The 2010 Penfolds Koonunga Hill Shiraz (75%) Cabernet Sauvignon (25%) is sourced from vineyards all over Australia, but mainly the Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale and Coonawarra on the Limestone Coast. Penfolds was founded in 1844 and are known for The Grange, a blend that sells for $500 for a new vintage and increasing more as it is cellared. It is a wine that can last 15 to 20 years if taken care of properly, they actually have re-corking clinics, where you can take your cellared bottle to them and they will remove any damaged corks and reseal the wine, so it can be aged another 10 years. Penfolds successfully makes the expensive stuff and they also do a great job on the value wines. The percentage of Shiraz to Cabernet can change with each vintage and this wine was aged in both French and American oak barrels, along with a portion of the wine that was aged in stainless steel tanks to retain the freshness of the fruit. The alcohol content is 13.5%.
The color is a deep plum red with a strawberry halo. The nose is raspberry, spice drop candy, menthol and blackberry. This Shiraz/Cab is very soft and smooth with a full, lush mouthfeel. It tastes of ripe blackberry and blueberry, a little fudge brownie, a hit of cherry juice and cassis. The mid palate offers some muted Shiraz spice, dried strawberries and tart cranberry. You can sense the tannins, but they generally stay out of the way. The acidity is well balanced, it hides until the finish and helps the partly smooth/partly tart finish linger for a respectable length of time.
The 2010 Penfolds Koonunga Hill Shiraz Cabernet (Koonunga Hill is the name of Penfold’s vineyard in the Barossa Valley, though I am not sure if any of the grapes from that vineyard made their way into this bottling) is a really first rate patio wine. It will work great with steaks, burgers or chicken on the grill, while really doing a solid job as a sipping wine. A big full bodied Red at a not so big price, I saw it on the web from $7 to $12, it drinks much better than its price.