NO matter what Mother Nature throws at them in the high country and cool climate of Tumbarumba in the foothills of the Snowy Mountains, Penfolds' viticulture and winemaking teams never cease to surprise with the outstanding wines they create from this oft-challenging district.
And in essence it is these challenges that results in the uniqueness of these wines, joined now by a 2009 Bin 311 Tumbarumba Chardonnay that's one of the company's latest Bin Collection releases.
Lovers of Chardonnay – and yes, there are still plenty of us out there – have long embraced Penfolds' Tumbarumba Chardonnay, and this one delivers once again with almost-wondrous stone-fruit and grapefruit/lemon citrus on the palate, stony minerality and a delightful nose that'll have you musing of fresh-baked apple crumble…
No wonder Chief Winemaker, Peter Gago is so delighted with this Bin series Chardonnay. "Tumbarumba just continues to deliver," he says of vines whose fruit he's worked with since Penfolds started sourcing from there in the early 1990s. "With each release the vines get older and more resilient to the many challenges thrown at them in this high altitude, cool climate district."
Peter suggests a perfect match with this one is shallow-fried calamari and hearty drizzles of aioli; pay a recommended $39.99.
ONE FOR LUNCH: KOONOWLA's 2007 The Ringmaster Clare Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is a drop that winemaking duo David O'Leary and Nick Walker have once again put their hearts into in furthering the label's reputation as a reflection of the Clare's first-class climate and soil profile.
A wine with earthy, savoury notes and nice chocolaty nuances, this one's just the drop with a good any-time roast beef; nicely priced too at $20.
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 MATCH this with shallow-fried calamari and hearty aioli.
 JUST the drop with any-time roast beef.