Source: July 2021 Week 3, The Wine Advocate; Issue Date: 22nd Jul 2020, (RP-96)
Longtime readers will know of my personal fondness for this wine, going back nearly to its first vintage, the 1997. That said, the 2019 RWT Shiraz Bin 798 continues this wine’s impressive run, artfully combining hedonistic waves of mixed fruit with the balancing and structural effects of 18 months in French oak hogsheads (57% new, with the balance second-fill). Dark chocolate and vanilla notes join blackberries and plums on the concentrated, full-bodied palate, picking up hints of coffee, black olives and licorice on the long, silky-textured finish. This should easily age up to two decades.
Drink Date: 2021 – 2040
Source: jamessuckling.com. Issue Date: Wednesday, August 4, 2021 (JS-96)
A strident RWT with a regional signature of tar and coal smoke to the ripe plums and blackberries. Such intense, ripe dark-plum and blackberry drive on powerful, deep-set tannins that run long through the finish. Contained power. Drink over the next decade. Screw cap.
RWT Barossa Valley 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. 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 lush texture. The result is a wine that helps to redefine Barossa shiraz at the highest quality level.
GRAPE VARIETY: Shiraz
VINEYARD REGION: Barossa Valley
WINE ANALYSIS: Alc/Vol: 14.5%, Acidity: 6.9 g/L, pH: 3.58
MATURATION: 15 months in French oak hogsheads (70% new and 30% 1-y.o.)
Winter and spring rainfall were above the long-term average providing the vines with optimal soil moisture profiles. Most of the spring rain fell during September, with long-standing rainfall records broken. Windy conditions in October helped dry out the vineyards and ensured there were no significant frost events.
November was cool with only a couple of minor frosts.
The recorded temperatures over the growing season were generally cool, with only March above the long-term average, the second hottest recorded in 30 years. The prevailing cool conditions extended the growing season with flowering and veraison, both later than usual. Across the Barossa Valley, the shiraz berry and bunch weights were above average with optimal flavour and bright, vibrant colour.
COLOUR: Deep crimson/ferrous red
NOSE: Vibrant. Red earth / ?Barossa dirt? regional cues not hindered by a 15-month sojourn in French oak.
Initially, a lift of trademark tar/bitumen and subtle V.A. … above scents of assorted carpaccio meats, steak tartare, green olive, capers, rosemary.
Upon sitting/swirling, patisserie scents of almond croissant, cinnamon bun … and perhaps cr?me br?l?e glaze (oak-derived?). To repeat, very Barossa!
PALATE: A firm and binding structure, medium-bodied. Focussed/defined, yet still generous.
Mouth-watering acidity clutching opulent fruits renders an impressive pathway cleaved across front/middle/back palate … a pathway all ably assisted by chalky tannins and absorbed integrated oak. Currently youthful and energetic, yet this vintage already impatiently awaits its secondary and tertiary maturation phases.