John Duval Eligo Barossa Valley Shiraz 2015  £67.50

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One of the world’s great winemakers, John Duval was given the ‘Grange’ torch by Max Schubert, the man who created Australia’s most famous wine. John passed it on to his successor when he left Penfolds in 2003 to start his own label. He sources fruit from long-time friends in the Barossa, all of whom own vineyards with vines aged from 50 to 100 years old. The wines are made with minimal intervention and showcase the best of the Barossa.

Grapes are sourced from old vineyards from the Light Pass, Marananga and Krondorf regions in the north and east of the Barossa Valley. The grapes are selected from small sections of the two best Shiraz vineyards.

The 2015 vintage started with a warmer than usual spring followed by early, but even, flowering and fruit-set. Frost, particularly in the Northern Barossa reduced yields however the conditions during fruit ripening were pleasingly mild and dry with rain in mid-January bringing some welcome relief. Harvest began in the Krondorf area on 12th February and finished on 17th March in Eden Valley.

Fermentation with submerging of the cap took place in small stainless steel fermenters. Some batches spent up to two weeks on the skins. The wine was then 100% barrel matured for 20 months in 55% new fine grain French oak, with the remainder in two, three and four-year-old French oak 300 litre hogsheads.

This wine is deep purple in colour with aromas of blackberry and blueberry, complemented by hints of liquorice, nutmeg and spice on the nose. Concentrated layers of berry flavours, earthy savouriness and smoked meat come through on the palate. The finish is long and lingering.

97 Points - James Halliday - The Wine Companion

75% Barossa Valley, 25% Eden Valley, as always, the best grapes of the vintage. Fermented with submerged cap in small open fermenters, matured for 20 months in French hogsheads (55% new). The power and intensity of this wine takes your breath away. Its dark, brooding black fruits are woven together by firm tannins that are an essential part of the wine. It's certain that 20 months in 55% new French hogsheads has also imprinted itself on the bouquet and palate, but its presence is (relatively) subtle. I would give a longer drink to date if it were under screwcap, but the cork used is high quality, and should see out 25 years.

96 Points - Huon Hooke - The Real Review

This is developing tarry smoky, bituminous complexities on the black fruit and spice aromas and is becoming irresistibly complex and delicious. The fruit-sweet core powers through with great depth, richness and character. A wine of engaging character. Superb.


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