Penfolds Max's Chardonnay is a tribute to former Chief Winemaker Max Schubert, a legend in Penfolds history. Max's constant pursuit of excellence paved the way for those who followed in his footsteps and also allowed the status and heritage of Penfolds to grow. Max's Chardonnay continues the evolution of the Penfolds white wine program.
The 2017 Max's Chardonnay was sourced from vineyards in the Adelaide Hills. The cool Adelaide Hills were the original source of fruit for Yattarna, Penfolds flagship Chardonnay ('white Grange' project), and although Yattarna is now a blend with Tasmanian fruit, the Adelaide Hills is prime Chardonnay country for Penfolds. The wine was matured in French oak (20% new, 80% seasoned).
"This is a terrific example at its affordable price, of the precision and freshness the terroir here can give. The palate brings a huge surge of lemon zestiness to the ripe fruit and barrel-derived richness and toasty fullness. I found this to be a very classy Chardonnay in a thoroughly modern New World style." Tom Cannavan
"Nose: An amalgam of aromatics working in harmony - primarily yellow stone fruit (nectarine) and honeydew melon with soft pistachio nougat, and enchantingly/unexpectedly from this white grape variety, blueberry bavarois! Barely recognizable savory French oak imparts a sensitive touch to sign off on a complex and appealing nose.
Palate: A soft and delicate mouth coating/laminated acidity fills out the palate and gently conveys the fermented spoils of Adelaide Hills Chardonnay. Showing more of a citrus edge, with lime splice and finger lime sweetness. Enticing teacake sponge flavors varietally laced with finely grated lemon zest. Already ready, yet no need to hurry - balanced and complete. Peak drinking: Now-2021.
Vintage conditions: Above-average winter and spring rainfall offered the vines in the Adelaide Hills healthy soil moisture profiles for the growing season. September rainfall was significantly above the long-term average for the region. Cool conditions slowed vine growth in early spring with temperatures eventually warming in October. A mild and mostly dry start to summer was followed by two significant rain events after Christmas. January was mild with few hot days and some unseasonal rain. Moving into March, mild weather continued to slow ripening with cool nights and warm days persisting until harvest. An excellent vintage for Adelaide Hills Chardonnay." Penfolds
"A very appealing and stylish wine. The multi-layered palate abounds with pear, grapefruit and white peach flavours, together with some lovely mineral notes. Long carry. Delicious and good value. My go-to everyday choice of chardonnay." Nick Munday, Canterbury Wines - 95 points and Special Value Wine ★
"Bright, lively and focused with a piercing lime-laced acidity underpinning attractive yellow plum and lemon fruit. Has some subtle spicy framing with a suggestion of toast and fresh-baked bread, but the real driver here is the lovely zippy fruit, and the grapefruit tension on the finish. Lovely wine." Jamie Goode – 93 points
"From a range named in honour of Max Schubert, the winemaker who created Penfolds Grange, this is Chardonnay sourced from the cool Adelaide Hills. The Hills were the original source of fruit for Yattarna, Penfolds' 'white Grange' project, which sells for £100+ per bottle, and although Yattarna is now a blend with Tasmanian fruit, the Adelaide Hills is prime Chardonnay country for Penfolds and many other top brands. This is a terrific example at its affordable price, of the precision and freshness the terroir here can give. Aged in French oak, but only 20% of it new, there's oatmeal and nougat on the nose, stone fruit aromas and a flinty whiff of Chablis-like reduction. Only 12.5% alcohol tells of early picking, which helps with that, and on the palate brings a huge surge of lemon zestiness to the ripe fruit and barrel-derived richness and toasty fullness. I found this to be a very classy Chardonnay in a thoroughly modern New World style." Tom Cannavan – 92 points
Special Value Wine – Canterbury Wines ★
South Australian is responsible for more than half the production of all Australian wine. It is home to more than 900 wineries across 18 wine regions. The regions are Adelaide Hills, Adelaide Plains, Barossa Valley, Clare Valley, Coonawarra, Currency Creek, Eden Valley, Kangaroo Island, Langhorne Creek, McLaren Vale, Mount Benson, Mount Gambier, Padthaway, Riverland, Robe, Southern Fleurieu, Southern Flinders Ranges and Wrattonbully.
Many of the well-known names in the South Australian wine industry established their first vineyards in the late 1830s and early 1840s. The first vines in McLaren Vale were planted at Reynella in 1839 and Penfold's established Magill Estate on the outskirts of Adelaide in 1844.
South Australia has a vast diversity in geography and climate which allows the State to be able to produce a range of grape varieties - from cool climate Riesling in the Clare and Eden Vallies to the big, full bodied Shiraz wines of the Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale. Two of Australia's best-known wines, Penfolds Grange and Henschke Hill of Grace, are produced here. There is much to discover in South Australia for the wine lover.