Reserve Bin A Adelaide Hills Chardonnay 2018 750mL bottle Reserve Bin A  Chardonnay 2018 beauty image

The Penfolds Collection

Reserve Bin A Adelaide Hills Chardonnay 2018

Reserve Bin A Chardonnay has evolved into a wine that is now a distinctive, single-region style in its own right, with a contemporary and expressive Adelaide Hills chardonnay persona. Fruit is hand-picked into small bins and then whole-bunch pressed. A portion of the juice is incrementally filled to barrel directly from the press and allowed to undergo a natural fermentation, sans inoculation.

Every new and seasoned French oak barrique is its own unique 225-litre ferment. Enhanced mouthfeel and complexity is achieved by fermenting and maturing on solids with regular yeast lees stirring. 100% malolactic fermentation (all natural).

When To Drink

Drinking well now, but will improve with time. Peak drinking 2021 - 2035.

Taste Description

Pale straw with a bright lemon rim

Not the archetypical stone-fruited Bin A this vintage – to the fore:
lemon curd, mandarin and nashi pear with a skerrick of shortbread and creamy custard/vanilla slice sans icing.
Also noteworthy – a touch of spice (cardamom and caraway) and a subtle suggestion of ground almond. This tasting’s final impression signing off on a quartz-like minerality, and wet river-stone flintiness. Very much looking forward to evolution in the bottle...

Initially, an intriguing subtle (fluffy/pillowy) gentleness!
Flavours of mandarin and yoghurt with a rich mid-palate.
A glycerolic viscosity interlocks with the natural acidity inducing a mouth-watering juiciness and just a rasp of flint at the very end, adding length and zest.
So youthful. All evident on the palate would indicate that this wine needs time!
Short-term – catalyse/accelerate via a decant. Or wait. Adelaide Hills attired alternatively.


18.5+/20 Points - Matthew Jukes

96 Points - Nick Stock,

95 Points - Andrew Caillard MW

95 Points - Campbell Mattinson

94 Points - Angus Hughson

92 Points - Huon Hooke

92 Points - Joe Czerwinski, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

Winemaker Quotes

“Why release Reserve Bin A one year before Yattarna? To reply in the nicest possible way –Because we can.”

“Seatbelt-up for the complete journey in bottle, start to finish. And what a ride!”

 - Peter Gago, Penfolds Chief Winemaker
Technical Information

Origin: Adelaide Hills, South Australia. 

Maturation: Eight months in French oak (40% new, 35% 1-y.o., 25% seasoned) 

Wine Analysis: Alc/Vol: 13%, Acidity: 7.1 g/L, pH: 3.06 

Variety: Chardonnay.

Vintage Conditions

The Adelaide Hills enjoyed above average rainfall from winter until early summer.

From January, the rainfall steadily decreased with only half the average falling between New Year and vintage. 
There was only one significant frost event on November 7th, but this was largely controlled by sprinkler mitigation systems across the region. A hail storm on October 29th caused some damage to canopies, however this weather event did not have a significant impact on the crop. Summer was warm, especially through January and February with 12 summer days above 35 degrees. The altitude of the region protected the grapes from extremes that were experienced elsewhere. A dry and orderly vintage provided excellent parcels of chardonnay harvested across the region.

Reserve Bin A Chardonnay has established a strong following since it was first released in 1994.  The impressive successes at wine shows, both in Australia and the UK, has contributed to the significant worldwide attention to this hallmark Penfolds style. 

The early vintages included some Tumbarumba fruit and since 2003 it has been released entirely under screwcap.  

Reserve Bin A was not made in 1996, 1997, 1999, 2001, 2002 and 2011.

“Why release Reserve Bin A one year before Yattarna? To reply in the nicest possible way – Because we can.”

Peter Gago

Penfolds Chief Winemaker