Penfolds, RWT Shiraz
Penfolds, RWT Shiraz, 2013
Product image 1Penfolds, RWT Shiraz
Product image 2Penfolds, RWT Shiraz, 2013

Penfolds, RWT Shiraz, 2013

  • icon-type Type


  • icon-year Year


  • icon-style Style


  • icon-country Country


  • icon-alcohollevel Alcohol level


  • icon-grapevariety Grape variety
    Syrah 100%
  • Rating

    JS 96, RP 95

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.

Bright deepened red colour, iris-purple on rim with a nose of preserved figs, black plum, blackberry and black liquorice flirts with an aromatic elution of fish oil, anchovy, soy and sesame/nori. Nascent scents of toasted charred meats (rotisserie rib of beef?), rendered fat/marrow ...

This wine is now entering its earliest drinking window, and has a cellaring potential for another 4 decades.

A lesser known detail...

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.

About Penfolds

Penfolds is Australia's most famous wine producer, best known for its flagship wine Grange, one of the most acclaimed wines in the world. Among many other accolades, the 1955 Grange was named one of the top 12 wines of the 20th Century by Wine Spectator Magazine; the 1971 vintage was ranked as the greatest wine of the 1970s by FINE Wine Magazines and, and the 2008 gained a perfect 100-point score from both Wine Spectator and Robert Parker's Wine Advocate. It is a mainstay of the secondary market – auction prices for the wine have regularly been used as key performance indicators for the wider Australian economy.

Occasionally Grange is 100-percent Shiraz – the 2011 was the sixth time that happened in six decades – but more typically it also contains up to around 15 percent Cabernet Sauvignon. It is the flagship for Penfolds' celebrated multi-vineyard, multi-region blending philosophy, and is sourced from Barossa, McLaren Vale, Coonawarra (occasionally) and Magill Estate at the base of the Adelaide Hills, just to the east of the city.

Penfolds has a long-standing reputation for consistent high quality across its broad portfolio, and there are several other wines that feature regularly in auctions, including the Bin 707 Cabernet Sauvignon, St. Henri and RWT Shiraz wines, Bin 389 Cabernet – Shiraz and Bin 407 Cabernet Sauvignon. These have been joined by experimental or periodic releases such as the Block 42 Cabernet Sauvignon and Bin 60a Cabernet – Shiraz. A desire to introduce a flagship white led to the 1995 debut of the Yattarna Chardonnay. The extensive portfolio includes numerous other bin-numbered releases, the Max's, Koonunga Hill and Cellar Reserve ranges, and a selection of tawny fortified wines.

The company has extensive vineyard holdings primarily located across the various winegrowing regions of South Australia. Some of these are among the most iconic properties in the country, including Magill Estate, and the Kalimna and Koonunga Hill vineyards in the northern Barossa. In addition, a wide range of grape growers are also used, both in the core South Australian regions and further afield, particularly for Chardonnay. In total, around 220 different sources contribute to production.

Penfolds was founded in 1844 when Dr Christopher Rawson Penfold and his family arrived in Australia from England. He paid ₤1200 for 500 acres (200 hectares) of prime land in what was then called Mackgill, and planted it with cuttings sourced from France, with the intention of making medicinal wine. By the 1920s, the company accounted for half of all wine sales across the country. Penfolds and its parent company Southcorp have had a complex history in recent decades. Since 2011 the company has been part of Treasury Wine Estates.

Grape variety

Syrah, also known as Shiraz, is a dark-skinned grape variety grown throughout the world and used primarily to produce red wine. In 1999, Syrah was found to be the offspring of two obscure grapes from south-eastern France, Dureza and Mondeuse Blanche. Syrah should not be confused with Petite Sirah, a cross of Syrah with Peloursin dating from 1880.

The style and flavour profile of wines made from Syrah are influenced by the climate where the grapes are grown with moderate climates (such as the northern Rhone Valley and parts of the Walla Walla AVA in Washington State) tending to produce medium to full-bodied wines with medium-plus to high levels of tannins and notes of blackberry, mint and black pepper. In hot climates (such as Crete, and the Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale regions of Australia), Syrah is more consistently full-bodied with softer tannin, jammier fruit and spice notes of liquorice, anise and earthy leather. In many regions the acidity and tannin levels of Syrah allow the wines produced to have favourable aging potential.

