Introduced in 1999 (originally as Eden Valley Reserve Bin Riesling), Bin 51 (from 2006) captures the attributes of the Eden Valley, adjacent to the Barossa Valley. The region’s altitude and cool climate consistently produces Riesling of great finesse and elegance with a capacity for long term cellaring.
Bin 51 is typically fragrant with intense lime and rose petal aromas and fine, cutting acidity. It develops complexity and richness with age without losing clarity, freshness or linear acid structure. Grape parcels are batch-vinified in steel tanks and bottled early under screw-caps to preserve pristine fruit characters, freshness and natural mineral quality.
Ned Goodwin MW and Langton’s Head of Domestic Buying Ramon Gunasekara discuss the newly released whites, including Yattarna Chardonnay, from the Penfolds Collection 2020.
Pale green gold. Fragrant camomile lime, lemon grass aromas with hints of ginger. Fresh sweet lemon curd, grapefruit, lime squash, flavours, fine looseknit powdery textures, attractive mid-palate richness and crunchy long acidity. Spectacular Eden Valley Riesling with beautiful aromatic complexity, richness of flavour and mineral length. Should age for the long term.
98 points (2020)
"Pithy and saline, with a strident freshness. Scents of pink grapefruit, Rose’s lime, lemon oil, quince and apricot pith. Balletic, even. Nothing coarse. Long and broad. An effortless Riesling boasting a strong fealty to place."
94 points (July 2020)
Eden Valley riesling sings in the cooler seasons, and this is particularly evident for Penfolds, where phenolic grip can play havoc in warmer vintages. 2020 embraces the precision and tension of a cool January, while upholding all the concentration and presence of a small harvest. Penfolds white winemaker Kym Schroeter considers this to be one of his best rieslings in quite some time, thanks to a balanced season that delivered just the right amount of rainfall at all the right times. It abounds with all the fragrant lemon blossom, spicy lime fruit, granny smith apple cut, even a tilt toward guava exoticism, that you’d expect in such profound youth, driven by ripe and fully integrated acidity. It boasts a generous approachability from the outset, making this a vintage to drink now rather than lay down, but it’s none the less for it.
93 points (July 2020)
Bright, light-yellow colour, with a classic Eden Valley aroma - a bouquet of dried-flowers, the palate fresh and youthfully yeasty, but with loads of fragrant floral aromas and yeasty notes of a new, young wine. A very smart wine and it would be completely impossible to mistake this for anything but a dry, fully ripe-picked, Australian riesling. Talcy and perfumed. An utterly lovely young riesling.
95 points, The Real Review (July 2020)
Very classic bath-powder, light lemon and lime fragrance here, then jasmine and crushed stones. The palate is piercingly dry, fresh and juicy with great intensity and length. Super fresh finish.
94 points, JamesSuckling.com (July 2020)
Always one of the better values in the Penfolds lineup, the 2020 Bin 51 Riesling delivers wonderfully floral, citrusy aromas that resemble apple blossoms and lime sherbet, with just a touch of peachy ripeness. It's light to medium-bodied, taut and chiseled, built around a strong spine of acidity that should help ensure a long, positive evolution.
92 points, Wine Advocate (July 2020)
Typically, intense, and penetrating lemon zest and sorbet aromatics strike immediately, heralding Eden Valley as the home. There is a deep concentration here with a bracing linear acidity channelling the palate to a very intense and long finish. Lip-smacking crispness on the finish.
92 points, The West Australian (July 2020)
Nothing like what you’d expect from Eden Valley, this has power and drive in its fruit flavours rather than steely acid focus. The nose is light – lemon blossom and fresh citrus oil – but the palate has a surprisingly solid frame, with a big squeeze of brown lime running through the long, persistent and rich flavours, supported by a mere hint of minerality. It sits apart from typical Eden Valley characteristics as a Riesling with its own identity: square-shouldered and solid on its feet.
92 points, David Sly, Decanter (July 2020)
Like the brittle, crystalline 2019 vintage, this 2020 is another lean, mean, feisty Eden Valley Riesling and it is pithy, raspingly dry and in need of time, perhaps a year or two, to sufficiently mellow and soften. The talc-y, chalky texture is mouth-watering and the acidity is abrupt and confrontational, too. The piercingly fresh lime juice theme is invigorating and its ultra-clean outlook manages to fleetingly banish memories of the awful, raging bush fires which devastated hundreds of vineyards in South Australia. This is a wine which cleanses the palate and the mind and it is a fine beacon of hope that we can look forward to drinking some superb wines from this exceptionally challenging vintage.
18+ points (July 2020)
This year’s release is taut but powerfully flavoured. Indeed the palate has real kick to it, in flavour terms. Citrus rind, apple, blossomy notes and Meyer lemon juice. The finish is bound and slightly gagged at present but it will extend with extra time in bottle; you’d reckon it will be singing in time for the next Southern Hemisphere summer.
92+ points, The Wine Front (July 2020)
Very youthful reductive Riesling with a strong smoky element. It would be interesting to know how much residual sugar there is here; it tastes as though there is a smidgeon, or perhaps the lime-and-herbs fruit is just nice and ripe. It would be great if Penfolds would age this is a bit longer before release. Fairly long but still a bit astringent.
16+ points, JancisRobinson.com (June 2020)
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.