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1998 Penfolds RWT Barossa Shiraz
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- ABV 14.5%
- Closure: Cork
The RWT is Penfolds winemakers' code for ‘Red Winemaking Trial’ and the RWT is regarded by John Duval and the winemaking team as the understudy of Grange, and the ultimate expression of Barossa Shiraz. Development work commenced in 1995 and the first vintage was launched in May 2000 to wide critical acclaim. In the winemakers' words “Its style is opulent and rich, contrasting with Grange, which is more concentrated. RWT is made from fruit selected for its aromatic qualities and fine texture, rather than sheer intensity or power of flavour.” Matured for 15 months in new French oak.
An outstanding vintage is the Barossa Valley, which began late but ultimately resulted in a perfect crop due to warm summer weather.
The below tasting notes were made at the 50th Anniversary Dinner of Penfolds Grange at Magill in South Australia on November 26th 2001. They were written in less than ideal tasting conditions. The pomp and ceremony of the occasion and low level lighting, together with the constant chatter on the table, all made a less than perfect tasting environment. I am sure, many of the wines would have scored a point or two higher under perfect tasting conditions and, thus the notes are to be read with this proviso in mind. - Nick Chlebnikowski
A spectacular wine, and a triumph for John Duval. Totally opaque, black crimson colour. Aroma of blackberry, spice, liquorice, vanilla and toasted oak – a wonderfully concentrated sniff. On the palate, monumental structure and flavour. Spice, liquorice, vanilla, oak and blackberry all meshed superbly and supported by fine grained, firmish tannins. Perfect balance, followed by exceptionally long aftertaste.
First Tasted: June 2001
Totally opaque, black crimson purple black colour. Magnificent, classic Barossa opulence on the nose – powerful, perfumed, with aroma of violets, vanilla, liquorice and plum. The palate is a concentrate of ripe plums – with exceptional depth and refinement. Flavours of sweet vanillin beans, liquorice, plums and spice fill every corner of the mouth. Outstanding length and persistence – perfect balance – an absolute showcase of a wine. Cellar 15-20 years.