x
  • Country ranking ?

    26
  • Producer ranking ?

    16
  • Decanting time

    4h
  • When to drink

    2020-2035
  • Food Pairing

    Lamb

The Tb points given to this wine are the world’s most valid and most up-to-date evaluation of the quality of the wine. Tastingbook points are formed by the Tastingbook algorithm which takes into account the wine ratings of the world's 50 best-known professional wine critics, wine ratings by thousands of tastingbook’s professionals and users, the generally recognised vintage quality and reputation of the vineyard and winery. Wine needs at least five professional ratings to get the Tb score. Tastingbook.com is the world's largest wine information service which is an unbiased, non-commercial and free for everyone.

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Vintage 2018

 At a glance summary

The Australian winegrape crush was 1.79 million tonnes – a decrease of 10 per cent from the record 2017 harvest. 

The crush was just above the long-term average of 1.76 million tonnes

The average purchase price across all varieties increased 8 per cent to $609 per tonne – the highest since 2008.

Average winegrape purchase prices paid increased across the board:The average for red varieties increased by 11 per cent to $768 per tonne and,

The average for white varieties grew by 5 per cent to $444 per tonne.

The total estimated value of the crush decreased by 3 per cent to $1.11 billion due to lower tonnages partially offset by higher average prices.

Red varieties overall decreased by 15 per cent in tonnage while white varieties decreased by 4 per cent, leading to a reduction in the red share from 55 per cent to 52 per cent of the crush, in line with the three-year average.

Shiraz tonnes crushed decreased by 17 per cent, Cabernet Sauvignon by 14 per cent and Merlot by 19 per cent.

Chardonnay was the only major variety to go against the trend, increasing by 9 per cent and restoring its share of the white crush to 47 per cent.

The crush in cool/temperate regions decreased by 20 per cent overall, while warm regions decreased by5 per cent and increased their share of the overall crush to 72 per cent.

The proportion of winery-grown fruit decreased from 33 per cent of the crush in 2017 to 31 per cent in 2018.

 

 

2018 Barossa vintage one to savour


Barossa 2018 vintage wrapped up at the end of April 2018, with grape growers and winemakers happy with a high-quality vintage and good yields.

“Flavours and colours in reds are wonderful, and natural acids in the Eden Valley whites surprisingly high, with early standout varieties this year including Riesling, Chardonnay, Shiraz, Grenache and Cabernet”, said Yalumba head of winemaking Louisa Rose.

The growing season started off well, with Winter 2017 rainfall around 10% higher than average. However, Spring rainfall was only 78% of average in Barossa Valley (BV) and 98% in Eden Valley (EV), and December rainfall was only 57% of average in BV (88% in EV).

Drier soils, combined with warmer than average October and November days (October 2ºC above average in BV (1.8 ºC in EV) and November 1.1ºC above average in BV (1.6 ºC in EV), meant the vine canopies grew quickly; flowering well and setting a good number of bunches.

January and February were warm and dry, with very warm temperatures in February slowing down the pace of ripening. January was slightly above average (1.4ºC during the day but closer to average at night) and February was about average during the day, but with significantly warmer than average night time temperatures in Barossa Valley (5.8ºC warmer).

With summer rainfall 50% of average, growers with access to water, soil moisture monitoring, good irrigation management and healthy soils experienced less stress – and subsequently delivered sound fruit and consistent yields.

The Indian summer of March and early April was ‘the icing on the cake’, with average temperatures, without extremes, perfect for finishing off vintage. The 28-30mm of rain on 14/15 April did not cause any major problems for picking – and was a welcome post-harvest watering for most Barossa growers.

Overall, in 2018, Barossa Valley crushed 56,970 tonnes*, down 22% from the 2017 vintage but 9% above the five-year average. In 2018, Eden Valley crushed 11,593 tonnes*, down 3% from 2017.

The total Barossa crush of 68,563 tonnes* contributed 9% of the total volume and 25% of the total value of the South Australian crush.

Average prices for Barossa Valley varieties remained steady in 2018, with Shiraz at $2252 per tonne 1% down on last year. In Eden Valley, the average price for Shiraz increased 11% to $2636 per tonne and Cabernet Sauvignon increased 15% to $2354.

