Bin 311 Chardonnay is sourced from a single, cool-climate (and some would say risky, marginal) region and each year the fruit selection is made to reflect the Bin 311 style. In 2014, fruit sourcing has again come from Tumbarumba – one of Australia’s most exciting, cool-climate, high-altitude, viticultural districts. Penfolds has worked with Chardonnay from Tumbarumba since the early 1990s. The Bin 311 style typically exhibits a mineral acid backbone, complemented by barrel fermentation and maturation in seasoned oak. Minimal filtration is employed, preserving elegant fruit flavours.
A warmer winter and spring resulted in early budburst throughout the region of Tumbarumba, providing some cause for concern in a frost-prone region. These risks were carefully managed throughout vineyards sourced by Penfolds – in a region that was on alert. These vineyards proved fairly resilient, and frost impacts were minimal with only a small reduction in yields. A hot and dry January ensued, allowing for a small but balanced crop to ripen with little to no disease pressure. Early autumn proved to be cool and wet, impacting harvest in many adjoining regions – fortunately Chardonnay fruit for Bin 311 was harvested prior to this.