2017 Penfolds Bin 798 Shiraz RWT

Year: 2017
Appellation: Barossa Valley
Country: Australia
Wine Spectator: 96
Wine Advocate: 95
James Suckling: 96
Jeb Dunnuck: 93
Red Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 14.5%
Price :
$139.95
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2019 WINE SPECTATOR TOP 100: #9

"Offers a lush, juicy mix of blackberry, blueberry and black cherry flavors that appears seamless, integrating with notes of amaretto, clove and lavender. Plush, juicy and very generous on the long, expressive finish. Drink now through 2034. 1,156 cases imported. -MW" (WS)

"Red raspberries abound on the nose of the 2017 RWT Shiraz, which—as usual—is all Barossa fruit aged in French oak (70% new). It's full-bodied and velvety, with appealing notes of dried spices, beef and plenty of red fruit. There's a cedary veneer to this vintage, which looks as if it will need a couple of years to come together, then drink well for up to two decades.

It's always a treat to sit with Chief Winemaker Peter Gago and taste through the latest releases from Penfolds. Despite losing one of his suitcases (thankfully, not the one with the newly bottled 2019 Bin 51 Riesling), he was in good humor, having just gone on a Manhattan clothes-shopping spree. The bulk of this year's wines come from the challenging 2017 vintage, but with the wide net Penfolds casts to source fruit, the winery seems capable of maintaining a remarkable degree of consistency. There are always a few wines from years on either side as well. Standouts this year include the dense, age-worthy 2016 St Henri Shiraz. This is a wine that never sees new, small-format oak, as it is aged in large oak vats. The 2017 RWT Shiraz (all Barossa Valley, all French oak) is a perennial favorite of mine, and it is reassuringly excellent. These wines differ stylistically from one another and from the flagship Grange, which is aged in new American oak hogsheads. This year's Grange release is the 2015, another strong effort. The biggest splash among this year's lineup is the debut of a new $1,700 Shiraz. The 2016 Bin 111A Shiraz is a blend of Clare Valley and Barossa Valley fruit previously ticketed for Grange, aged 18 months in new French hogsheads. It would be easy to dismiss it as another cynical marketing ploy, but it's yet another unique expression of Shiraz and the quality lives up to the lofty price tag. For the one-percenters lucky enough to snare a bottle or two, it'll provide immense pleasure for decades to come." (WA)

"Stunning blueberries and mulberries here with a wealth of baking spices and red berries, as well as tarry notes and blackberries. It is all here. The palate has a super plush, rich and quite compressed tannin feel. Some firm and powerful moments, as the palate builds with plentiful spiced summer berries. Red plums and blackberries to close. Try from 2025." (JS)

"The 2017 Shiraz RWT, also known as the Bin 798, is all Barossa Valley Shiraz that’s always brought up in French oak, with 70% being new in 2017. It checks in behind the magical 2016, but nevertheless it’s still a beautiful Shiraz that offers everything you could want from this variety. Sporting a deep purple color as well as a beautiful perfume of crème de cassis, black raspberries, toasted bread, vanilla bean, white flowers, and plenty of spice, it’s full-bodied, elegant, and silky on the palate, and what it lacks in density and depth, it makes up for it with its incredible purity and elegance. It’s approachable today (give bottles an hour in a decanter), yet I suspect it will benefit from short-term cellaring and keep for 15+ years or more. It’s a class act." (JD)