Penfolds RWT Bin 798 Barossa Valley Shiraz 2019

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Penfolds winemakers work to a particular style with RWT. It has to be “opulent and fleshy,” a counter to Grange’s “muscular and assertive” ways. French oak with a high-ish degree of new barrels apparent has also been a feature of the wine since its launch with the ’97 vintage. And, so it continues in the 2019 release, although Penfolds watchers might note that at 57%, the level of new oak is slowly receding. Our taste for new oak is not what it was, and that’s a good thing.

A smooth operator, RWT impresses with its depth of Barossan intensity and shiraz fruit concentration. It’s packed tight from aroma to flavour with layers of dusty black berries, warm earth, sage and thyme, a touch savoury, too. But, above all, the wine is all about an abiding Barossa DNA: a boldness, density, with a lasting impact. Once, such a wine from Penfolds would have been dressed in American oak but under French oak the accent is more polished. It’s glossy and smooth, supple tannins running the line and length. The winemaker suggests a peak drinking window from 2025 to 2050. I think I would be calling it a little earlier, just to be sure.

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