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Vintages at City Cellars - 2011 Penfolds RWT Shiraz

Did you know City Cellars is home to a few hidden treasures, namely some wines with a few years behind them? In this blog series, we feature a special vintage wine that we have in store, with information about the wine, the vintage, the producer and the cost.

2011 Penfolds RWT Shiraz

Barossa Valley, Australia


Penfolds has been producing remarkable wines since 1844, and indisputably led the development of Australian fine wine in the modern era. The introduction of Penfolds Grange Hermitage in 1951 forever changed the landscape of Australian fine wine; since then, a series of standout wines - both red and white - have been released under the Penfolds banner. They’ve won Winery of the Year twice from Wine Enthusiast Magazine, and are one of the world’s most admired wine brands.

Vintage characteristics

2011 was a tough vintage for South Australia. With above-average winter rainfalls and cool conditions that followed during the spring period, South Australian wine regions generally experienced a later budburst and disease pressures impacted to varying degrees across the region. Meticulous vineyard management was critical. Spring soil moisture levels resulted in healthy shoot growth and early canopy development. Healthy vegetative growth continued during the cooler spring months and delayed veraison (the onset of the ripening of the grapes) and berry development in the New Year. A few warm days at the end of January guaranteed the completion of veraison and commencement of the ripening season. Multiple rain events, often isolated, meant that attention to detail was required with selective harvesting of pristine fruit in 2011.


“RWT” originally stood for “Red Winemaking Trial,” the name given to the project when it started in 1995. Now, it’s no longer a trial of course - the first RWT Shiraz was released in 2000 for hte 1997 vintage.

The wine was aged 12 months in French oak hogsheads (51% new, 49% 1 year old). Its style is opulent and fleshy, contrasting with Penfolds’ other Shiraz, The Grange, which is more muscular and assertive. The fruit selected for the wine was chosen for aromatic qualities and fine texture rather than sheer intensity or power of flavour.

Taste profile

  • 14.5% ABV

  • Deep mauve colour

  • Aromas: Preserved satsuma plum, rhubarb, cranberry, cedar, violet and pepper.

  • Palate: Solid, full-bodied wine - belying the vintage. Fine, pronounced and persistent tannins court blue and black-berried fruits, along with espresso and clove. Rich and supple with a long, expressive finish.


This wine can be consumed now or aged up until 2030 for its peak drinkability. It benefits from a long decanting to allow the fruit, tannin and acid to come together. After nine years of aging so far, the wine has improved - the tannins have softened a little while the fruit is still expressive.


We price this wine at $141.99.

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