According to the Penfolds website, the Bin 311 style typically expresses a mineral acid backbone, complemented by barrel fermentation, subtle lees influence and sensitive maturation in seasoned oak. Minimal filtration is employed, preserving the elegant fruit flavours.
Lees influence? When I tried to look it up, all I got were 200 hits about Enter the Dragon. I finally figured out that it means yeastiness from aging the wine on the lees left over from fermentation. I’m a yeast lover, but I didn’t detect it in this wine. Too subtle for me! I was also intrigued by the minimal flirtation, until I donned my reading glasses.
The nose is rich and oaky, the mouthfeel is buttery and creamy, the taste is classic Chardonnay with good structure, depth of flavor and a slight hint of burnt toast on the finish, which was nice and long. This was a $20 bottle, at the upper end of what I will spend on a weekday tipple.
- 2012 Eden Road Tumbarumba Chardonnay, Canberra, Australia (vinsiders.net)