Penfolds, Barossa Valley, Kalimna, Cabernet Sauvignon, Block 42 2004

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By US 101


VERY RARE - Nationwide merchants will have only 2-3 bottles available in any year, rarely will any one merchant have 2 or more available at a time. 


The 10-acre Block 42 was planted only 30 years after the great 1855 Bordeaux Classification and comprises the oldest plantings of Cabernet Sauvignon continuously produced in the world. The recent 2004 vintage resulted in beautifully aromatic, perfectly balanced and ripe Cabernet Sauvignon from Block 42, Kalimna Vineyard. The fruit was handpicked and fermented in 'headed down' static fermenters. The wine completed fermentation entirely in seasoned new oak hogsheads.


Above average winter rainfall led into a promising vintage, which was characterised by mild conditions up until February, followed by hot weather conditions throughout March and April. South Australia fared well and produced wines of elegance and intensity.


Fermentation was completed in medium toast, new 300L oak hogsheads, before the wine underwent 13 months barrel fermentation.

Winemaker comments by Peter Gago - PENFOLDS Chief Winemaker

COLOUR Dense in colour.

NOSE The nose shows intense blackcurrant, dark chocolate and liquorice aromas.

PALATE Fine, silky tannins and richly concentrated flavours are in perfect harmony. The sheer volume and weight of fruit explodes across the palate, giving tremendous depth and length of flavour.

100 points James Suckling

This is phenomenal, with game, meat, deer and fruit. Black truffles. Wild fruit. Insane. Black and green olives. Full bodied, with big velvety tannins and a long, long finish. Amazing sliced meat and fruit character. Fabulous wine that just blows me away and makes me think of great pre-phyloxera Bordeaux of 1864 and 1865. From vines in the mid-1880s. About 10 acres. 500 cases. Screwcap. (11/2011)

98 points Int'l Wine Cellar

Bright violet. Jawdroppingly pure bouquet of blackberry, boysenberry, blackcurrant, kirsch, exotic tobacco, graphite and licorice, with a crystalline mineral tone running all the way through. Like liquid velvet in the mouth, showing a stunning melange of dark berry flavors that seem weightless but pack an amazing wallop of flavor. This is only 13.4% alcohol but has the impact of a 17% monster. Finishes on a delicate floral note-and then the blackberry, licorice and candied violet flavors snap back with a vengeance. The finish refuses to die. Penfolds claims that this is one of the oldest plots of cabernet sauvignon on earth, planted in the mid-1880s; the only other bottlings were in 1953 (as Grange Cabernet), 1961, 1963, 1964 and 1996. Remarkable for its concentration, elegance and balance and probably the greatest Australian wine I've been privileged to drink. (JR) (7/2006)

97 points Wine Advocate

It’s not known exactly when the Kalimna Block 42 was planted but there are suggestions that the vines existed during the latter part of the 19th Century. They could be the oldest Cabernet vines in the world, although the famous Metala Cabernet vineyard in Langhorne Creek was known to have been planted in 1891 so could very well pre-date Kalimna. Regardless, I’ve been there and the vines are truly old. Only very rarely does Penfolds release this as a single vineyard wine, when the Cabernet is so fabulous it can’t possibly be blended. The 2004 Block 42 Kalimna Cabernet Sauvignon was such a vintage. Matured in 100% new American hogsheads for 13 months, it displays a very deep garnet-purple color and profoundly earthy / gamey aromas over black cherry preserves, creme de cassis plus scents of leather, pencil shavings, Mediterranean herbs, black truffles, underbrush and black olives. The elegant, medium-bodied palate is tightly-knit and led by structure with a high level of grainy tannins, very high acid and a long earthy finish. Approachable now, it should continue to evolve and drink to 2025+. (LPB)  (12/2010)

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