Bin 311 Chardonnay truly reflects the winemakers’ mantra ‘we always go where the fruit grows best and where it best suits style’. In 2017, the fruit sourcing has moved to cool-climate multi-regional; Adelaide Hills, Tasmania, Tumbarumba. In true Bin 311 style, it exhibits lemon/lime aromas and a mineral acid backbone, complemented by barrel fermentation and maturation in French oak.
Bin 311 was first vintaged in 2005. True to House Style, Bin 311 Chardonnay takes advantage of the classification system and flow down of high-grade fruit, including material initially earmarked for Yattarna Chardonnay. Although primarily based on Tumbarumba fruit until recent years, the style is not based on terroir, but on a high altitude/low latitude cool-climate fruit profile.
Fresh and inviting – complexed by yeast lees-derived nougat and ground pistachio/almond/roasted chestnut. Scents of deconstructed crème brûlée ‘(flamed top and custardy middle), enhanced by ripe white nectarine and peach fruits. A liberal sprinkle of crushed rock/pebble dust (quartz, limestone?) certainly adds interest.
A very lively palate of freshly sliced cucumber and lime citrus flavours hovering over a soft and succulent acid underpinning. A tight phenolic grip induces wonderful length and drive to the finish.
A cool climate regional trio – three different chardonnay expressions of texture/acidity/tightness/purity coalesce, propelling combined fruits/flavours.
The source regions for Bin 311 Chardonnay all enjoyed plentiful winter rainfall, with several records broken. In Tasmania, good winter rainfall continued well into spring. Tumbarumba in New South Wales was above the long-term average while the Adelaide Hills recorded the highest annual rainfall since 1992. Across all regions, the 2017 season was a return to more average conditions, following the warm, dry and early 2016 vintage. Maximum spring temperatures were low but minimum temperatures were higher than average and there was no frost. In contrast to the high rainfall in winter and spring, the season ended dry and clear. February conditions were unusually cool and dry, and as a result the grapes showed fine acidity and elegance. Harvest was pushed back by the generally cooler conditions, which allowed grapes to slowly develop flavour intensity. A warm and dry March provided a perfect end to the season with strong quality markers across all regions.
Peter joined the winemaking team in 1989, initially in the craftsmanship of sparkling wines, before moving on to reds as Penfolds Red Wine Maker. In 2002 Peter became the fourth ever Chief Winemaker for Penfolds. Together with his fellow winemakers, Peter’s careful custodianship has ensured that Grange and the other ‘older’ members of the Penfolds family, have continued to set the benchmark for their style and quality, while new additions to the range push the boundaries ever wider.