Penfolds Bin 311 Chardonnay 2019
Jeni Port – 95 Points.
One of the more complex, compelling Bin 311s to head our way with Tasmania taking a lead role, and it shows. Citrus, green apple and a delightful bunch of florals on the bouquet, almost Riesling like in its lemony, grapefruit leanings. A citrus overlay on the palate runs through the wine with ripe stone fruits complemented by a leesy mealyness. Texture is crunchy and crisp in keeping with the prominent acidity and lean structure usually associated with Tasmanian Chardonnay. It’s a keeper. Don’t overchill.
Ken Gargett – 93 Points
Tony Love – 94 Points
Erin Larkin – 95 Points
It has to be said, I opened these wines straight and tasted them – no decanting, no ‘coming to temp’ just straight out of the wine fridge at 14C. This didn’t help the Bin 311 as I found it to come at me in layers, rather than as a complete/seamless entity. I found it performed far better both later that day, and the following day – the separate components of fruit/acid/texture/impression came together, giving the wine a wholly svelte vibe – very slick stuff. Delicacy and power at once. Really, I think there is an evolution/refinement of winemaking style at Penfolds, and the Chardonnays are brilliant expressions of what is possible in Australia. I’d put the Res Bin in great years close to the very top of the Chardonnay tree in Australia (big words from a WA lover), and this 311 is starting to show that pedigree and class. Exciting stuff basically.
Golden straw in the glass, lightly toasted cashew, grilled pineapple, yellow peach skin and hints of Greek yoghurt. The palate is glossy and polished, the acidity is almost hard/lean here. The fruit is slippery and mouth-watering, the structure is firm. Very good length of flavour. A very definite Penfolds DNA folded into the makeup of this wine. Perhaps the greatest Bin 311 to be produced so far – there is a flinty, match-sticky sort of vibe that takes this into a new space. 13% alcohol. Drinking window: 2020 – 2025
Melissa Moore – 93 Points
Pale gold in the glass. On the nose lifted citrus, wet stone, light cashew oak and a smidge struck match. Interestingly chewy in the mouth: leesy intensity, lovely stonefuit flavours with fine, obvious and refreshing acidity to balance.
Angus Hughson – 94 Points
The first Bin 311 to go so long on Tasmanian fruit and the wine is better for it – without doubt the best 311 yet. It is pale straw, youthful and still a baby. There are many layers of very pure citrus and honeydew melon fruits wound up in a cloak of barrel ferment and spicy oak complexity. It is then acid driven and angular with a nod towards Premier Cru Chablis thanks to its mix of zesty, almost saline fruit with nougat complexity that is compact and concentrated driven by a bolt of bright acidity. It ends as it started – powerful and pure with some creaminess to finish. Drink 2023 – 2030.