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March 2017

Vintage has finally arrived! We started with some Stonewell Marsanne on Wednesday 8 March and some hand picked Marananga Shiraz on Thursday 8 March. This was closely followed the next day with Shiraz from the Light Pass district, which came with a little surprise visitor (don't worrry we saved the little guy from the crusher). The Light Pass Shiraz is showing great aromatics and colour in ferment and is due to be pressed off today (20 March).

 

February 2017

With a cooler growing season, vintage has yet to kick off yet. Our Krondorf Shiraz was picked on 8 February 2016 but as at 9 February this year still hadn't finished veraison (see picture below). We expect that this vineyard will be ready to pick in mid-march. Roussane in the Kalimna region of the Northern Barossa (bottom image) is looking great this year, developing excellent early flavour. Stay tuned....

 

December 2016

We are very proud to announce that the 2014 Plexus Shiraz Grenache Mourvedre has taken out #34 on Wine Spectator's Top 100 Wines of 2016. See this link for the full list of the top 100 wines.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spring Update - 14 October 2016


Spring has finally sprung here in the Barossa. We have seen a sequence of warm sunny days and, along with the sun, bud burst and some rapid growth in the vineyard. However, mixed in with the few days of sunny skies have been numerous reminders of the cold, wet winter just gone.

And a cold, wet winter it certainly was... We had above average rainfall for May, June and July and record rainfall for September (162 mm!); welcome conditions after the lean rainfall of the last few years. This rain should ensure full dams and soaked soil profiles across the Barossa, a great sign for a positive growing season ahead.

 

 
Spring has sprung - looking towards the hills in the Southern Barossa
 

 

Australia's Best Winery Experiences


More than just another winery, John has leveraged his 28 years of working and learning about the Australian winemaking industry at the internationally renowned Penfolds, not to mention four generations of South Australian vignerons, before creating a family label of his own in 2003.

His experience with Penfolds, his degree in agriculture and winemaking, and his love for the craft shine through in the wines he’s made since then. Along with international projects in Chile and Washington State (US) he spends at least four uninterrupted months in the Barossa each year to craft our range of premium wines.

Recently, we were absolutely thrilled to be featured in ‘Australia's Best Winery Experiences​’, a review by Bupa Travel Insurance on some of the best wines and winery experiences to be found. Bupa Travel Insurance were particularly impressed by our innovative and welcoming collective cellar door, Artisans of Barossa.

 

Barossa Floods! The North Para River breaks its banks at Seppeltsfield Road. Image courtesy AAP
 

 

Artisans of Barossa
 

If you haven't already paid us a visit, make sure you drop by the collective cellar door we participate in to try our wines. Embracing the collective spirit of the Barossa region, John decided to team up with five like-minded wine producers (Spinifex, Schwarz Wine Company, Sons of Eden, Massena and Hobbs of Barossa Ranges) rather than go it alone. The group calls themselves Artisans of Barossa, and each member works to produce small batches of premium regional focused wines.

Each 'Artisan' has their own unique style, and together, the six members provide a unique tasting experience showcasing the best that the Barossa region has to offer. Along with a revolving wine list, Artisans offers a share focused food program hosted by Pete Little and Tracey Collins of Harvest Kitchen. This means a visit to the Artisans of Barossa tasting room offers a comprehensive food and wine experience.

If you would like a more intimate setting to truly understand the complexities of our wines, we have an exclusive lounge area separate from the tasting room where you can taste each Artisan's wines.  Call Artisans on 08 8563 3935 to arrange a private tasting experience.
 
A lazy Saturday afternoon at our tasting room, Artisans of Barossa

 

 

Coming Soon...

After a stellar debut in 2013, Annexus Grenache returns for the '15 Vintage. Sourced from two low-yielding vineyards, one in Eden Valley being over 150 years old. Watch this space.
 

Latest Reviews
 

We have been very fortunate to recently receive some outstanding scores and reviews for our current vintage wines. Some of the highlights include:

2013 Eligo
98+ pts "Very deep purple-black in color, the 2013 Eligo has an intoxicating nose of creme de cassis, blueberry tart and violets with underlying menthol, cloves, fenugreek, licorice and dark chocolate hints. The medium to full-bodied palate is youthfully restrained, with taut, muscular blackberry and exotic spice flavors supported by fine-grained, firm tannins and lively acid, finishing with excellent length. This is a very classy 2013 Shiraz!" Lisa Perrotti-Brown The Wine Advocate June 2016
 
**Eligo is only produced in tiny quantities and in only the best years - we have almost sold out of the 2013 vintage so order online now to make sure you don't miss out**
 
