Monday, May 3, 2010


- South Australia
- $14-21
- Screwcap
- 13.0%alc

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.
90 points


  1. Pennies are right on song with their Chardys aren't they! Great to see (says one man who loves good chardy).

  2. Picked up one of these with the recent Penfolds/Vintec fridge promotion.
    Looking forward to having a go at it.
    Thanks for the review.

  3. Andrew,

    Pennies! I do hope someday when you write an all encompassing guide to Australian wine you put a glossary of 21st century Australian wine terms somewhere in the back ;) I've certainly learnt some beauties from you!

    Probably the best thing about the 2008 Thomas Hyland from my point of view is that we've finally discovered a cheap chards that Beck loves - phew!

    Chris P

  4. Tim,

    Thanks mate. I certainly didn't mind the drop but I'd love to see a little write up on Wine Wank to get your unique point of view ;) I've been really enjoying your reviews lately by the way Tim, especially your recent piece on the Rosemount Shiraz. In fact, the only thing I didn't like about that review was that it reminded me of some of the wines I've had on airplanes. Lousy airplane wines... ;)

    Chris P