Penfolds Reserve Bin A Adelaide Hills Chardonnay 2016 screw cap

The Penfolds Collection

Reserve Bin A Adelaide Hills Chardonnay 2016

Penfolds 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 distinctive Adelaide Hills Chardonnay persona.

All fruit is hand-picked into small bins and then whole-bunch pressed. 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 on solids, 100% malolactic fermentation (all natural).

When To Drink

Drinking well now, but will improve with time. Peak drinking now - 2024.

Taste Description

Very light pale straw.

More citrusy than normal with lemon meringue and preserved lemon notes. And yet still harbouring typical Adelaide Hills white nectarine aromas alongside yeast lees/oak- derived complexing characters, almond nougat.
A trace of powdered/finely ground white pepper adds an interesting and intriguing element.
Background minerals / struck rock / ferric flintiness (not quite wetted iron filings!) spiral upwards, building complexity. 

Lemon and citrus conceded, however, a more pronounced grapefruit pith character assumes control of palate - obliging a round, mouth-coating, softened phenolic texture.
Structurally, a mineral acidity coupled with papery tannins/phenolics, induce an impressive length of flavour.
An expressive Bin A displaying more purity and more drive, albeit with greater focus, tightness.

Awards & Accolades

International Wine Challenge 2018 

- Gold Medal

- South Australia Chardonnay Trophy

- Australian Chardonnay Trophy

- Australian White Trophy

Decanter World Wine Awards 2018 

- Gold Medal

Winemaker Quotes

“Yes, heightened purity, and perhaps a little less ‘traditional’ Bin A artefact …. confidently reflecting the clarity and expression of fruit from a wonderful Adelaide Hills vintage.”

- Peter Gago, Penfolds Chief Winemaker
Technical Information

Origin: Adelaide Hills, South Australia. 

Maturation: Nine months in French oak (40% new).

Variety: Chardonnay.

Vintage Conditions

The Adelaide Hills 2016 growing season commenced under mild and dry conditions. Rainfall was below average throughout winter and dry conditions persisted through spring resulting in early vine growth. Conditions for fruit-set and flowering were favourable and contributed towards above average vintage yields. Rain events during late summer were, for the most part, pre-veraison.

Cool February conditions meant that ripening was steady and the slightly early start to vintage was a result of a mild and dry growing season. February and March weather allowed for a steady harvest, favourable flavour development and acid retention.

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.

“97 Points – A gloriously complex and expressive bouquet, with fruit and high-quality French oak both on song.”

James Halliday

Wine Critic, Australian Wine Companion