Syrah is used as a single varietal or as a blend. Following several years of strong planting, Syrah was estimated in 2004 to be the world's 7th most grown grape at 142,600 hectares (352,000 acres). It can be found throughout the globe from France to New World wine regions such as: Chile, South Africa, the Hawke's Bay, Waiheke, New Zealand, California and Washington. It can also be found in several Australian wine regions such as: Barossa, Heathcote, Coonawarra, Hunter Valley, Margaret River and McLaren Vale

Wines made from Syrah are often powerfully flavoured and full-bodied. The variety produces wines with a wide range of flavour notes, depending on the climate and soils where it is grown, as well as other viticultural practices chosen. Aroma characters can range from violets to berries (usually dark as opposed to red), chocolate, and black pepper. No one aroma can be called "typical" though blackberry, coffee and pepper are often noticed. With time in the bottle these "primary" notes are moderated and then supplemented with earthy or savoury "tertiary" notes such as leather and truffle. "Secondary" flavour and aroma notes are those associated with several things, generally winemakers' practices (such as oak barrel and yeast treatment).

The Syrah-dominated appellations (AOCs) of northern Rhône have, like most other French appellations and regions, no tradition of varietal labelling of their wines. Indeed, such practices are generally disallowed under AOC rules, and only the AOC name (such as Cote-Rotie, Crozes-Hermitage or Hermitage) appears on the label. Varietal labelling of Syrah/Shiraz wines is therefore a practice that has emerged in the New World, primarily in Australia.

To confuse matters, in northern Rhône, different clones of genuine Syrah are referred to as Petite Syrah (small Syrah) or Gros Syrah (large Syrah) depending on the size of their berries, with Petite Syrah being considered the superior version, giving wines higher in phenolics.

As a general rule, most Australian and South African wines are labelled "Shiraz", and most European wines (from such regions where varietal labelling is practiced) are labelled "Syrah". In other countries, practices vary and winemakers (or wine marketers) sometimes choose either "Syrah" or "Shiraz" to signify a stylistic difference in the wine they have made. "Syrah"-labelled wines are sometimes thought to be more similar to classic Northern Rhône reds; presumably more elegant, tannic, smoke-flavoured and restrained with respect to their fruit component. "Shiraz"-labelled wines, on the other hand, would then be more similar to archetypical Australian or other New World examples, presumably made from riper berries, more fruit-driven, higher in alcohol, less obviously tannic, peppery rather than smoky, usually more easily approached when young, and possibly slightly sweetish in impression. It must, however, be realised that this rule of thumb is unevenly applied.

Alternative Names: Shiraz, Hermitage

About Barossa

Barossa is one of the six wine-producing zones of South Australia, and arguably the most recognised name in the Australian wine industry. Barossa wines have attracted more international awards than any other region in the country.

It is divided into two sections: the western Barossa Valley (effectively the warmer valley floor) and on the eastern side the cooler, higher altitude Eden Valley, both of which have a distinct Geographical Indication (GI) formalised in 1997. Grape growing conditions vary immensely across the wider Barossa zone and this is reflected in the markedly different wine styles produced here.

Shiraz accounted for 56 percent of all plantings in the Barossa zone in 2017, focused on the Barossa Valley floor. Barossa Shiraz has traditionally been made in an intense, powerful, expression, and is arguably Australia's most famous wine style. Riesling is particularly prominent in the Eden Valley, and can also reach quality levels comparable to any other global region.

Other very high quality Barossa wines are produced from Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, Semillon and Viognier. Additionally, GSM-style blends have earned high acclaim, as Grenache and Mourvedre (also known as Mataro in the region) perform extremely well in Barossa's warm and dry climate. Recently the zone has also been a hotbed of experimentation, with new vine varieties such as Tempranillo and Zinfandel making their mark on local and international markets.

The Barossa zone lies northeast of Adelaide Hills and is a compact geographical unit with a variable landscape of gently elevated terrain and flat valley floors. The overall climate is hard to categorise as conditions vary – not only due to the elevation but also because of the inland locations and the coastal influence. The valley floors are very hot during summer, with temperatures often exceeding 95F (35C). This, along with scant rainfall and limited natural water in the soil, makes irrigation essential. On the other hand, the higher areas are cool with distinctly high diurnal temperature variation, which helps to bring out the best from the aromatic varieties as well as assisting a high degree of phenolic ripeness in the grapes.

The Barossa takes its name from the Barrossa Ridge in Andalucia, Spain. The latter was the site of a British victory over the French during the Napoleonic Wars. The former aide-de-camp of the victorious British commander was appointed Surveyor General of the new colony of South Australia in 1836, and named this area, though the spelling was mis-recorded by an official.

The area was settled by English and Silesian settlers; the former were typically more wealthy and more likely to farm sheep and cattle. The Silesians experimented with various crops including tobacco before finding the climate suitable for wine grape growing. By 1900 Barossa was the largest wine-producing region in Australia.

Throughout the 20th Century the region endured various slumps, often when world events caused a slump in Imperial/Commonwealth demand. For much of the 1960s and 70s demand was focused on sweet sparkling wines, but from the 1980s the Barossa began to gain widespread fame for its blockbuster reds.

Regular price $1,488.00

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