RWT Barossa Valley Shiraz presents an admirable alternative to the multi-regional sourcing and American oak maturation that are hallmarks of Grange, expressing instead, single region Barossa Valley shiraz matured only in French oak. The initials RWT stand for ‘Red Winemaking Trial’, the name given to the project internally when developmental work began in 1995. Naturally, now no longer a ‘Trial’, RWT Shiraz was launched in May 2000 with the 1997 vintage. Its style is opulent and fleshy, contrasting with Grange, which is more muscular and assertive. RWT is made from fruit primarily selected for its aromatic qualities and lush texture. The result is a wine that helps to redefine Barossa shiraz at the highest quality level.
|Winemaker||The Penfolds Team|
|96 points||Andrew Calliard|
|96 points||Tony Love|
|96 points||Huon Hooke|
Medium deep colour. Intense dark cherry blackberry aromas with roasted chestnut dark chocolate notes. Well concentrated but elemental wine with deep set blackberry elderberry fruits, fine chocolaty tannins, new roasted chestnut vanilla oak notes and plentiful firm tannins. Finishes long and minerally. A lovely wine with Grange-like density, power and tension and the balance for a great cellaring career. Needs at least five years to fold into each other.
This purely Barossa Valley driven shiraz was developed in the late 1990s to offer a contrast Grange when it comes to big-gun Penfolds shiraz. As the team describes it themselves: “opulent and fleshy” rather than the “more muscular and assertive” Grange. Talk about hitting the nail on the head with this 2017 outing. It’s rich yet seductively crimson fruited with a very recognisable regional tilled red soil and rock background. Then comes some Mediterranean personality in the form of olives, capers and thyme aromatics drifting in and out as you taste, a spritely undercarriage of vintage specific acidity humming all the while. But there’s no denying, this is all about a rich core of ripe Barossa-plum-like shiraz front, centre and finish. 96 points.
Deep, brooding red/purple colour. The bouquet shows the smoky, coal-dusty, sooty and roasted meat Barossa shiraz characters. It's full-bodied and rich, soft textured and balanced, with a more elegant mien than usual for this wine. The fruit purity roars through this wine. Very full-bodied and of sumptuous flavour, it is big and concentrated but also superbly elegant. A really charming RWT. Oak is sensitively handled, and the wine has ballerina-like poise and balance, before a long and wholly satisfying aftertaste.
Vibrant. Red earth / ’Barossa dirt’ regional cues not hindered by a 15-month sojourn in French oak. Initially, a lift of trademark tar/bitumen and subtle V.A. ... above scents of assorted carpaccio meats, steak tartare, green olive, capers, rosemary. Upon sitting/swirling, patisserie scents of almond croissant, cinnamon bun ... and perhaps crème brûlée glaze (oak-derived?).
To repeat, very Barossa!
A firm and binding structure, medium-bodied.
Focussed/defined, yet still generous. Mouth-watering acidity clutching opulent fruits renders an impressive pathway cleaved across front/middle/back palate ...a pathway all ably assisted by chalky tannins and absorbed integrated oak.
Currently youthful and energetic, yet this vintage already impatiently awaits its secondary and tertiary maturation phases. Tension.
In the interim, partake.
Just one hour’s drive from South Australia’s capital, Adelaide, lies its gourmet capital (and wine Mecca), Barossa. One of the country’s most beautiful and historic wine regions, Barossa is a magnet for lovers of fine food and wine. Its classic Mediterranean climate, and free-draining red brown soils, makes the region ideal for growing grapes. Barossa produces excellent Shiraz, Cabernet, Grenache, Mourvèdre, Riesling and Semillon.
Winter and spring rainfall were above the long-term average providing the vines with optimal soil moisture profiles. Most of the spring rain fell during September, with long-standing rainfall records broken. Windy conditions in October helped dry out the vineyards and ensured there were no significant frost events. November was cool with only a couple of minor frosts. The recorded temperatures over the growing season were generally cool, with only March above the long-term average, the second hottest recorded in 30 years. The prevailing cool conditions extended the growing season with flowering and veraison, both later han usual. Across the Barossa Valley, the shiraz berry and bunch weights were above average with optimal flavour and bright, vibrant colour.
Key to the success of Penfolds has been a lineage of visionary winemakers. There have only ever been four Chief Winemakers at the helm of Penfolds – Max Schubert, Don Ditter, John Duval and Peter Gago, each a custodian of a rich winemaking tradition that goes back for more than 170 years.
Our current Penfolds winemaking team has more than 100 years between them as Penfolds winemakers. They are constantly refining and improving their work, whilst honouring the winemaking techniques of their predecessors.
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