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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: 18 months in 54% new oak in French hogsheads
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.
John Duval is a master blender. This is all about the best of the vintage, fruit from various sites across the Barossa and Eden Valleys, to morph into the mighty Eligo. A powerhouse of flavor yet never loses focus. Dark plums infused with star anise, cinnamon, Dutch licorice, and soy sauce. Full-bodied with velvety rich tannins. It gets the most oak – French hogsheads 54% new, aged 18 months, and needs time to settle in. It will. ~97 Halliday Wine Companion
This is straight-up an epic wine. It shows layers and layers of concentrated dense fruit character but feels light and fresh despite that heft. There is impossibly detailed spice, herbal notes, seasoning of oak, and bright acidity. The extension of flavor is just outstanding. All up it feels incredibly classy and the fruit is just singing so beautifully. ~96 Wine Business Monthly
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