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Vintage 2024

Vintage 2024 Update

Vintage has kicked into top gear this week with a run of warm and dry weather over the last two weeks after a mild start to the summer. We are looking at lower yields than previous years with colour and flavour looking fantastic.

An early Easter often means an early start and finish to vintage, and true to form we are well ahead of previous years for our first picks. We started vintage 2024 with Marsanne from Marananga on the 15th of February and Roussanne from Kalimna on the 21st of February. The first reds in the winery this year were Shiraz from our Marananga and Krondorf blocks in the central Barossa Valley, which traditionally are some of our earliest ripening Shiraz blocks.

As the weather warmed up over the last two weeks we are seeing reds ripening at a steady pace, Tim and JD are out in the vineyards daily, walking the rows and sampling grapes to monitor flavour ripeness and making the all important picking calls.

Excitingly this year we have a new variety in the winery that Tim and JD are having a play with, its from the Bethany foothills of the eastern ranges of the Barossa Valley. Watch this space as to where this one ends up.

The first of our Cabernet Sauvignon blocks from Moppa was picked on the 29th Feb and we will see the Eden Valley Cabernet Sauvignon arriving in the winery within the next few weeks to go towards our Compono Cabernet Sauvignon that we first launched mid last year. Over the next week will see the arrival of some of our key Shiraz parcels from the northern section of the Barossa as well as old vine Grenache and Mataro hit the winery and our prized Eden Valley parcels dont look to be too far behind.


Tim and John






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Vintage 2023

Vintage 2023 update


With a long and cool spring with good rainfall and a mild summer, the Barossa has seen a slower start to vintage than normal. At this stage we are currently two to three weeks behind our average picking date. The long, slow ripening period has ensured that the grapes are accumulating great colour and flavour ripeness and our yields are looking to be only slightly above average.


The first of the whites, Marsanne from the sub-region of Marananga, was picked in early March. Roussanne from the Kalimna sub-region followed last Friday and is looking sensational in ferment. To complete our Plexus White trio, Viognier from the cooler Eden Valley will follow in a few weeks. Each of these varieties will be fermented separately, with a portion of the wines finishing fermentation in new French oak to help build texture, length on the palate and spice notes.


We will receive our first red for the vintage this week, some Shiraz from the Krondorf area kicking us off as has been the case in previous years. We will then work our way to the northern end of the Barossa Valley and then up into the Eden Valley.




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Introducing three new 2021 Annexus wines.

Annexus definition: Attached, linked or joined to; highlighting exceptional elements of Plexus from outstanding vintages.

The first Annexus was borne in 2013 when we got access to an amazing 1858 planted grenache vineyard in Eden Valley. The vineyard, grown on lean, granitic and quartz-based soils produces a structured expression of grenache, but also one of undeniable fruit purity and elegance. The first few Annexus Grenache releases were based on this vineyard with a portion blended from other exceptional grenache sites. In 2021 we have once again sourced fruit from this iconic vineyard, but are proud to release it as a single vineyard expression. A long lived, complex grenache of the highest quality. Only 100 cases made.

In 2016 we introduced an Annexus Mataro into the lineup, the first time John had released a straight varietal Mataro (mourvedre) in his near fifty-year winemaking career. After working with the vineyard’s custodians the Scholz family in Light Pass since 2003, we finally felt conditions were right to recognise this centenarian vineyard. A true expression of place and vintage, the Annexus Mataro expresses all the earthy structural notes we have come to love from this variety. The 115 year old dry grown bush vines are always low yielding, but the cooler, elegant 2021 vintage has produced a wine of lifted spicy, savoury aromatics, a precise focused palate and a wine suited to pairing with slow cooked and flavour rich dishes. 250 cases made.

In 2021 the Shiraz from one of our key Eden Valley vineyards was of such an exceptional quality that we felt compelled to highlight the site and grower and expand the Annexus range. We welcome the 2021 Annexus Shiraz to the range to complete our ‘deconstruction of the Plexus SGM – the Annexus’ each highlighting exceptional elements. The vineyard is owned by the Severin family and farmed by the Knight family in the Mount McKenzie sub region of Eden Valley, home to beautiful big gum trees and ancient, rocky granitic soils. The vineyard has long been a key resource for blending components of our Shiraz wines, adding that all important Eden Valley lift, spice, plush blue-fruit and mouthwatering acidity. Debut vintage: 250 cases made.



