I've long believed Thomas Hyland Chardonnay to rate alongside Koonunga Hill Shiraz Cabernet as the best wines in Penfolds' lower end, but even I was a bit surprised when the newly named (and complete with redesigned label) 2008 Thomas Hyland Cool Climate Chardonnay took out the Best White Under $20 trophy at the Royal Adelaide Wine Show last year.
Quite worked but certainly present with some smart fruit and a touch of class, its wide open nose reveals elements of creamy nougat with genuine cool climate, white nectarine and grapefruit aromas backed by a hint of spicy, toasty vanilla oak. Its generous palate presents richly flavoured nuances of creamy white fruit and nougat framed by a lively extract of zesty citric acids, and although it finishes pleasingly long with sweet, creamy toffee-like undertones, it does show a slight puckering astringency that denies it a truly elegant climax.
ü+ Generously flavoured, clean and ably refined; Penfolds' 2008 Thomas Hyland is a near perfect quaffing chardonnay that's well deserving of its Royal Adelaide trophy. At its often discounted price a box of these would make a great 'house' white at home. Drink to 2013.