Penfolds Reserve Bin A Adelaide Hills Chardonnay 2020

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First came isolated frosts across the Adelaide Hills, followed by a cool November which led into terrible bushfires in December with significant loss of vines. By the time, harvest came in February, yields were down, naturally. But through it all, came a reserved, tense, Reserve Bin A (aka Bin 20A).

Interestingly, in past releases the wine has been associated with characters of white stone fruits, peach and nectarine (to quote previous releases). In 2020, an unusual year let’s face it; it is all about citrus, apple and pear with an inflection – no, make that a firmer presence – of leesy, bready, biscuity-ness. Don’t overchill and there’s a lovely lemon thyme character, too. You can almost imagine this chardonnay as a sparkling blanc de blancs, such is its fine line and delicacy. Oak – eight months in French barriques with 86% new – is nicely controlled, a binding agent lending a hand to the citrussy whole.

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