Monday, May 9, 2011


- South Australia
- $13-$22
- Screwcap
- 13.0%alc

If someone had told me 5 years ago I'd be calling chardonnay Penfolds' most consistent performer in 2011, I might've told them to go jump in a lake of Bin 65. Of particular merit is Penfolds' recent efforts with the lower end Thomas Hyland, which now makes a serious claim to being Australia's most reliable (mass-market) $15 chardonnay.

Not sure why Thomas Hyland Chardonnay has replaced the words 'Cool Climate' with 'Adelaide' on the front label (Hills fruit mainly?), but it still shows plenty of bang for your buck, with its winemaker derived creamed hazelnut and soft vanilla oak aromas mixing it up nicely with tickles of grapefruit and spice, in an ably balanced, rich, bright and crisp style. It's ultra clean and clear in the mouth, revealing true mineral refinement for the dollar, however, there's also a lovely undertone of yeasty/leesy characters providing ample richness and flavour to its creamy palate, which is driven pleasingly long by a bright spark of finely honed in, tangy, perhaps pineapple-like acidity, reflecting all the winemaking polish you'd expect from a modern Penfolds chardonnay.

ü+ Another step up from what must be one of Penfolds' under recognised, yet ever improving labels. You'd be very hard pressed to beat this for a $14 Australian chardonnay at a supermarket chain. Drink to 2014.
91 points


  1. Happy to hear that you see the quality in this Chris (although differenc of opinion is fine too!). With the 09 De Borts Windy Peak being a bit of a disappointment, I think this is certainly the best of the widely availble sub $15 Chardonnays in Australia.

  2. Thanks JP, it's certainly tastier than the 2010 Verse 1 ;). Now, I just feel I have to get off my lazy ass and pick up a bottle of the 2010 Mike Press Chardonnay.... :)