AWARDS + REVIEWS
95pts “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
93pts “($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
Decanter World Wine Awards 2011 – London
Chris Shanahan , Canberra Times May 2011
93pts “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 Steinman, 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
96pts, “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.
96pts, “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
95pts, “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
94pts, “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
94pts, “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
94pts, “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)
96pts, “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.
94pts, “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
96pts "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
96pts #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
94pts "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