jamie goode's wine blog: John Duval Wines: high-end Barossa wines

Monday, December 15, 2008

John Duval Wines: high-end Barossa wines

Two wines this evening. I thought I'd go Australian, so I opened a couple of recent releases from John Duval. He spent 29 years at Penfolds, and, from 1986-2003, as chief winemaker John was the dude in charge of Grange, which is quite a heritage to mantain. He started his own label in 2003, and also consults in Europe, Australia and the Americas. I really like these wines, and I reckon they'll age beautifully. I do wonder, though, whether the tin-lined screwcap used here is the best closure for these sorts of wines. Might they show better with a decent quality cork? [Admittedly, it's quite a job getting a cork supplier who can deliver this...]

John Duval Wines Entity Shiraz 2006 Barossa Valley, Australia
14.5% alcohol. 17 months in French oak, 30% new. Deep coloured. Initially shy and simply fruity on opening, after time this picks up weight and begins to show its potential. Lovely aromatic, slightly meaty, pure dark fruits nose with blackberry, dark cherry, spice and violets. On the palate there’s real elegance to the dark fruits, which marry beautifully with the oak. This isn’t a big blockbuster style; rather it’s a brilliantly balanced, youthful Shiraz with masses of potential for future development. John Duval says that his aim with this wine is to produce a Shiraz with elegance and structure, and I think he’s achieved this. But it needs time. 93/100 (£20.99 Noel Young, Oz Wines, SWIG, Harperwells, Secret Cellar, Wimbledon Wine Cellar)

John Duval Wines Plexus Shiraz/Grenache/Mourvèdre 2006 Barossa Valley, Australia
14.5% alcohol. Half Shiraz, one third old bush vine Grenache, the remainder old bush vine Mourvèdre, aged mostly in old oak. This is dominated by sweet, plum, red cherry and blueberry fruit, with a lovely soft structure and some attractive peppery spiciness in the background. It’s lively and pure with a seductive lushness, but there’s enough spicy structure to provide balance. It’s delicious now, with real Barossa typicity, but it should age really nicely, too. 91/100 (£18.99 Noel Young, Oz Wines, SWIG, Harperwells, Secret Cellar, Wimbledon Wine Cellar)

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At 10:58 PM, Blogger lionel said...

Delighted to see such a positive write up of the Entity as I recently picked up bottles intending to lay them down for a while!

At 10:54 PM, Blogger Jamie said...

Will be interesting to see them develop, Lionel


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