Penfolds RWT 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 fine texture rather than sheer intensity or power of flavour. The result is a wine that helps to redefine Barossa Shiraz at the highest quality level.
Appearance: Deep dark red with purple on rim.
Nose: Ascending waves of fruits, blueberry, crushed boysenberry and soaked damson plum, sensitively propelled by (oak-derived?) cedar and ginger. Beneath, roasted meats, juniper, sage and Chinese BBQ artefact. Expressive, elemental, ethereal, earthy.
Palate: Full-bodied, unevolved and youthful. Whilst Barossa textural generosity and richness is pre-supposed, this palate at this stage verges towards ‘essence’—although thankfully not via an alcohol or a buffed-up concentration pathway… An emulsion of sarsparilla, chinotto, and mascarpone replete with ripe, grande tannins and acidity conspiring to maintain balance and dimension. Masses of fruits, berries, chocolate, and mocha. Richness and power, with stature and charm.
Food: Berkshire pork belly, muntries, parsnip,
wild fennel and vanilla lily flower.
Cellaring: 2015 – 2035.