Penfolds RWT Shiraz 2009
Syrah/Shiraz from Barossa Valley, Australia
Glossy. Deep red with a magenta rim. Varietal berried fruits laden with a spray of exotic spices from afar. Scents of red apple skin (Fuji, Pink Lady) and cold cured meats propelled … yes, an unusual pairing. French oak makes a late appearance … a sesame/tahini guise, not that of cedar. The palate is plush, plummy, persuasive. Convincingly Barossa by birthright and Penfolds by style: blueberry/ plummy fruits avec juniper; custom-built, trademark rich mid-palate. Charcuterie, cold (Polish) meat artefact that may well be Shiraz fruit-derived; moreover, peat/coal dust undertones that have, without doubt, been acquired courtesy of the oak and time. Tannins and a buoyant and balanced acidity court a long and persistent finish.
Braised guinea fowl, house cured pancetta, Dutch creams and native thyme (Magill Estate Restaurant).
Australian Wine Companion - "Deep, dense purple-crimson; the bouquet sets the scene with interwoven black fruits and cedary French oak; the palate is exceedingly complex, intense and layered; the flavours are spicy, black-fruited, with licorice and bitter chocolate, fine, lingering tannins provide the framework."
Wine Enthusiast - "RWT (unromantically derived from “Red Wine Trial”) is 100% Barossa Valley Shiraz, aged in 100% French oak. In some vintages, like this one, the combination is incredibly sumptuous, offering layers of blueberry and blackberry fruit intermingled elegantly with hints of French vanilla. It’s long, subtle and complex on the finish—a stunning effort. It’s approachable now, but should age well through 2030 or so. "
International Wine Cellar - "Opaque violet color. Potent, spice-accented aromas of dark berry compote, cola, and potpourri, with a vanilla nuance gaining strength with air. Fleshy, palate-staining dark berry flavors show excellent depth and definition, with spicecake and candied violet notes adding complexity. Weighty, sweet and powerful on a finish that features floral and star anise elements."
Wine Spectator - "Dark and dense, with firm tannins around a juicy core of black cherry and spice flavors. This lingers well on the finish."
Wine & Spirits - "Grange-level fruit aged in new French oak, RWT is a big, bosomy Barossa shiraz in 2009, huge, warm and gamey. There's dark meatiness and cedary spice over the wine's blueberry and cherry richness. All baby fat for now, this may grow more structured and detailed with age."
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Penfolds Wines Winery
Founded by a young, English doctor in 1844, Penfolds has been producing remarkable wines that have changed the landscape of Australian winemaking. Over the past century, Penfolds has indisputably led the development of Australian fine wine in the modern era. The introduction of Penfolds Grange in 1951 forever changed the landscape of Australian fine wine. Since then, a series of standout wines, both white and red, have been released under the Penfolds masthead. Under the direction of master winemaker, Peter Gago, Penfolds is now found in every major wine market in the country. Extraordinary wines such as Block 42 and Bin 60A have also been released during his tenure. Penfolds wines are now widely celebrated for their diversity and quality across many price-points. The strength of Penfolds is that the wine comes first. Penfolds' range of table wines is utterly Australian, evoking a generosity of spirit and the beauty of the Australian landscape.
About Barossa ValleyView a map of Barossa Valley wineries
The Barossa zone consists of two sections - the Barossa Valley and the Eden Valley. Wines from the Eden Valley can be labelled Barossa or Barossa Valley.
Situated just a bit east of the large city of Adelaide, Barossa is Australia's wine headquarters. Mega producers are based here, boutique wineries call it home and a majority of the habitants claim their income on the wine industry. The valley is strewn with a series of hamlets, small towns spotted throughout the region.
Barossa ValleyBarossa is red-wine territory, with red grapes consisting of about two-thirds of the region's plantings. The reds, Shiraz in particular, are lauded for their rich, concentrated flavors and aging potential. Old vines of Shiraz and Grenache are popular, many up to 80 years old. The valley is home to some of the most famous vineyards of Australia - this is where the first Penfolds Grange was made. Whites are also found, mainly from the Semillon grape – these wines are as full-bodied as the reds although harder to find. Riesling and Chardonnay are also planted.
Eden ValleyRight next to Barossa Valley, but a bit higher in elevation, Eden Valley is an ideal neighbor. Many wineries source vineyards from both areas as the climate difference in Eden Valley leads to wines of a different character. Reds are still mainly Shiraz and Grenache, but the wines are often more restrained and less dense than those in the Barossa Valley proper. Whites are popular here too. Eden Valley Rieslings and Semillons are particularly excellent.
About AustraliaLike the United States, which is about the same size, Australia's winemaking regions are huddled into one or two pockets of the country. The state of South Australia, which produces about 60% of the country's wine, also has the most wineries and sub-regions, including McLaren Vale, Clare Valley, Coonawarra and Barossa Valley. New South Wales is home to the Hunter Valley, while the smaller, southern state of Victoria is best known for theYarra Valley. Head way west to the very large state of Western Australia and you'll find the tiny region of Margaret River at the southern tip.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.