2012 John Duval "Entity" Shiraz Barossa Valley South Australia (Elsewhere $40+)
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.
Warm at heart but with its eyes firmly set on savouriness. Sweet plum and vanilla meet notes of soy, crushed leaf, woody spice and clove. Intricately tannic. Winds up and lets fly with a style punch of flavour through the finish.
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.
Fresh and vital, with expressive flavors of dark plum and spice on an open texture, coming together with intensity and grace on the finish against a light blanket of tannins. Drink now through 2022.
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.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2012 Entity has a baked black cherry and dried mulberry-laced nose with hints of prunes, Chinese five spice, black pepper and licorice. Full-bodied with plenty of spicy flavor, the baked black fruit flavors are framed by chewy tannins and it finishes long and anise-laced.
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)