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John Duval Wines - Eligo


James Halliday LogoAWARDS + REVIEWS

Eligo Overview and philosophy.

2015 Eligo

97 pts "The power and intensity of this wine takes your breath away. Its dark and brooding black fruits are woven together by fine tannins that are an essential part of the wine. It's certain that 20 months in French hogsheads (55% new) has also imprinted itself on the bouquet and palate, but its presence is (relatively) subtle. I would give an even longer drink-to date if it were under screwcap, but the cork used is high quality and should see out 25 years. James Halliday 2019 Halliday Wine Companion August 2018

96 pts "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." Huon Hooke The Real Review April 2019

95 pts "Firm, bold and brilliant. You could call this an aristocratic red and get away with it. Blackberry and coal, blackcurrant even, redcurrant and then slips of coffee-cream, malt and sweet, dry spices. Truffle and game notes as whispers. Ropes of tannin, both integrated and commanding. A gorgeous red wine." Campbell Mattinson The Wine Front July 2018

94 pts "Duval's flagship wine is the 2015 Eligo Shiraz, a blend of Barossa Valley and Eden Valley fruit that spent 20 months in 60% new French oak hogsheads. It's toasty and cedary, but those elements are balanced by the wine's deep, persistent dark fruit notes of blueberry, blackberry and boysenberry. Full-bodied and dense without excess weight and framed by fine-grained tannins, it's approachable now, but it should be even better in a decade." Joe Czerwinski The Wine Advocate September 2018

4 1/2 Stars "If a ripe, almost jammy, high-alcohol Barossa shiraz is what you seek, you may as well stop reading now. It's as though the Eden Valley component (25%) drives the wine becausae the nose is about red berry and florals rather than blackberry and dark chocolate. HIgh quality French oak plays a role in both the aromatics and palate, but doesn't dominate. Once again the tannins are almost miraculously fine." Lester Jesberg Wine Wise June 2018

2014 Eligo

97 pts "The massive difference in most of the best Barossa Valley shirazs 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 flavour profile, allowing the varietal fruit expression freedom to communicate its message. That said, this wine needs a decade, if not several, to reach its peak." James Halliday 2018 Halliday Wine Companion August 2017

96 pts "Very deep, saturated, youthful red/purple colour, with a strongly oaked smoky/char-oak aroma, surmounting rich, ripe, smoky black fruit aromas and flavours. It's full-bodied and rich, rounded and supple of texture, with ample tannins, which are marvellously smooth and gentle. There is terrific fruit sweetness underneath. A gorgeous wine, which just needs a little time for the oak on the bouquet to mellow in." Huon Hooke HuonHooke.com August 2017

94+ pts "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. It’s not as commanding as  the 2013 but it sure does say ‘assertive’ and ‘cellar me’, clearly. 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 armour of oak, finding supreme length and a smearing stain of oaky-rich fruit flavour lingering. Powerhouse stuff, all up, done evenly and well. Very well. I hope to meet this wine again." Mike Bennie The Wine Front July 2017

TOP 100 CELLAR SELECTIONS OF 2018 - #97: John Duval 2014 Eligo - 93 pts "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." Wine Enthusiast November 2018

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

97 pts "The aim is a structured (achieved in spades) and elegant (give it 10 years) expression of Barossa shiraz. My query on elegance is due to the obvious French oak: it simply needs a Grange-like decade to come into integrated balance." James Halliday James Halliday's Wine Companion 2017, August 2016

95 pts "Hulking wine. Thick with fruit, oak and tannin. Truffle, blackcurrant, blackberry, coal and sweet, smoky oak. Both lively and brooding at once. Capable of scaling tall buildings in a single bound. Those truffle notes; make of them what you will, take in the temper of jellied redcurrant too. It's not for everyone, but this wine puts on a commanding performance." Campbell Mattinson The Wine Front June 2016.

94 pts and a Wine Spectator 'Hot Wine' "Intriguing and juicy, featuring brambly wild berry and floral flavors mingling in a dense core, with baking spices, black walnut and clay details. Intense and firming on the finish. An Earl Grey tea note lingers. Drink now through 2030. MaryAnn Worobiec Wine Spectator Insider June 2016

94 pts and a Cellar Section "Full bodied, creamy and lush, this is a prototypical Barossa Valley Shiraz from a longtime master of the variety. Smoke, cedar, mulberry and eucalyptus notes mingle easily on the nose, while savory notes of roasted meat and dried herb blend seamlessly into the fruit, ending long, velvety and rich." Joe Czerwinski Wine Enthusiast October 2016


