Comparing Penfolds RWT 2011 and Penfolds RWT 2012


  1. For Barossa, 2011 is from a ’hiccup’ year; 2012 is from a beautiful year. So RWT 2011 is a result more from skills, from brave and nice saves. RWT 2012 is naturally poised- no haste, no showmanship, no bluster, and things just occur naturally.

  2. Stylistics. RWT 2011 is towards the continental type of ‘traditional’ style, with elements of upfront ‘elegance’. RWT 2012 is classic to Barossa terroir, interpreted broadly (climate, fruit, people, soil, making).

  3. Both are kept in mixed of old and new 400-litre French oak. RWT 2011 is kept 12 months, with 51% new and 49% Old; RWT 2012 is kept 16 months in mixed oak, with 75% new and 25 Old. And that shed lights on some of the major differences that follow.

  4. Colour. Both are with tight, pink rim. RWT 2011 is classically definable as deep, bring purple; RWT is almost black.

  5. Structure. Both are full bodied. Alcohol for both is 14.5% ABV. RWT 2011 should taste slightly acidic in figures but other factors come in play-we don’t really feel any significance and relevance. RWT 2011 tannins are ample and fine; RWT 2012 is treacherously smooth. Matthew Jukes says the tannins in RWT 2012 ‘la jupe cache les pieds’(skirts hides the feet); we say they are like wolves clothed in sheep skin.

  6. Tasting profiles. Of course they are both big Barossa Shiraz; both are big plummy wines with white peppery spcice. With a view to contrast, we are of the following view. RWT 2011 tastes exotic. Australian? French? Spanish? Wine makers of the RWT 2011 wine writes , in the good sense of course, it is confusing and intriguing. Fruit is fresher in notions of red plums, cranberries. Finish is more yogurt, cheese; tone of forest.RWT 2011 is, in that sense, complex. and the RWT 2011 finishes supple and fine textured. RWT 2012 onthe other hand is intense and brooding. Tones of Christmas puddings, glazed cherries, dark chocolates....... Palate reflects the oak treatment: roast, sweet marrow, slow cooked beef cheek, oxtail. soy, nuts.... finishes intense with a clean finish. Lisa Perotti-Brown says the RWT 2012 finish is ‘Long and fine’. Jancis Robinson on RWT 2012 says the Finish is ‘savoury, clean and brisk’.

  7. RWT 2012 may probably live longer than RWT 2011. That does not mean anything at all as they have at least 20 years ahead.

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