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Introducing Concilio Shiraz


In response to many requests from our restaurant customers, in 2018 we created a wine exclusively for them. The first ‘Concilio’ was made from Grenache sourced from an old bush vine block located to the south of Tanunda and blended with a small portion of Shiraz. The wine reflected the style evolution of Barossa Grenache towards wines of vibrancy, texture and savouriness and those eminently suitable to accompanying food.

Due to the success of the Concilio Grenache, and after being blessed with near-perfect conditions for the 2021 vintage, John and I contemplated adding a second ‘Concilio’ to the range, one that this time spoke of the more modern interpretations of Barossa Shiraz. Our decision was made easier when one of Australia’s most respected sommeliers, Leanne Altmann of the McConnell Restaurant group, gave the idea a big thumbs up and looked to place the very first order.


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2018 Integro Cabernet Shiraz release

The much anticipated second release of our Integro Cabernet Shiraz from the 2018 vintage is imminent, with the official release date of the 16th of May just around the corner.

Although not quite released, we are over the moon that the wine has recently received 97 points from Wine Companion

​​97 pts "John Duval’s flagship cabernet shiraz blend. Eden Valley represents the lion’s share (90%), as does cabernet sauvignon, with shiraz contributing 10%. Stunning fruit purity and detail on display here, with cascades of blackberry and blackcurrant along with cassis, kirsch, spice, cedar and licorice. The fruit is the star though. Achingly pure and beautifully integrated with all the components of the wine. Lovely tannin and oak management too, with an opulent yet graceful flow through to the enduring finish." Dave Brookes


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Recipe – Roast Duck with Davidson Plum & Red Wine sauce

We asked Ryan Edwards, Head Chef at Essen by Artisans of Barossa for his favourite dish to serve with our Concilio Grenache, and boy did he come up with a cracker.

Roast Duck with a Davidson Plum and red wine sauce.

For the duck:

1 duck whole, bought locally off the guy that grew it if possible

10g native pepper berry

10g good quality salt

400g of interesting potatoes ie purple skinned, purple fleshed, sweet potato

200g warrigal greens, washed and spun (or baby spinach)

2 bulbs of garlic

For the sauce:

200g duck/beef/chicken stock

40g shallots, peeled and diced

100g fresh or frozen Davidson plums, peeled and seeds removed and discarded

15g sugar

10g butter

200ml concilio or other good quality red wine (but its good to cook with what you are drinking)


For the sauce: Melt the butter in a small pan over low heat.  Add the shallots and cook for five minutes until soft.  Add red wine and turn up heat with the aim to reduce the liquid by two thirds.  Once reduced dd the stock and reduce again by two thirds or until slightly syrupy.  Add the plums and sugar and cook for 10 minutes over low heat until plums are soft and delicate.  Check sauce for seasoning, it should be a little rich, a little soft and fruity, a little sour, a little tannic not unlike the wine with which you are about to enjoy.

For the Duck: Wash duck inside and out very well with cold water and pat dry with clean cloth.  Peel (or don’t) the potatoes and cut into roasting sized pieces.  Place duck breast side up in a large roasting dish and surround with your potatoes and whole garlic bulbs.  Season duck with native pepper and salt and roast slowly in a moderate oven about 155C for 2 hours.  When the internal temperature reaches 65c (when probed on the inner thigh hard up against the bone) it is cooked.  If you don’t have a thermometer, skewer it in the that same spot and if the juice runs clear you are pretty good to go.  At his point place duck in a new pan and cover gently in foil to let it rest, but not too long because you want the skin to be crispy.  Turn up the oven to 220C. Place the potatoes back into the oven for a few minutes to crisp them up. Remove the garlic and let cool a little so you can handle it.  In a frypan add 2 tablespoons of your duck fat and bring to heat.  Meanwhile add your greens and squish out the inside of your roast garlic into the pan and fry gently until the greens have collapsed slightly.  Season with a little salt and pepper.

To finish: carve your duck as you see fit, serve duck with wilted warrigal greens, roast potatoes, and before using the sauce add any juices to it that are in your resting dish, even a little of the fat won't hurt.  

Sauce liberally, and enjoy with a glass of JDW Concilio.

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Tour Down Under – Festival of Cycling is back in the Barossa.

Image courtesy of Santos Tour Down Under

This Sunday sees the return of the much loved Tour Down Under - Festival of Cycling to the beautiful Barossa with the Women’s Ziptrack Stage 1 taking place in the southern Barossa. 

