Platinum Best in Show Decanter Asian Wine Awards 2018
97+ Points - Stuart McCloskey "John Duval has a special place in Australia’s wine history and it’s easy to understand why. The perfume is full of charisma and covers a myriad of aromas from plum, sweet exotic spice, a faint whiff of warm earth, blood orange, vanilla, liquorice to an entire collection of black and purple fruits, which go onto flood the palate. There are some high-toned notes from cherry to dried cranberry offset with a wonderful creaminess. The tannins are perfectly woven – As silky as a spider’s web. The finish is long, super-satisfying with touches of blood orange. Reminiscent of Standish in some respects - Faultless winemaking and pure expressive fruit. Impossible to fault for the money. Sampled using Zalto Bordeaux glassware."
97 points – James Halliday "60% Barossa Valley, 40% Eden Valley grapes, open-fermented with submerged cap, matured for 15 months in new (33%) and used French hogsheads. Deeply coloured; this is at once full-bodied and elegant, not a common marriage with young red wines with decades in front of them. The flavours are all black: blackberry, blackcurrant, black cherry, earth and licorice. The old vines have also provided ripe tannins, the whole theme resonated with oak a la Grange."
John Duval "My aim with Entity is to produce an elegant Shiraz true to the Barossa. The 2016 Entity includes 40% Eden Valley Shiraz to help maintain the elegance and style of Entity. Traditional, low intervention winemaking techniques were employed with Entity, allowing the wine to be approachable in its youth, but with ample structure and fruit depth to allow cellaring, under good conditions, for at least 10- 12 years."
John Duval "My aim with Entity is to produce an elegant Shiraz true to the Barossa. The 2016 Entity includes 40% Eden Valley Shiraz to help maintain the elegance and style of Entity. Traditional, low intervention winemaking techniques were employed with Entity, allowing the wine to be approachable in its youth, but with ample structure and fruit depth to allow cellaring, under good conditions, for at least 10- 12 years.
Deep purple red. Lifted notes of violets, dark berries and plum, enhanced by cedary-spicy French oak. Full bodied and tightly packed with an array of concentrated dark fruits. Succulent, balanced and long on the palate."
Zalto Denk-Art Bordeaux Glass
For weightier style reds we recommend the Zalto Bordeaux glass, probably our most widely used glass when tasting in house, this glass is great for many different wines. The large bowl helping aerate and soften tannins whilst accentuating the wines depth and concentration. The Bordeaux glass is the ideal choice for Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Zinfandel, Bordeaux or Rhone style blends and many other red wines. Surprisingly, it is also the glass of choice for oaked Chardonnay as well, the shape of the bowl accentuating the balance of ripe fruits and oak.
John Duval has had a winemaking career that very few can boast. As one of the world’s best known winemakers John comes from a family that has seen four generations of vignerons, who for many years ran a vineyard south of Adelaide and supplied Shiraz grapes and vine cuttings to Penfolds.
For 29 years, John worked as a winemaker at Penfolds, a stint that included 16 years as the chief winemaker. He followed in the footsteps of such great names as Max Schubert and Don Ditter who mentored John during the 1970s and 1980s. John’s time at there also saw him awarded International Winemaker of the Year in 1989, Red Winemaker of the Year in 1991 and 2000 as well as seeing the 1990 Penfolds Grange being named Wine of the Year by Wine Spectator in 1995.
In 2003 John started his own venture under the label John Duval Wines. Two years later he collaborated with several other Barossa wineries; including Hobbs of Barossa Ranges, Spinifex, Massena, Schwarz Wine Co. and Son of Eden to form The Artisans of Barossa. These wineries worked together to promote the art of small batch, sub-regional Barossa winemaking.
John has spent many years consulting for several wineries in Australia, the US and Chile, but most significantly, was part of the team working on the Songlines project. The Songlines wine is a benchmark wine of batch production, handcrafted winemaking which brought together the fruit from McLaren Vale’s very best, individual sites that had in the past provided fruit for some of Australia’s greatest wines.
For his own wines John sourced much of his fruit from the very old vineyards in various sub regions across Barossa. Amongst others, is the Hutton Vale Farm vineyard in Eden Valley. This site was planted in the 1960s with cuttings taken from the famous Mount Edelstone vineyard, now owned by Henschke, and is planted just 1 kilometre to the north. As a close family friend to the Angas family who own the Hutton Vale Farm vineyard, John helped to produce their vintage in 1987, promising to show them how good the fruit was. Knowing the quality of the fruit grown on this vineyard, John combines these grapes with selected sites across the Barossa, drawing on his years of experiences to create a stunning portfolio of multi vineyard wines.
A land of rolling hills and ancient vines, in the heart of South Australia, Barossa is arguably Australia’s most recognised wine region, but has not been without its ups and downs.
Barossa’s story began in the mid 1800s when a group of Silesian Lutherans, fleeing religious persecution, settled in the region and began working the land of Barossa’s largest land owner George Fife Angas. The settlers took to growing fruit and due to the climate in the region, grapes were most ideally suited and toward the end of the 1800s, several wineries had been established. Distinctly Germanic names such a Johann Henschke, Oscar Seppelt of Seppeltsfield and Kaesler that are leading names in the Barossa wine industry today are evidence of these early pioneers, and many are continuing today through several generations of the same family.
The wines were originally produced for religious and home use but it didn’t take long before they were being made commercially and by the start of the 20th Century wine was being exported back to England. The demand for fortified wine was huge and this coupled with the long journey on water, fortified wines dominated Barossa’s wine market right up until the end of the 1960s, but this would lead to a crisis that would set the industry into decline. As demand for fortified wines dried up, many growers were left unprofitable and the South Australian Government introduced the vine pull scheme, uprooting many of Barossa’s ancient vines during the 1980s. It took the efforts of some of the regions new faces of the time to bring the industry back by paying the growers above market value for their grapes, and saving the old vines that have become a hallmark of Barossa wine.
It is Barossa’s ancient vines that have shaped the region's style and reputation and the forward thinking attitude of the region's producers is one that is only beginning to filter through to the rest of the wine world. The winemakers of the 1980s helped to revive Barossa’s heritage, paving the way for the next generation of Barossa winemakers and this balance between heritage and progression has continued with an unparalleled energy through the region's newest and brightest stars of the 21st Century.
The Barossa Valley is warm and dry with low rainfall and low humidity, which can lead to a risk of drought during the growing season. It’s lower in altitude and is typified by gentle, rolling hills and valleys and is home to some of the world’s oldest clusters of vines, some of which are over 125 years old. These old vines are very low yielding and produce exceptionally concentrated fruit which is exploited by producers like Greenock Creek, Hobbs and Standish to make very rich and powerful wines that due to their concentration, often reach high levels of alcohol. Although several varieties are grown across Barossa, by far the most widely planted is Shiraz, producing rich, fruit forward wines. In the past, Barossa’s reputation has suffered from this rich style of wine, with consumers and producers favouring wines from cooler areas of Australia. However, a wave of smaller, artisan wineries began to pop up during the 1980’s and 1990’s and brought a resurgence to this region with trailblazers like Torbreck and St Hallett.
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