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Penfolds RWT Shiraz 2008

Syrah/Shiraz from Barossa Valley, Barossa, Australia
  • JH96
  • RP93
  • WS93
  • WE93
  • W&S92
14.5% ABV
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14.5% ABV

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
Robert Parker's 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, Barossa Valley, Barossa, Australia
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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.

Barossa Valley

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Historically and presently the most important wine-producing region of Australia, the Barossa Valley is set in South Australia, where more than half of the country’s wine is made. Because the climate is very hot and dry, vineyard managers must be careful so that grapes do not become overripe.

The intense heat is ideal for plush, bold reds, particularly Rhône blends featuring Shiraz, Grenache, and Mataro (Mourvèdre). White grapes can produce crisp, fresh wines from Riesling, Chardonnay, and Semillon if they are planted at higher altitudes.

Most of Australia’s largest wine producers are based here and Shiraz plantings date back as far as 1860. Many of them are dry farmed and bush trained, still offering less than one ton per acre of inky, purple juice.

Syrah/Shiraz

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Marked by unmistakable aromatics, a savory palate, and an elegant texture, Syrah is capable of producing fascinatingly complex and long-lived wines with a stunning purple hue. Native to the Northern Rhône, Syrah’s best examples are found in Hermitage and Côte-Rôtie. It is also an important component of the GSM blends of the Southern Rhône and beyond, alongside Grenache and Mourvèdre. Both varietal Syrah and GSM blends are common in Australia and California and are gaining popularity in Washington State. In Australia, Syrah is known by the synonym Shiraz, which tends to indicate a bolder, fruit-driven style of wine, and is occasionally blended with Cabernet Sauvignon for added depth and structure.

In the Glass

At its best, Syrah shows aromas and flavors of purple fruits, fragrant violets, baking spice, white pepper, smoke, and even bacon fat. Many examples from California aim to recreate this savory style, while others focus more on concentrated fruit flavors. In Australia, under the name Shiraz, it shines as that country’s unofficial signature red grape, producing deep, dark, intense, and often jammy reds.

Perfect Pairings

Cool-climate Syrah, with its peppery spices, is a natural match with flavorful Moroccan-spiced lamb dishes, where the spice is more about flavor than heat. With Australian Shiraz, grown in warmer regions, heavy meat dishes with abundant protein and fat are a necessity to match the intensity of the wine.

Sommelier Secret

Due to the success of Australian “Shiraz,” this synonym for Syrah has been adopted by winemakers throughout the world. If the label says “Shiraz,” you can typically expect a plush, fruity, and potent wine made in the Australian style. New World "Syrah" will generally more closely resemble the French style.

CAR80321_08_2008 Item# 110511