2012 John Duval "Entity" Shiraz Barossa Valley South Australia (Elsewhere $40)

SKU #1169936 96 points Decanter

 For me, the best edition of this well-crafted Shiraz. The nose is ripe and mellow, with layers of rich blackberry and plum. There's a wealth of spice and soulful, earthy depth and a smoky tarry edge too. The palate is smoothly honed, with a dense mid-palate that offers bright blackberry and plum flavors. Deceptively study tannins carry hauntingly throughout and merit considerable cellaring if you can manage to keep your hands off it! Drink 2018-2030.  (6/ 2014)

93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Inky ruby. Explosive smoke- and spice-accented boysenberry and blackcurrant aromas show an exotic floral nuance and suggestions of licorice and allspice. Fleshy and broad on the palate, offering sweet dark fruit flavors and a bracing jolt of peppery spices. Finishes energetic, focused and pure, with silky tannins and a late touch of candied flowers. As attractive as this Shiraz is right now, I'd give it at least another five years of bottle aging before digging in.  (7/ 2014)

91 points James Suckling

 Lots of ripe fruit here with plums and raisins. Full body, soft tannins and a delicious finish. Clean and well-made for the vintage. Polished. Drink now. Screw cap.  (2/ 2014)

K&L Notes

One of the all-time icons of Australian winemaking John Duval (ex-Penfolds Grange winemaker) has done it again, producing a stunning reflection of the excellent 2012 vintage with his Entity Shiraz. The 2012 Entity is exclusively sourced from old vine vineyards in the Barossa and Eden Valleys. Duval employs very minimal interventionist techniques to allow the quality and purity of fruit to shine through. Maturation takes place in large hogshead barrels made from the finest tight grain French oak; the wine rests 16 months before bottling. This wine simply exudes highly aromatic, classy black and blue fruits, exotic Asian spices and hints of violet. The palate is generous, mid-full bodied with a silky smooth tannin structure and no hard edges to be found anywhere. The richness and expressive nature of this wine in its youth belies its proven capability of ageing for a decade plus. However I think this will be pretty much impossible to leave alone because it just tastes so great right now! This wine shows that Barossa Shiraz does not have to be overly-ripe and overly extracted to attract huge scores; I am delighted to see a wine of such freshness and balance defining what Barossa can really do. John Duval is one of the driving forces behind this irresistible style of ultimate power and elegance combined. (Ryan Woodhouse, K&L Australia buyer)

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Product Reviews:

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By: Greg St. Clair |  K&L Staff Member  |  Review Date: 7/28/2014  | Send Email
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This is a Barossa Shiraz that isn't overly extracted, overly ripe or overly alcoholic. You might think that's a lot of overlys... well you'd be right and it is why I'm so impressed with this wine. My Barossa experience has been full of wines that are way too sappy for my palate, but this wine's bracing acidity and properly stated alcohol level is refreshing. You still get that Barossa power but with more focus; the flavors are cleaner and fresher and you still get that supple, textural richness that is Barossa. I'm thinking BBQ'd ribs would be just the match for this fascinating wine.
Drink from 2014 to 2018

By: Ryan Woodhouse |  K&L Staff Member  |  Review Date: 7/28/2014  | Send Email
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Power, precision and persistence sum up this wine perfectly. I love how Duval's wines capture the richness that I love in Barossa Shiraz but always remain refined, elegant and fine boned. Exceptional purity of fruit, silky tannin structure and some complex earthy, savory undertones. A subtle kiss of oak frames everything perfectly. Forget about trying to cellar this one...it's way too good right now to leave alone!

By: Jim Chanteloup |  K&L Staff Member  |  Review Date: 7/28/2014  | Send Email
With a very fine 2012 vintage in the Barossa, you'd expect nothing less than a superb wine from an iconic winemaker like John Duval. Well, he did not disappoint! The nose shows blue and blackberry fruits with dark plum, peppery spice, meats, damp earth and a hint of mocha. On the palate the wine offers seamless balance with supple, ripe refined tannins that are supported by juicy acidity with exceptional drive and length. Bravo John!

Additional Information:

Varietal:

Shiraz/Syrah

- One of France's noblest black grape varieties, Syrah is known for its intense and distinctive perfume reminiscent of briar fruit, tar, spice and black pepper and its firm structure. One of few black grape varietals frequently vinified on its own, the best examples of Syrah come from the Northern Rhône, particularly Hermitage, but also Côte-Rôtie, Cornas, Crozes-Hermitage and St-Joseph. These wines are very astringent in their youth, though some Crozes-Hermitage and St-Joseph can be enjoyed young, relatively speaking. Given the requisite patience, though, these wines can reveal amazing complexity and secondary fruit characteristics like plum and blackcurrant as well as subtle hints of smoke and flowers. In the Southern Rhône, Syrah is used to add structure and complexity to wines dominated by Grenache and complemented by Mourvèdre, like the more immediately drinkable Côte du Rhônes, as well as the long-lived wines of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. In recent years, plantings of Syrah have spread throughout the Languedoc-Roussillon where it is produced on its own or blended with other varietals. Outside of France, the most important Syrah growing country is easily Australia, where it is called Shiraz. Quality levels here depend greatly on yields and geography, and the wines range from bold, fruity and easy-drinking to intense and ageable, like the famed Penfolds Grange. Often bottled on its own, in Australia Syrah is also can be blended with Grenache and Mourvèdre, as in the Southern Rhône, and is increasingly combined with Cabernet Sauvignon. Syrah has also been steadily increasing in popularity in California, thanks to a group of advocates called the Rhône Rangers. Its most successful iterations come from the Central and Sonoma Coasts, where winemakers are pushing boundaries and creating some incredible wines. In recent years Syrah has also found a number of proponents in Washington State, which is definitely a region to watch for this variety.
Country:

Australia

- While it is true that the greatest strides in Australian winemaking have come in the last 30 years or so, commercial viticulture began as early as the 1820s and has developed uninterrupted ever since. The majority of the great Region are in the southeastern area of the continent, with the Barossa Valley, Claire Valley, McLaren Vale, and Coonawarra in South Australia, the Yarra Yarra Velley and Pyrenees in Victoria and the Upper and Lower Hunter Valleys in New South Wales. Many of the wines from Southeastern Australia are based on Shiraz or Cabernet Sauvignon and various blends including Grenache and Mourvedre. In Western Australia, along the Margaret River, great strides are being made with Pinot Noir as well as Bordeaux-styled reds. There are also many world-class releases of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling from the land Down Under. While many equate Aussie wines with "value", there are more than a few extremely rare and pricey options, which never fail to earn the highest ratings from wine publications and critics throughout the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from Australia.
Sub-Region:

South Australia

Specific Appellation:

Barossa Valley

Alcohol Content (%): 14.5