Bin 311 is considered one of the very finest, best-value cool-climate Chardonnays in Australia. In the context of Penfolds’ Chardonnay, Bin 311 is to Yattarna as Bin 389 is to Grange. The wine is made from declassified parcels of A1-graded Chardonnay grapes that would otherwise go into Yattarna and matured in the same French oak barrels that previously held Yattarna.
Pale gold. Intense grapefruit, white peach, apricot aromas with flinty/ tonic water/ sea breezy notes. Lively and expressive with plentiful grapefruit, white peach apricot flavours, underlying roasted almond/ toasty notes, attractive creamy mid-palate richness and long fresh minerally acidity. Lovely clarity, volume and crunchy persistency. Not for the long term but delicious to drink now. Seal; screwcap Drink Now-2027 13% alc
95 points (July 2021)
68/25/6% Tasmania/ Piccadilly/Henty fruit. Matured 8 months in 41% new French oak barriques. There is an immediacy and an amicable approachability to this vintage, thanks to mid-palate presence, intricately uniting the white peach, lemon and fig of impeccably ripe fruit with the cashew nut of French oak and the subtle struck-flint reductive allure that signs Penfolds chardonnay. Fine-boned structure characterises a long finish, defined by a glorious sweep of brilliantly illuminated, crystalline acidity that spells out medium-term promise. A great 311.
94 points, Wine Companion (July 2021)
Fresh, clean and unadorned, this mod Australian Chardonnay is in unabashed naked form here. Volume on the fruit notes is turned down – white nectarines over lean grapefruit – and the focus is on the even, modulated mid-palate. It’s a long, easy ride through the flavours, held in check by fine-grained oak that promotes a lovely savoury lick at the finish.
93 points, David Sly, Decanter (June 2021)
Has a very well-made feel with vibrant chardonnay fruit – lemon, peach and nectarine – as well as nicely placed barrel-fermentation complexity. Quite zesty and linear palate with flavors that run from citrus to peach and melon, and there’s good purity throughout. Sourced from Tasmania, Adelaide Hills and Henty. Drink now.
93 points, JamesSuckling.com (July 2021)
Limpid yellow. Pungent lemon curd, dried pear and nectarine aromas are complemented by smoky mineral, fennel and vanilla nuances. Chewy and sharply focused on the palate, offering concentrated citrus and orchard fruit flavors that show firm tension and a floral nuance that builds with air. A hint of marzipan lingers as mineral and floral notes carry through the firm finish.
93 points, Vinous (July 2021)
The maker makes no bones of the fact that the sourcing of grapes for Bin 311 is vintage dependent, capitalising on regions that shine in any particular year. In 2020, it was Tasmania, the Adelaide Hills and Henty, cool wine regions all. The logistics in fruit-sourcing sound horrendous. The result is well worth the trouble.
A picture of cool climate linearity, a fine-edged, almost brittle beauty, which belies a solid base of mouth-filling flavours. White peach, grapefruit pith, citrus and pistachio nougat aromas indicate a budding complexity. Some serious intensity on the palate: lemon curd and citrus skin, white peach and a sea salt tang join in with a delicate touch of French oak-inspired oatmeal/oatcake flavours to create a warm, textural mouthfeel. Highish acidity – 8.4 grams/litre for those at home – creates a firm, pleasing base for the wine and its future.
93 points, Wine Pilot
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.