2012 Eligo

97+ pts “Medium to deep garnet-purple colored, the 2012 Eligo has a profoundly scented nose of crème de cassis, blackberry pie, liquorice, dark chocolate and blueberry preserves against an earthy/meaty background of bacon fat, forest floor, beef dripping and black loam. The densely packed, full-bodied palate manages almost paradoxical elegance and restraint with velvety tannins and lively acid giving closure to the long, multi layered finish.” Lisa Perrotti-Brown The Wine Advocate June 2015

96 pts “Fragrant, dark fruitcake, iron oxide smelling: black as a pitch. Gets woodsy humus and tar with air: Sparkling and glistening fruits. Massive depth on the tongue, really floods the mouth: tarry, sweet-soy, emphatic old-school Barossa Valley. This will live for decades.” Tim White The Australian Financial Review

96 pts “It’s deceptive how firm and well scaffolded this wine is. It’s a flood of rich, ripe, dark-hearted fruit, all blackberry and anise, peppercorn and coffee and it feels so fluid that at first you barely notice the tannin at all. It’s only on close investigation (all in the line of duty) that you start to notice the strings. It can be consumed now or much later; it will take either option in its stride.” James Halliday Wine Companion 2016

95 pts “Deep red colour with a tinge of purple; there are very ripe blackberry aromas with traces of anise and spices and dried herbs. It’s deep and fleshy but elegant on palate, lightly grippy, with pleasing softness in the middle. The aftertaste is balanced and clean with a positive tannin grip. It’s just a baby at this stage: already drinking beautifully, but with decades ahead of it. Superb Shiraz. Huon Hooke www.huonhooke.com July 2015

2010 Eligo

98+/100 pts "Deep garnet-purple colored and profoundly scented of blueberry preserves, blackberry tart and chocolate box intermingled with an undercurrent of star anise, coffee, rare beef and tar, the full-bodied 2010 Eligo Shiraz is richly fruited with layers of opulent, berry preserve and spice cake flavours supported by solid foundation of firm, velvety tannins and balanced acid.  It finished with outstanding persistence." Lisa Perrotti-Brown Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate - March 2014.

94 pts "Vibrant, focused and intense, this is balanced, displaying currant, plum and floral flavours, hinting at licorice as the finish persists.  Has depth and distinction.  Harvey Steiman, Wine Spectator November 2013

95 pts "A big, perfectly ripened shiraz that cries out for cellaring.  Sweet vanilla, dark chocolate and black-fruit aromas, then a full-throttle palate with lots of oak and fruit density, richness, power and concentration.  Soft and ample tannins." Gourmet Wine Traveller October / November 2013

95 pts "Not shy or retiring in any stretch of the imagination, but one to bask in for concentration and carry of flavour - yet there's not a bashing about of the palate, more genial envelopment that works with concentration, spice and judicious oak." Mike Bennie WBM July 2013

95 pts "Essency black fruits, savoury roasted meat aromas and fragrant wood spices all evident on the bouquet; the palate is full bodied and muscular with prodigious tannins lying in waiting beneath the succulent black fruits on offer; long, precise, complex and expansive to conclude." James Halliday The Wine Companion July 2013

93 pts "Potent black and blue fruit aromas are brightened by notes of smoky minerals, cracked pepper and fresh flowers. Rich but focused and pure, offering vibrant blueberry and boysenberry flavours and suave vanilla and floral pastille qualities. Supple and broad on a long, gently tannic finish that leaves allspice and dark fruit preserve notes behind. Josh Raynolds The International Wine Cellar - July 2013

Outstanding “You’ve often heard it from us, but top-notch Barossa or McLaren Vale Shiraz should reflect ripe, but not over-ripe fruit. Here’s an excellent example. It’s an intense, satisfying, full-bodied shiraz that cries out for a porterhouse and Bearnaise sauce now, but will suit much more sophisticated dishes later. It’s the epitome of the vibrant blackberry/spice Barossa shiraz. Lester Jesberg Winewise Bulletin June 2013

95 pts “This likely the most ageworthy Shiraz winemaker John Duval has crafted since leaving Penfolds.  The oak is subtle, the fruit still tight.  It’s full bodied but bursting with potential, shown in hints of black cherries and plums, mocha and mint.  The finish is long, mouthwatering and softly dusty in texture, making it luscious yet firm.  Drink 2018-2030.”  Joe Czerwinski Wine Enthusiast Magazine February 2014

25 Shiraz Superstars “Eligo has fresh, red and black plums and show considerable depth of rich sweet fruit.  It's still youthful with excellent flavour and nicely melded new oak. Hooke found it ‘shy at first with smoky, charcuterie characters.  There’s a good volume of flavour with black plum, vanilla, dark chocolate and a twist of licorice.  It’s rich, dense and very long with touches of mocha and lots of well handled oak.’ The overall impressions is one of softness yet structure.  It will develop in bottle for many years.” Gourmet Wine Traveller June / July 2014.

