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Penfolds RWT Shiraz 2008

Syrah/Shiraz from Barossa Valley, Barossa, Australia
  • JH96
  • RP93
  • WS93
  • WE93
  • W&S92
  • JS94
  • WS93
  • RP93
  • WE97
  • JH96
  • RP93
  • JH97
  • WE96
  • WS91
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Winemaker Notes

The 2000 vintage of this wine was ranked #6 on the Wine Spectator's Top 10 Wines of 2003

Penfolds RWT Shiraz presents an admirable alternative to the multi-regional sourcing and American oak maturation that area 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.

Color: Redefines 'black'! Certainly on 1/25/11, foreboding! Nose: An animated aromatic conversation with the darker elements of Barossa Valley Shiraz... "it smells black"! A coal-like blackness, replete with peat. Brooding. Concentrated. Thankfully, redeeming & alluring perfumed high-notes ascend - blueberry and dark plum, wafts of a ristretto coffee. Palate: Dense & intense - with vibrance, unctuousness... delivering all the now-expected RWT cachets. "A blueberry pie in a 750ml glass package!" And yet the darkness prevails... inky, boot polish, freshlypolished new black leather. Almost a glycerol/oily mid-palate - texturally close to a custard/chocolate eclair! A suggestion of oak and an avalanche of pronounced ripe & silky tannins complete the offer. A vinous 'Edge of Darkness'!

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
JH 96
Australian Wine Companion

Glorious, deep crimson-purple, with an alluring bouquet of black fruits, spice and cedary oak contributed by 14 months' maturation in 83% new French hogsheads. The medium- to full-bodied palate has layer-upon-layer of velvety blackberry fruit allied with notes of dark chocolate and a sprinkle of licorice and spice, silky tannins and quality oak completing the package.

RP 93
The Wine Advocate

Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2008 RWT Shiraz presents quite a lot of cedar over notes of pure blackberry and black cherry fruit with hints of cinnamon stick, toast and underbrush. Medium bodied, concentrated and taut in the mouth, it has firm, grainy tannins and crisp acidity, finishing long. A little disjointed at this stage, it needs time to marry and should drink best 2014 to 2023+.
93+

WS 93
Wine Spectator

A bit shy on the nose but dense in the mouth, with brilliant blueberry, plum and white pepper flavors, coming together smoothly on the finish and lingering expressively. Drink now through 2020.

WE 93
Wine Enthusiast

Full-bodied and richly textured, with Penfolds’ hallmark weight and structure on full display, the 2008 RWT shows a touch of the vintage’s characteristic warmth, but only a touch. The cassis and blackberry fruit is plush, velvety and superripe, ending with hints of tobacco, mint and vanilla. It should drink well for at least a decade.

W&S 92
Wine & Spirits

Made from Grange-level fruit fermented in French oak hogsheads (mostly new, rather than the 100% new American oak hogsheads used for Grange), RWT is a floral shiraz in 2008, with tension built into the fruit, acidity and tannins. Savory herb, tart cherry and mushroom earthiness vie for attention in the finish. The French oak gives it a clean, sleek line, sustaining the balance and potential for long aging.

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Penfolds

Penfolds Wines

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Penfolds Wines, , Australia
Penfolds
Penfolds has been producing remarkable wines since 1844 and 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 stand-out wines both white and red have been released under the Penfolds masthead.

Peter Gago, Penfolds Chief Winemaker and only the 4th custodian of Grange, relishes the opportunity to bring Penfolds to the world stage and is an enthusiastic ambassador and natural educator. Penfolds came to the attention of the US market when 1990 Grange was Wine Spectator’s ‘Wine of the Year’. Since then, Penfolds Grange has become one of the most collectable wines of the world and was honored to grace the front cover, once again, of Wine Spectator, with declarations of Grange as Australia’s Icon.

California

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Responsible for the vast majority of American wine production, if California were a country, it would be the world’s fourth largest wine-producing nation. The state’s diverse terrain and microclimates allow for an incredibly wide-ranging selection of wine styles, and unlike tradition-bound Europe, experimentation is more than welcome here. Wineries range from boutique to massive corporations, and price and quality are equally varied—plenty of inexpensive bulk wine is made in the Central Coast area, while Napa is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious and expensive “cult” wines.

Just about every style of wine you can imagine is made in California, from bone dry to unctuously sweet, still to sparkling, light and fresh to rich and full-bodied. Each AVA and sub-AVA has its own distinct personality. In the Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and other Bordeaux varieties dominate, as well as Sauvignon Blanc. Sonoma County is best known for Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Zinfandel. The Central Coast has carved out a niche with Rhône blends based on Grenache and Syrah, while Mendocino has found success with Alsatian varieties such as Riesling and Gewürztraminer. With all the diversity that California has to offer, it is certain that any wine lover will find something to get excited about.

Cabernet Sauvignon

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A noble variety bestowed with both power and concentration, Cabernet Sauvignon is sometimes referred to as the “king” of red grapes. It can be somewhat unapproachable early in its youth but has the potential to age beautifully, with the ability to last fifty years or more at its best. Small berries and tough skins provide its trademark firm tannic grip, while high acidity helps to keep the wine fresh for decades. Cabernet Sauvignon flourishes in temperate climates like Bordeaux's Medoc region (and in St-Emillion and Pomerol, where it plays a supporting role to Merlot). The top Médoc producers use Cabernet Sauvignon for their wine’s backbone, blending it with Merlot and smaller amounts of Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and/or Petit Verdot. On its own, Cabernet Sauvignon has enjoyed great success throughout the world, particularly in the Napa Valley, and is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious and sought-after “cult” wines.

In the Glass

High in color, tannin, and extract, Cabernet Sauvignon expresses notes of blackberry, cassis, plum, currant, spice, and tobacco. In Bordeaux and elsewhere in the Old World you'll find the more earthy, tannic side of Cabernet, where it's typically blended to soften tannins and add complexity. In warmer regions like California and Australia, you can typically expect more ripe fruit flavors upfront.

Perfect Pairings

Cabernet Sauvignon is right at home with rich, intense meat dishes—beef, lamb, and venison, in particular—where its opulent fruit and decisive tannins make an equal match to the dense protein of the meat. With a mature Cabernet, opt for tender, slow-cooked meat dishes.

Sommelier Secrets

Despite the modern importance and ubiquity of Cabernet Sauvignon, it is actually a relatively young variety. In 1997, DNA revealed the grape to be a spontaneous crossing of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc which took place in 17th century southwestern France.

CAR80321_08_2008 Item# 110511

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