They say that the most rewarding events come from hard times, that's what happened in the 2014 vintage for John Duval. 2014 had complications due to the frosts that occurred in the North of Barossa. As a result, the production was affected and drastically reduced. Despite all of the ups and downs, the vintage and grapes turned out to be excellent. The wine is full of power, elegance and fruitiness - a result that came as a pleasant surprise to John Duval.
Dubbed as an "Australian Wine Legend" by Robert Parker, John Duval is one of Australia's most renowned winemakers with more than 35 years of experience in the industry.
The last name Duval has a long history in Australia's wine world.For more than 100 years, the family vineyards have supplied grapes to some of the best winemakers in South Australia.
John Duval's vineyards date from the second half of the 19th century and are built on more than 30 years of winemaking experience and more than 5 generations of experts. John Duval is the true visionary of the family as he is the one who transitioned from only selling grapes to making his own wines.
John Duval graduated from Adelaide University’s Roseworthy College in 1973, and secured a sought after winemaking role with Penfolds for the 1974 vintage. During his time with Penfolds, John Duval apprenticed to Don Ditter and Max Schubert, creators of Australia's most famous and iconic wine called “Grange”. Duval displayed his winemaking skills and became the third winemaker in 1986.
John played a very important role in the positioning and worldwide recognition of the Penfolds winery.During his 29+ years at Penfolds, Duval became a world-renowned star winemaker. Some of his accolades include being named the UK Wine and Spirit Competition's International Winemaker of the Year, 2x Red Winemaker of the Year and receiving the "Wine of the Year" award from Wine Spectator.
In 2003, John Duval began producing his own wine and released his first label, “Plexus”.
John Duval discovered the treasures of the Barossa Valley terroir and became a complete lover of the old vines of Shiraz, Grenache and Mourvèdre. Duval's hallmark is complex and elegant wines with great aging potential that express the best of the Barossa Valley terroir.
John Duval is not only a Wine Rockstar in Australia, but he is also involved with Viña Ventisquero in the Apalta Valley in Chile, where he is the consulting winemaker. On top of this, he is also a partner at the Longshadows winery in Washington.
Aging: 20 months in 60% new fine grain French oak
Tasting Notes: 100% Shiraz. Lifted black plum, blackberry, and blueberry with hints of earth, anise, and spicy, savory oak. The palate is an elegant expression of rich dark fruits with some earthy savoriness and smoked meat flavors. It is long and intense with excellent fruit purity and freshness, finishing with a taut backbone and persistent fine tannin structure.
The massive difference in most of the best Barossa Valley Shirazes of today compared to the wines of 20 years ago has been the adoption of French oak (not even a mix of French and American). It freshens the flavor profile, allowing the varietal fruit expression freedom to communicate its message. ~97 James Holiday
From best of best shiraz from best of best sources in best of best Barossa and Eden Valleys. It sees around two-thirds of the oak barrels used as new. Indeed, if you take the exceptional Annexus Grenache model, it is the opposite, in some respects. It says loudly that John Duval’s experience has led him to the conclusion that to make upper-tier wine from shiraz from the Barossa you need new oak. New oak elevates the wine. It’s firm and sinewy in tannin and oak, but there’s great inward concentration and the feel of a wine pent up, powerful, slumbering… Dark berry fruit scents, sweet earth, old spice cupboard, cedar, new leather, and mushroomy in perfume. The wine drills through the palate with its deep, powerful fruit and armor of oak, finding supreme length and a smearing stain of oaky-rich fruit flavor lingering. Powerhouse stuff, all up, done evenly and well. Very well. I hope to meet this wine again. ~94+ The Wine Front
Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2014 Eligo has pronounced black plum and blackberry preserves aromas over nuances of charcoal, grilled meat, earth, peppercorns, and aniseed. Rich, ripe, concentrated, and with firm, finely grained tannins on the palate, it has a taut backbone and great length. ~93+ Wine Advocate
A very intense ripe blackberry core of fruit and a big, ripe tannin frame. Heads into tarry territory on the palate holds long with thicker weight tannins. Plum essence to close. ~93 James Suckling
John Duval's wines are rarely timid and rarely simple, although they do require some time for brooding. The 2014 Eligo offers plenty of attractive blue fruit, dark cherry, florals, and cedar to ponder over. The palate is full-bodied but elegant, with savory, tight-grained tannins. This should cellar beautifully. Drink 2019–2037. ~93 Wine Enthusiast, #97 of top 100 Cellar Selections
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