95 pts “Deep, dark red colour with a slight purple tinge. Sweet vanilla chocolate and black fruit aromas, sweetly ripe and not overstated. Full-bodied, fairly oaky, deep and dense, with richness and density, some opulence and lush sweet fruit backed by ample tannins. Well structured wine, deep and concentrated. Long finish too. It promises more if cellared.” Huon Hooke www.huonhooke.com

2009 Eligo

93 pts "Powerful bouquet of earth, animale and dark black fruit.  Smooth and supple with thick tannins and perfectly molten oak and fruit mesh.  Glides across the palate, sails long through the finish and shows richness and power yet has medium bodies appeal.  Mike Bennie  WBM Magazine November 2013.

93pts "Focused, expressive, dark and brooding, with plum, black cherry and subtle spice notes." Harvey Steiman, Wine Spectator May 2013.

96 pts "Pronounced creme de cassis, blueberry preserves and warm mulberry notes with an undercurrent of cedar, lavender, chocolate box, Indian spices and cardamom.  Medium to full-bodied and tightly-knit on the palate is has a vibrant acid line cutting through the dense fruit layers and medium-firm, grainy tannins to support a long and spicy finish." Lisa Perrotti-Brown Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate - March 2013.

94 pts "Opaque purple. An exciting bouquet of black and blue fruit preserves, violet, mocha and Indian spices. Juicy boysenberry and mulberry flavors show great depth and energy, with a late note of cracked pepper adding bite. Finishes spicy and very long, with lingering florality and gentle tannic grip. The marriage of power and verve here is striking. A good chunk of this fruit was grown in the cool, high-altitude Eden Valley, a sector of the Barossa that also produces excellent riesling, which no doubt contributes to this wine's vivacity. " Josh Raynolds The International Wine Cellar July 2012

94 pts “Eligo is winemaker John Duval’s luxury Shiraz, drawn from selected Barossa parcel.  The 2009 is a dark tarry Shiraz, heavy on the savory elements of black olives and dark chocolate and buttressed by ample cassis-tunged fruit.  It’s full bodied and firm with a lone, finely textured finish.  Drink now – 2025.”  Joe Czerwinski Wine Enthusiast Magazine February 2014

2008 Eligo

96 pts "Full bodied and yet remarkably elegant in the mouth, it has complex layers of savoury and warm black fruit finishing with great persistence." Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, February 2012.

95 pts “Vivid purple hue; deep, dark and concentrated black fruit, tar, toasty oak and roasted meat all combine on the bouquet; the palate is dark and dense, with the powerful swathe of black fruit combining seamlessly with abundant new oak; chewy and fresh on the finish; the wine is still unevolved but balanced.”
James Halliday, 2012 The Wine Companion

93 pts “($100) Glass-staining ruby. Intensely floral aromas of fresh red and dark berries, candied cherry and cracked pepper. Silky in texture, with midweight black raspberry and bitter cherry flavors, nervy mineral cut and slow-building tannins. This balanced, elegant wine has the energy to reward patience.”
Josh Raynolds, Steven Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar – New York July 2011

Gold Medal
Decanter World Wine Awards 2011 – London

5 Star
Chris Shanahan, Canberra Times May 2011

93 pts “Bright and lively, with lots of raspberry and cherry fruit on a medium-weight frame. A hint of mocha adds interest, remaining open and expressive through the gentle, focused finish. An elegant package. Shiraz. Drink now through 2016. – HS”
Harvey Steiman, Wine Spectator’s July 31

94+pts “Dark cherry and black fruit with the perfume of clove spice and sage oil. Tempered by tar and earth – it’s immediately appealing and multi-layered, even as a young wines. Supple and mouth-filling with savoury oak and dark chocolate flavours running long and spice on the finish. Fine oak, deep fruit, polish and class. It put in mind of RWT, only less brutish, smother and more sophisticated. ”
Gary Walsh, The Wine Front – May 2011

2006 Eligo

96 pts, “A selection of Duval’s very best Shiraz, this has superb depth and style, showcasing all that’s great about passing Barossa Shiraz through experienced hands. Dark blackberry flavour, some deeper earthy, savoury layers and long, smooth tannins. Impressively poised now, it will reward some time in the cellar.”
TOP 100 - Wine 100; 1 in 100.

