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I have a bottle of penfolds bin 389 vint. 1990. I have very little knowledge of wine, even though I have a degree in Culinary Arts (I ended up becoming a firefighter). I was wondering if anyone could tell me how I might be able to tell if the wine is still good and when should I drink it or should I leave it alone for now? Since I've had it, it's been laying on its side in a dark closet, I kinda knew that. Before that I'm not too sure how it was stored. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Original Post
Bin 389 is always pleasant, a moderately priced (about $20+ for current releases) blend of Cabernet and Shiraz. It's sometimes called "the poor man's Grange," a reference to Penfolds' best wine that retails for over $200 a pop.

Although Bin 389 wines may benefit from moderating aging, I wouldn't keep your bottle much longer, particularly since you don't know how it was stored before you got it. Moreover, if it's been kept in a closet, it's undoubtedly been subjected to temperature well above the ideal for longterm storage (55 to 60 degrees), and possibly to significant fluctuation in temperature, which is bad for the wine.

The 1990 wasn't one of the better bottling of Bin 389 -- in 1995 Wine Spectator gave the 1990 Bin 389 86 points, a decent score but nothing to get excited about, and said "drink now."

That remains good advice, IMHO, but I wouldn't expect the wine to be anything special. If you're serving it to guests, have a backup bottle ready to go.
YW!

I suggest that you stand the bottle up for a couple of days before opening it to let the sediment settle to the bottom -- it's probably got quite a bit at this point. Then open it carefully and either decant it, leaving the sediment in the bottle, or at least pour it carefully to avoid stirring up the gunk. It'll be more enjoyable that way.
i wouldn't worry too much about the WS score on this wine - it should be a very nice wine. 1990 was a superb vintage and the 1990 389 auctions for about AU$80-85.

I've had some 389s from the 1960s that had aged beautifully.

Definitely decant it when you have it.

Here is a tasting note from an aussie forum:

http://www.winestar.com.au/forum/viewtopic.php?t=12930

P.S. it's called poor man's grange because the oak barrels that were used to age the previous grange are used as part of the barrel mix for this wine.

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