannin finish.

Colour

Dense plum red.

Aroma

Compelling savoury and spicy notes - ginger, nutmeg and cardamom - interwoven with carob/dark chocolate flavours against a background of lightly charred, cedary oak.

Palate

Archetypical Barossa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon - perfectly balanced and integrated with no rough edges. Concentrated fruits - blackcurrant and dark plum - merge into the chocolate and liquorice spectrum. Hints of black olive and mineral elements. Rounded.

Cellaring

Now - 2020