For those who are planning to visit the Barossa by bike, we have asked long time friend of John Duval Wines (and our former Finance & Admin Manager) Kate Shelby-James to share her favourite way to discover the Barossa on two wheels. Kate has since founded her own successful Pilates studio here in the Barossa and keeps many of the JDW team limber. Being a keen cyclist Kate has also worked closely with the team at Rapha during lockdowns to come up with specialised Pilates sessions for fellow riders around the globe.

One of Kate’s favourite parts of the Barossa is riding through the back roads in Eden Valley, behind the hill climb that is Menglers Hill. Eden Valley is also home to some of our key Shiraz and Grenache vineyards and is always one of our favourite places to visit.

To ride up Menglers Hill you have two options, you can either take the shorter route up the front of Menglers Hill for a challenge and climb as well as a quick stop off at the lookout, or spin yourself up the back for a longer ride along Long Gully Road. Once you have made it up Menglers Hill, head south down Tanunda Creek Road where you will need to keep an eye out for the resident roos.

At the end of Tanunda Creek Road you have two options depending on how far you want to cover, if you turn left you head back down the stunning Flaxmans Valley Road which will lead you back into Angaston and coffee. If you take the option to turn right you will descend left down Seven Steps Road, a great straight stretch of quiet road that will mean you can enjoy the descent. This leads down to the Eden Valley Road, turn left at the end to head back into Angaston.

For a post-ride coffee, Kate recommends Casa Carboni or Hive in Angaston or Delikatessen @ Artisans of Barossa on the outskirts of Tanunda.

Happy cycling in the beautiful Eden Valley.

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Recipe – Glazed Ham

Whether you celebrate the big day with the traditional hot lunch or with a more relaxed approach, a glazed ham is the perfect dish for the table. Either served warm or cool, it is even better for Boxing Day leftovers.


Marmalade and ginger glazed ham.

7kg leg of ham 

350 grams of orange marmalade

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup ginger beer

Cloves for decorating

Pre-heat oven to 180c

Remove the rind from the ham by cutting 10cm in from the shank end in a decorative pattern and then run thumb under the skin to remove rind, keeping the layer of fat intact. 

With a sharp knife score the top layer of fat in a diamond pattern making sure to not cut deeper than the top layer only.

In a saucepan over low heat stir together the marmalade, sugar and ginger beer until sugar has dissolved and set aside to cool.

Line a large baking dish with greaseproof paper and place ham on a wire rack in the tray. Brush with some of the glaze.

Bake for 40 minutes, then decorate as desired with the cloves, brush with the remaining glaze and place back in oven for a further 40 minutes. Serve warm or cool and Merry Christmas!


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Eligo Vertical Tasting

In preparation for the release of the 2018 Eligo Shiraz, we recently sat down with wine writer Nick Stock to taste through every vintage of the Eligo Shiraz since its inception in 2005. This gave us a great insight into the evolution of our flagship Shiraz and reiterated to us its ageing potential.

2005 Eligo - This is the first Eligo made and sits right in the zone, with still-fresh blackberry and red-plum aromas and flavors, as well as a spicy-chocolate thread. This has long, fully formed tannins and holds flavor long. A small 5% inclusion of Coonawarra cabernet here. 93 pts

2006 Eligo - Aromas of olives and earth with forest wood and fresh leather. The fruit is in the dried-blackberry and dark-plum zone. Some earthy notes, too. The palate has a dense tannin core with blueberry and tarry notes. The bolder end of the tannin spectrum here. Dark plum and blackberry to close. Parcels from Krondorf, Marananga and Light Pass. 94 pts

2008 Eligo - The first vintage to include Eden Valley fruit, this has a complex and spicy nose with aromas of blood orange and blackberry, as well as red and dark plum. Very tarry, strong typicity here. Very primary still, this is really fresh for its age. There’s a wealth of rich and ripe fruit on the palate with supple, smooth and even tannins. Plenty of fresh ripe fruit in the core here – lots of blueberries and blackberries. Many years ahead. 96 pts

2009 Eligo - Aromas of ripe berries and plums, as well as raisins and plum pudding. Some pastry dough here, too. Shows the warm January and February heat. The palate has a meaty edge with grilled beef and beef bouillon, as well as rich, dark and blue-fruit flavrs. Plenty of tannins. A blend of 78% Barossa Valley and 22% Eden valley. 93 pts.

