Penfolds RWT Shiraz 2016 750ml
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.
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. The result is a wine that helps to redefine Barossa Shiraz at the highest quality level.
When to drink
Continue cellaring. Peak drinking window 2020 - 2040.
The 2016 Barossa Valley harvest was outstanding, for both yield and quality. Autumn and winter were dry and cool with the Barossa Valley 100mm down on the long-term average winter rainfall. Record low rainfall and much warmer weather prevailed through September to December.
The vines were given some relief in January and February when cooler conditions were recorded. The relatively mild ‘Indian summer’, characterised by an absence of extreme heat, ensured the fruit was able to ripen evenly, developing desirable flavours and firm tannins.
98 Points - Andrew Caillard MW
98 Points - Huon Hooke
97 Points - James Halliday
97 Points - Joe Czerwinski, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
96 Points - Tyson Stelzer
96 Points - Anthony Rose, Decanter
95 Points - Campbell Mattinson
Origin: Barossa Valley, South Australia.
Maturation: 12 months in French oak hogsheads (72% new).
Wine Analysis: Alc/Vol: 14.5%, Acidity: 6.8 g/L, pH: 3.72.
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.
They have the precision, concentration, persistency and balance to age for many years. The best vintages should last at least thirty years.
Deep magenta, purple on rim.
Sweet, aromatic, spicy (cardamom, cinnamon, lavender) … can aromas of butter chicken be mentioned in this context, in a tasting note?!
Ascent of tangelo/blood orange spikes – propelling a chinotto/citrus lift.
Dusty white chocolate, cocoa butter, and Italian temptations – panna cotta, zabaglione … and what can only be an illusion of tiramisu!
Oak – bound to be lurking there somewhere! Camouflaged? Decant more aggressively to reveal?
Conceded. It is: glossy, flamboyant, ostentatious. Is not: over-ripe, alcoholic, extracted.
Thereby hits the stylistic Barossa/shiraz bulls-eye … with a little help from fastidiously selected French oak.
This oak tightens/focuses/encapsulates. Simultaneously structurally tackled by embracing, ripe tannins.
This fruit is then surely shrouded, submissive? Never. Archetypal blueberry bavarois and blackberry fruits brazenly strut across the palate.
Dense, bountiful, and was there mention of lengthhhhhhhh …?!
“R-rated RWT in 2016 – not for the meek! Never averse to clichés so willing to concede that this wine certainly packs a punch; takes no prisoners.”
“Yes, be warned. Charm abounds, so this wine’s ‘excesses’ surely can be forgiven? Confirming: a formidable 2016 combination of the best of site/variety – Barossa/shiraz.”
“The twentieth RWT release! But who’s counting…! Don’t tell the collectors.”
- Peter Gago, Penfolds Chief Winemaker