Penfolds Thomas Hyland Cool Climate Chardonnay

If you’re hunting for bargain chardonnay for the cellar, 2011 Hyland sets a new benchmark. It may not have not hit the stratospheric complexity of 2009 and 2010, but such is its pedigree and sheer longevity that it outplays virtually all others at this price. True to the season, the 2011 is more tightly strung than ever, with piercing, driving, Chablis-lookalike acidity screaming out for time in the cellar. Taut, zesty grapefruit and lemon is overlain with familiar Penfolds lees complexity and hints of charcuterie and subtle French oak. The official retail price has risen from $20 to $25 over the past five years, but the street price remains at an enticing $15 (Kemenys).