Clean, pure, highly varietal nose. White peach and nectarine, a flintiness rising. The palate introduces toast, malt, wheaty elements and a little funk, though it’s well contained. There are many elements here and yet they present in unison. Dry, serious finish. Bristling length. Excellent wine. Will mature beautifully.
95 points, Campbell Mattinson (October 2018)
Rather more related to its tri-regional make-up than its purist Tumbarumba past, this is a more expressive and more sensual wine than the in years gone by, but it still retains tension and it is a very different wine to the other Chardonnays in the portfolio. The oak seems nuttier and patisserie-marked and this allows the fruit to grow a little more in the glass.
18 points, Matthew Jukes (October 2018)
Struck match, touches of toasted hazelnut and grilled peach and fresh lime notes give the 2017 Chardonnay Bin 311 ample complexity on the nose and palate. It's medium-bodied, with a touch of creaminess on the mid-palate and a long, silky finish. New for this year, it's a blend of fruit from the Adelaide Hills (56%), Tasmania (27%) and Tumbarumba (17%), so in the United States, it carries the inauspicious GI of South Eastern Australia. Don't be misled by that, as it's a serious, classy wine for a very reasonable price.
93 points, Joe Czerwinski (October 2018)
Pale colour. Intensely fresh white apricot, “fino” aromas with roasted nut, gun flint nuances. Well concentrated white apricot, peach, bitter lemon yeasty, cashew nut flavours, fine looseknit chalky al-dente textures, classic mid-palate suppleness and long crisp acidity. Minerally wine with attractive generosity of fruit and freshness. An early drinking style for aficionados with lovely varietal definition and tension. 92 points –- 12.5% alcohol - Drink Now – 2021.
92 points, Andrew Caillard MW (October 2018)
Fruit sourcing has moved to cool-climate, multi-regional. Adelaide Hills, Tasmania, Tumbarumba; eight months in 25% new French oak. With a new regional recipe, the mood of Bin 311 has taken a dramatic change. It contrasts fleshy, spicy white nectarine presence with grapefruit complexity, overlaid with the roast cashew nut character of French oak, which will benefit from time to fully integrate. Acidity is well integrated on a long finish. Drink 2019-2022.
91 points, Tyson Stelzer (October 2018)
Light yellow colour, toasted nut bouquet with almond and cashew hints. The palate soft and easygoing, gentle and rounded, the acidity is fresh and balanced and not shrill. The finish is clean and dry and balanced, smooth and refreshing. Oak is balanced and subtle. Straightforward and very pleasant.
90 points, Huon Hooke (October 2018)
Penfolds is probably the most extraordinary of the world’s wine brands with an enviable reputation for quality at every price level. The original Penfold was an English doctor who, in 1844, planted grapes at Magill, now a suburb of Adelaide. However, it was not until the late 1940s that Penfolds began to forge a reputation for red wine.
The Penfolds house style emerged from a fortified wine producing culture and evolved as a winemaking philosophy which has had a profound effect on the entire Australian wine industry. Many of the techniques initially adopted to make Penfolds Grange would become part of the wider Penfolds winemaking culture. The number of techniques employed in the research and development of Penfolds wines is astonishing. Max Schubert and his team pioneered: major advances in yeast technology and paper chromatography; the understanding and use of pH in controlling bacterial spoilage; the use of headed down/submerged cap fermentation and the technique of rack and return; cold fermentation practices; the use of American oak as a maturation vessel and perhaps most critically, partial barrel fermentation. Nowadays, the use of American oak and barrel fermentation for instance is considered traditional Barossa winemaking practice!
Today, Penfolds house style embraces the concept of multi-regional blending, optimum fruit quality, the use of fine-grained American or French oak, barrel fermentation and maturation. Overall, the Penfolds style is about highly-defined fruit aromas, fruit sweetness, ripe tannins, richness, power and concentration. The number of iconic wines that have emerged from the Penfolds stable over the years is remarkable. Bin 389 a Cabernet Shiraz blend released in 1960 is now considered the quintessential Australian wine blend. Bin 128 Coonawarra Shiraz and Bin 28 Kalimna Shiraz released in 1962 pre-empted the contemporary enthusiasm for regional definition by about 25 years. Improved vineyard management, site selection and winemaking brought about subsequent releases of Bin 707 and Bin 407 Cabernet Sauvignon. The Penfolds Wine Making Philosophy is the accumulation of more than half-a-century of knowledge and winemaking practice initiated by Max Schubert and subsequently refined by Don Ditter, John Duval and Peter Gago. Their collective commitment to multi-regional and vineyard blending contributed to a consistency of style and quality that has cemented Penfolds reputation as the foremost producer of premium age-worthy red wines in Australia.