2014 Entity
96(97)/100 "This is deep and glistening in that beguiling, tarry Barossa Valley way. Souk spicy. Potent forest berries and pips on teh tongue, succulent, yet mouth-watering dustiness. There's a lightness and subtlety among all the intense fruit concentration. Has some style. Tim White The Australian Financial Review 29-31 July 2016
 
2014 Plexus Red
93 pts "Rich, dark and spicy with chocolate nougat and subtle floral notes. Medium bodied, savoury, spicy, fruity and fleshy all at once, textured grainy tannin, balanced acidity, blackberry with some red fruited freshness on a long finish. Feels almost minerally. Tastes great."
Gary Walsh The Wine Front June 2016
 
2015 Plexus White
93 pts "It needs a little extra time to flesh out but this looks the goods. Will be interesting to follow its development. There's some tartness for now but there's also pulpy nectarine and melon, with green apple, chalk and spice notes aplenty. Interesting, dry textural style. Wait 6-12 months." Campbell Mattinson The Wine Front June 2016

 

Where In The World Is JD?

US Market Visit September 2016 
 

 

Flying over Mt Rainier and the Mt Rainier National Park, Washington State and enjoying a College Football Game over homecoming weekend in Norwich, Northfield Vermont (go Cadets!)

 

 

Vintage Update – 9 March 2016

Vintage 2016 is well and truly in full swing at John Duval Wines. As this update goes to press, we will be picking Grenache and Mataro, with the last of our Eden Valley Shiraz ferments just kicking off.

The growing season was characterised by low winter and spring rainfall, which was followed by a hot spell in mid December. The warm weather continued through January, and was thankfully broken by almost 40 mm of rain in late January early February. The timing of this rain was perfect, particularly for a lot of our dry grown vines, who gratefully received a big drink. 

 

 

Hand Picking Les Fenson's Marananga Shiraz

 

Following the rain, the balance of the ripening season comprised warm days, but slightly cooler than average night temperatures, helping the vines to cope with the warm conditions. This February weather was fantastic for Shiraz, with our first Shiraz fruit harvested on Tuesday 9 February showing amazing colour and intensity.

We are also very impressed with the quality of Grenache for 2016, with the old bush vines coping particularly well with the warmer late February and early March conditions. Early signs point to very high quality and therefore a release of our premium Annexus Grenache, which we only make in exceptional years.

 

 

Hand picked Grenache from the 'Dalwitz' vineyard in Tanunda 

 

What's New

The John Duval Wines team has expanded, with John's eldest son Tim joining the business on 18 January. Tim comes to JDW after 6 years as a commercial lawyer in Adelaide, specialising in wine, agribusiness and hospitality transactions. Tim had a week to acclimatise himself with the business before the mad vintage rush commenced, and has been busy dividing his time between the vinyeard, winery and our ongoing marketing and sales activities.

 

Kate, John and Tim attending the Barossa Generations Lunch

 

New Release Wines

 We are pleased to make the following new release wines available direct from our online shop:

2014 Plexus Shiraz Grenache Mourvedre - $40 / bottle

2014 Entity Shiraz - $50 / bottle

2013 Eligo Shiraz $120 bottle

Please click on each wine for tasting notes and follow this link to access our Shop. As usual freight is free for orders of 12 or more bottles and please allow up to two weeks for delivery (weather permitting).

Vintage Report 2014

A dry late spring and hot start to summer was brought to a holt on Valentine’s day by significant rain and then cooler conditions for the remainder of vintage. Due to the dry, hot January, vintage started early with whites on the 11th of February but with the rain on the 14th reds were delayed until to end of February.

The 2014 Plexus is a generous wine with good intensity of bright, plush blackberry fruit and Christmas cake character. The 2014 has an appealing texture with soft tannin backbone.

The 2014 Entity is full bodied and generous with excellent concentration of blackberry fruit. This vintage has textured layers of fruit, balanced acidity and fine, long tannins will enable good cellaring potential.

Vintage Report 2013

The 2013 vintage story was all about the dry 2012 winter and spring leading into a warm to hot summer.  In the Barossa this always means low yields and an early start to vintage.  Vintage started with a rush on the 12th of February with some early Shiraz.

The 2013 Eligo is an elegant expression of dark fruit with concentrated layers of berry, earthy savouriness and smoked meat flavours. The 2013 is long and intense with excellent texture and balanced tannin structure. 

 

 
 
 

 

Amazing 2016 Vintage colour from a Shiraz ferment

 
 

 

 
 

 

John in the vineyard