*Wine Australia estimates the SA Winegrape crush response rate is 85%, so the actual total Barossa crush is estimated at 75,000 to 80,000 tonnes.

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Latest Pro-tasting notes

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Written Notes

In recent vintages, Penfold's have finally conceded that we are perhaps beyond the trial stages with this wine (‘RWT’ stands for Red Winemaking Trial’), with more than twenty vintages in the cellar. They now feature ‘Bin 798’ on the label. 100% Barossa Shiraz. 16 months in French oak hogsheads, 64% of which were new and remaining 36% a year in age. Worth noting that Gago has said that as good as 2018 was as a vintage, the Grange required considerable work to get right (“it is about what you leave out, not what you put in”), whereas both the 2018 RWT and 2018 St Henri, the latter to be released next year, “made themselves”.

Tight, complex, well-structured and with such impressive oak integration that there is almost no sign of it. More black fruits over red, but so much more than that. Chocolate, licorice, cloves. Good acidity, satiny tannins and great length. What is really exciting is the way the wine maintains its intensity throughout that long finish. It was also somewhat reminiscent of a great Burgundy in the way that there was an explosion of flavours of the finish, very like the famous yet so often elusive Pinot Noir peacock’s tail. A brilliant RWT (or Bin 798). 97-98. The following day, the palate seemed even more seductive. 98.

  • 98p

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. The alphanumeric Bin designation 798 was bestowed upon the wine from the 2016 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 plush texture. RWT wines are built for the long haul, with the precision, concentration and balance to age for many years. TA 6.7 g/l, pH 3.59. Aged for 16 months in French oak hogsheads (64% new and 36% one-year-old). Rainfall in autumn was below average, a trend that continued into the early weeks of winter with only 25% of the long-term average achieved in June. Increased rainfall occurred in the second half of winter, with vines entering the growing season with moisture profiles well into the root zone, down to one metre. Conditions favoured canopy development in spring, initially dry before plentiful rainfall in November. Temperatures warmed substantially through spring boosting vine growth and rushing the vines through flowering. Summer was dry, with no recorded major rain events. This carried into January with a heat spike around veraison causing vines to stall, pushing the start of vintage out by a week or so. The warm, dry weather carried into autumn, setting up an Indian summer with favourable conditions for ripening grapes. A very strong vintage for Barossa Valley Shiraz.
Lustrous dark purplish crimson. Smell of rather damp oak(!) to me. Very distinctive!  And certainly no longer a trial. Camphor and very obvious ripeness on the nose. Round and very gently handled. I could almost drink this tonight! Transparent and lively. Tastes as though it has been moved along the spectrum a bit further from the Grange concentration model. Appetising and dry on the end. Almost as light as claret-like in build. A charmer. Great balance.

  • 93p

The 2018 RWT Bin 798 Barossa Shiraz (97 points, $200) debuted in ’00 with the release of the ’97 vintage. Someone pointed out that Penfolds, a paragon of shiraz and of the Barossa Valley, didn't make a single Barossa shiraz. The winemakers rectified the lack, using 18 months maturation in 100 per cent French oak (66 per cent new). It's flashy, it's opulent, its depth of black fruits nonchalantly deal with the thrust of oak and tannins. Like Grange, give it 10 years’ rest.

  • 97p

Deep crimson. Ethereal pure blackberry pastille roasted chestnut mocha aromas with hint ginger notes. Voluminous and animated wine with dense saturated blackberry dark chocolate fruits, plentiful fine velvety tannins and superb integrated roasted chestnut, mocha vanilla oak complexity. Finishes chocolaty firm. Elemental, powerful and seductive with years ahead of it. Should develop into a classic. Seal; Cork Drink 2025-2045 14.5% alc 99 points
 
Arguably the most aromatic, complex, generous and balanced Bin 798 RWT vintage of all time. A great Barossa Shiraz with brilliant cellaring potential.
 
16 months in 64% new and 36% one-year-old French oak hogsheads

  • 99p
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Information

Origin

Magill, South Australia

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