2010 Eligo - This has quite a fresh array of dark berries and plums with plenty of spice and some earthy elements, too. There’s a fine, long and strong feel to the palate. Classy structure and the flavors hold so well. Good vintage. A blend of 75% Barossa Valley and 25% Eden Valley. 94 pts

2012 Eligo - The soil moisture of the 2011 growing season produced elegant and complete wines. The nose has distinctive Eden Valley spice and really attractive complexity, with a wealth of spiced red plums, blueberries and blackberries. The palate is long and elegant with a core of blue-fruit flavors. Impressive detail here. A standout vintage for Eligo. A blend of 51% Barossa Valley and 49% Eden valley. 96 pts

2013 Eligo - This has a wealth of blueberries and blackcurrants, as well as fresh florals and genuinely elegant, spicy complexity. The palate holds quite an intense line of assertive, unwavering tannin that carries rich, dark, powerful black- fruit flavors so long. A blend of 58% Barossa Valley, with Ebenezer coming into the mix, and 42% Eden valley. 94 pts

2014 Eligo  - A strikingly herbal nose with rosemary, sage and other roasting herbs on offer. The fruit is in the red and dried dark-berry zone with some pink- grapefruit zest. The palate has quite long, driving tannins and a concentrated core of rich dark-plum and blackberry flavors. Sitting fresh and balanced. A vintage that ran hot, with lower yields, and then was punctuated by a significant rain event on February 14th. A blend of 83% Barossa Valley and 17% Eden Valley. 93 pts

2015 Eligo - A warm start to the vintage that then cooled down, and some rains in January freshened up the vines. This has aromas of blackberries, blackcurrants, red plums and raspberries. Freshly spicy and youthful with leafy tones, cedar and forest wood. The palate has impressively strong tannins that carry rich, ripe and long. A powerful Eligo with many years ahead. A blend of 74% Barossa Valley and 26% Eden Valley. 96 pts

2016 Eligo - A warm, early vintage that was saved by 40mm of rain in January. This has aromas of red plums and baked berries with cedary and leafy notes. Some eucalyptus, too. The palate holds a bold core of ripe dark-berry flavors with chocolate and plums. Chalky, fine-grained tannins here. A blend of 75% Barossa Valley and 25% Eden Valley. 94 pts

2017 Eligo - An elegant vintage with good soil, moisture and healthy yields. Ripe red- plum, blackberry and spice aromas and flavors here, all very complete. The balance of this wine is a real highlight. The tannins are sleek and carry rich, dark berry and plum flavors long. Chocolate to close. A blend of 74% Barossa Valley and 26% Eden Valley. 94 pts

2018 Eligo -The first Eden Valley dominant Eligo (70%) with the Barossa Valley parcel coming from Adrian Hoffmann’s Ebenezer vineyard. From an excellent vintage, this has a very fragrant nose, with fresh roasted spices and a cedary-oak thread that opens to cocoa powder, redcurrants, peaches, pomegranates, blueberries and blackberries. So, so youthful. The palate is very plush, fleshy and long. Flavor-soaked with rich and fresh blackberry and red-plum flavors. Long cellaring life here. An excellent Eligo. 96 pts

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Recipe – Orso Kensington

The fantastic team at Orso Kensington recently hosted team JDW for one of their regular and much loved Winemakers Lunches. The menu was spectacular and perfectly matched to a selection of wines including some delicious treats from the cellar. The Roast Lamb Rump was the winner on the day and perfectly paired with the Annexus Grenache.

Lamb rump, beetroot leaves, jus, peas, mint.

Serves 4


4 Lamb rump, with cap on.

1 bunch beetroot leaves, roughly chopped

2cloves garlic, finely chopped

150g green peas

50g butter

A few mint leaves, torn

For the jus

1 litre good quality chicken stock

100ml red wine

6 sprigs thyme

Pre heat your oven to 180ºC.

To make the jus, bring the wine up to the boil in a large sauce pan, boil for 1 minute. Add the thyme and chicken stock, reduce to about 300ml. set a side.

To cook the lamb, heat a skillet over a medium. Season the lamb generously with salt. heat 3 tbsp vegetable oil, then place the lamb carefully fat side down in to the skillet. Cook for 2 minutes on medium heat then transfer the pan to the oven, cook for 10-12 minutes. Transfer to plate to rest for at least 15 minutes. Keep warm. Alternatively, you can cook the lamb over charcoal in a bbq, using to same method.

To cook the beetroot leaves

Fry the garlic in oil for 30 seconds add the beetroot leaves and fry until soft.

To assemble

Warm the jus over a medium heat, add the butter stirring to emulsify, add the peas and mint, season with salt and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Place lamb in the oven for 1 minute to warm through, slice the lamb and arrange over the beetroot leaves, pour over the sauce and finish with fresh cracked black pepper.