96 pts, “The very best shiraz to pass through Duval’s experienced hands, this has a superb sense of depth and grace, relying on soulful, rich regional depth. Blackberry, black cherry and cassis are all nicely framed in savoury oak and gentle spice – refined and tidy. The palate makes a statement of structure and precision, deep tarry blackberry flavours build to spiced blood plum through the finish. Impressively balanced, beautifully extruded and convincing shiraz.”
Nick Stock, The Penguin Good Australian Wine Guide 2010

95 pts, “Dense but bright colour; has perfectly pitched blackberry, plum fruit and French oak on both the bouquet and medium- to full bodied palate, with a very long finish.”
James Halliday, Australian Wine Companion 2010

94 pts, “Vivid purple. Strikingly complex aromas of blackcurrant, raspberry compote, violet, olive and Asian spices. Broad, palate-staining dark berry flavors are brightened by zesty minerals and pick up an exotic floral note with air. The mineral element gains strength with air and carries through a long, pure and sweet finish. I couldn't get this off my palate, but I didn't try very hard.”
Josh Raynolds, Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar Autumn 2009

94 pts, “Impeccable structure. Sense of elegance. Finesse through the finish…” “Flavours are in the blackberry/chocolate/port/hay/cedarwood spectrum and despite its deep sense of impact it’s neither a huge wine nor an overdone wine. It’s beautiful in its style with oodles of fleshy tannin through the finish. It will age well.”
Campbell Mattinson, The Wine Front, October 5 2009

94 pts, “Densely structured yet undeveloped on release, this is fresh and ripe with potential to age long and well.”
Rob Geddes MW, “The Gold Book” Australian Wine Vintages 2010

Gold Medal - 2009 Sommelier Challenge (US)

2005 Eligo

96 pts, “Duval has introduced this elite wine, a selection of the best shiraz he identified from the ’05 vintage; it was given an additional spell in the finest French timber. Precise blackberry aromas, some tarry notes, it has eaten up the oak and smells quite elegant. Fruit has been sculpted with experienced hands and delivered in refined shape – plum and dark berry flavours, fine dense tannins, impeccable balance.
Nick Stock, The Penguin Good Australian Wine Guide 2009.

94 pts, “Purple-colored, it exhibits aromas of pain grille, pencil lead, espresso, licorice, blackberry and blueberry. Opulent on the palate, it has gobs of fruit but narrows out slightly in the finish.”
Jay Miller, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate 2009

96 pts "Has great concentration and structure and above all, length to its panoply of red and black berry fruit; both oak and tannins positive, but nonetheless in a support role.
James Halliday 2009 Australian Wine Companion

96 pts #12 of 50 - Best Cellaring Wines 2007 "Underneath a slightly smoky, toasty exterior lies an explosion of cherry, raspberry and black cherry fruit that's wonderfully pure without being simple. The texture is creamy and lush without being unstructured or jammy, while the finish goes on and on."
Joe Czerwinski Wine Enthusiast, November 1, 2007.

95pts "A fabulous Barossa shiraz from the master. Duval's regular shiraz is a beauty, but this has more structure and ageing potential. Shy at this stage, undeveloped and loaded with promise."
Huon Hooke Good Living, Sydney Morning Herald, July 22, 2008

94 pts "Vivid blackberry, cassis, violet and mineral scents offer superb definition and expand with air, picking up exotic incense and Asian spice qualities. Sharply focused red and dark berry fruit flavours stain the palate, with fine-grained tannins providing gentle support. The floral element gains strength on the finish, which features sweet raspberry and zesty minerals. A shiraz with outstanding balance and energy."
Josh Raynolds, Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar, July, 2008

94++pts "After four years building his own brand, former Grange maker John Duval shows his profound understanding of the deepest and best of the Barossa with this flagship. Made in a style Max Schubert would love, the wine seems like a blacksmithed essence of the whole valley, compressed with the AP John cooperage into one impenetrable lozenge. But at the same time, it displays an elegance and restraint rarely seen in these days of plump, jammy Liberace extravaganzas. Open one now, just to peek, and put the rest away for at least a decade. Steak."
Phillip White Independent Weekly, June 4, 2008

5 Stars ***** "Fruit that's been given first class treatment with sumptuous, chocolate-coated purple fruit with a savoury streak running through. Fine poise. A wine of some distinction and one of Barossa's leading lights."
Decanter Magazine May 31, 2008