Wine Code Breaker #147

1997 Penfolds RWT Shiraz, Barossa Valley, South Australia

One from the archives of 2015…Once the euphoria of your child’s birth passes, there is a dawning realisation that you have absolutely no idea what it is going to take to raise this mini you. Some days you get it right, others can be a complete disaster. Fortunately, you quickly learn they are resilient little things full of their own richness of mind and it is from here that you guide them and enjoy the ride helping to celebrate the milestones, big or small along the way. Selecting a wine to celebrate these milestones also needs to be considered with care and the richness of fruit and resilience of it in its youth are both key to ensuring it can go the distance.

The 1997 Penfolds RWT Shiraz was the inaugural release of this style. Sourcing its grapes from the sub regions in Barossa, it developed its style from a red wine trial with French oak rather than the American oak of its more famous sibling, Grange. From the first moment this once juvenile wine was poured, it was clear that it had aged gracefully. The colour was a matured brick red with an aged coloured rim that was more dark red than brown and some brightness remained. The nose was an elegant expression of dark berries and plums with the savoury spice of oak. Some blueberries, perhaps lightly torched, dark chocolate and coffee beans added complexity and interest. The palate was a medium weight displaying fruits that had developed into an elegant array of secondary flavours, more towards blackberries and figs with dark chocolates and crushed nuts. The nuts being more walnut than almonds. A long and persistent palate was its defining feature built on lovely fine grained tannins. A score of 97 for the ’97 seems entirely appropriate and it was clear that it was rich and resilient enough in its youth to support a significant family milestone.

Happy Birthday to my ’97.


Rating97 pts
Price$160 (for current release in 2015)
TastedJun 2015

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