Penfolds Reserve Bin 09A Adelaide Hills Chardonnay

Such was the desperate purity of 08A that I never imagined it could be pulled off again in a back-to-back release. 09A is a tightrope act, balancing ultra finesse, honed structure, coiled-up tension and intricately focused minerality on one side with a maelstrom of wild, leesy, textural, solidsy action on the other. It gulps up its oak (small barrels, almost one-third new); full malolactic fermentation lends no broadness. Peter Gago said, “there’s a modicum of how much dirty character we want but we’re getting a bit more daring now!” His highwire performance doesn’t falter for an instant, and this wine’s theatrics will leave audiences breathless for a decade.