Penfolds Bin 311 Chardonnay 2019
The 2019 Penfolds Bin 311 Chardonnay is a light straw color. The nose is full-flavored, endowed with a concentrated fruit spectrum of citrus, grapefruit and white peach. Hints of sherbet, camomile and goats cheese complex the aromatic offer – a chardonnay cast assembled from three States of Australia. Certainly, there’s quite the performance happening in the glass, with barely a swirl of the glass and some air required to light up the stage! First and foremost, this wine extolls freshness, yet not at the expense of an endearing richness and generosity of flavor. Whilst some may perceive it to be slightly ‘larger-framed’ than in previous years it nevertheless retains trademark Bin 311 mineral acidity and linearity. Rockmelon and white peach fruits are pronounced. Underlying sherbet and fresh lemon tart impressions coupled with a lovely creaminess add to the structural and flavor pool.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
This is a blend of three regions, Tasmania, Tumbarumba and Adelaide Hills. It’s Tasmania that really powers this wine in 2019. Opens on a chalky and stony edge with intense, vibrant white-peach and citrus aromas. The palate has a resolved, complete and smooth-honed texture. Flavors of ripe peaches, honey and citrus sit amid fresh, crisp acidity and a long, attractively pithy grapefruit and peach finish.
This is a likable, multi-regional Chardonnay blend that is at first tightly reined and straightforward in nature, but reveals more layers as it opens in the glass. It weaves stone fruit, pineapple, salted nuts and toasty characters into a slippery, creamy mouthfeel. The oak is present but not overwhelming and an appealing salted peach note lingers on the finish. It's a solid example of modern Aussie Chardonnay.
Sourced from Tasmania, Adelaide Hills and Tumbarumba, Penfolds is seeking to position the 2019 Bin 311 Chardonnay as something of a "Junior Yattarna." I guess that's one way to characterize the stuff that doesn't make the cut for the flagship Chardonnay. In truth, this is a fine wine in its own right, boasting struck-match complexity on the nose alongside hints of apple, white peach and lime. Barrel fermented and matured in 35% new French oak, it's medium-bodied and silky textured, but it hides the oak well, ending in a lingering wash of citrus.
Fresh and citrusy up front, with lemon zest, tangerine and pomelo flavors that are clear and bright, on a juicy frame. Balanced, with notes of toasted hazelnut and spice on the finish, which gain momentum.
Deceptively delicate, even though it has been framed within a quite sturdy oak outline. The body of the wine is quite fragile – a fine porcelain vase. A whiff of toasty oak rides ahead of very gentle peach blossom. The sliver of lemon has surprising persistence, revealing some pleasing roasted cashew and mineral bite before a squeeze of tart grapefruit providing pucker at the finish. It’s all very prim and elegant, straight-backed and on its best behaviour, but one wonders whether it can loosen up with age.
Penfolds has been producing remarkable wines since 1844 and indisputably led the development of Australian fine wine in the modern era. The introduction of Penfolds Grange in 1951 forever changed the landscape of Australian fine wine. Since then a series of stand-out wines both white and red have been released under the Penfolds masthead.
Peter Gago, Penfolds Chief Winemaker and only the 4th custodian of Grange, relishes the opportunity to bring Penfolds to the world stage and is an enthusiastic ambassador and natural educator. Penfolds came to the attention of the US market when 1990 Grange was Wine Spectator’s ‘Wine of the Year’. Since then, Penfolds Grange has become one of the most collectable wines of the world and was honored to grace the front cover, once again, of Wine Spectator, with declarations of Grange as Australia’s Icon.
In essence a viticultural "super zone" covering Australia's best wine regions from the Pacific coast of Queensland across the states of New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania and the southeastern half of South Australia. The term is used when vintners choose to source fruit from multiple regions in order to maintain a consistent finished wine from year to year.
One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it is grown and how it is made. While it tends to flourish in most environments, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. California produces both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines. Somm Secret—The Burgundian subregion of Chablis, while typically using older oak barrels, produces a bright style similar to the unoaked style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy Chablis.