As it is likely to be my last chance for some time, I took the opportunity this week to get properly rugby-league drunk. Although perhaps not quite Fevola-drunk.
And the culprit that led me to into vinous temptation was the latest incarnation of Baby Grange – Penfolds’ Bin 389.
The colour is sublime and gives you a pleasing glimpse of the good things to follow. The nose is a grandiloquent array of rich choclatey, vanillin intensity that invites you to dive right in.
So we did. We drank quickly, and copiously. The first bottle tasted just splendid – not too fruity, and brimming with earthy, velvety warmth that was as moreish as a tube of Pringles. I don’t really remember the second bottle.
At the start of the evening, our waitress had a face like a truffle pig - or Jessica Schipper. By the end of the meal, she’d undergone three courses of plastic surgery and coloured her hair. Alternatively, we may have been so annoying that they allocated us a new waitress sometime after the main course.
Whatever. The 389 made it better, and so I liked it.
On a more serious note, it has a depth of character and intensity that means it should live for a long time. Drink one now, and keep another one under the stairs in case of emergency – like, say, when your mother-in-law moves in...
If you look really hard, you can sometimes pick this up for better than $40 a bottle, which makes me happy. If you are in London, I am told you can pick it up for 13 quid, which makes me mad.
Drink with: Smashed crabs
Price: $40 ($60 rrp – but retail is for suckers)