Penfolds Max's Chardonnay 2017
Very pale straw in color, this wine offers an amalgam of aromatics working in harmony -- primarily yellow stone fruit (nectarine) and honeydew melon with soft pistachio nougat (and, enchantingly/unexpectedly from this white grape variety, blueberry!). Barely recognizable savory French oak imparts a sensitive touch to sign off on a complex and appealing nose. A soft and delicate mouth coating/laminated acidity fills out the palate and gently conveys the fermented spoils of Adelaide Hills Chardonnay. The wine shows a citrus edge, with lime splice and finger lime sweetness. It also offers enticing teacake sponge flavors varietally laced with finely grated lemon zest.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
This complex and attractive chardonnay has a neat core of white peaches, pears and honeydew melon with a refined, dry and layered palate. Long, fresh, peach and lemon finish. Drink now. Screw cap.
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.
A narrow band of hills and valleys east of the city of Adelaide, the Adelaide Hills region is a diverse landscape featuring a variety of microclimates. In general it is moderate with high-altitude areas cooler and wetter compared to its warmer, lower areas.
Piccadilly Valley, the part of Adelaide Hills closest to the city, was first staked out by a grower named Brian Croser, in the 1970s for a cool spot to grow Chardonnay, then uncommon in Australia. Today a good amount of the Chardonnay goes to winemakers outside of the region.
Producers here experiment with other cool-climate loving aromatic varieties like Pinot Gris, Viognier and Riesling. Charming sparkling wine is also possible. On its north side, lower, west-facing slopes make full-bodied Shiraz.
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.