2016 John Duval "Entity" Shiraz Barossa Valley South Australia (Elsewhere $40)

SKU #1394863 97 points James Halliday

 60% Barossa Valley, 40% Eden Valley grapes, open-fermented with submerged cap, matured for 15 months in new (33%) and used French hogsheads. Deeply colored; this is at once full-bodied and elegant, not a common marriage with young red wines with decades in front of them. The flavors are all black: blackberry, blackcurrant, black cherry, earth and licorice. The old vines have also provided ripe tannins, the whole theme resonated with oak a la Grange.  (12/2018)

94 points James Suckling

 A ripe nose with the classic blackberry compote nose, as well as some more intriguing nuances such as blueberry skin, dried eucalyptus and dark chocolate. Full body, some really structured tannins, driven acidity and a chewy finish. Lots of fruit, but it remains tight and linear throughout.  (8/2018)

92 points Wine Spectator

 Plump and spicy, featuring clove and nutmeg overtones to the blackberry and huckleberry flavors, with accents of black tea and gingerbread backed by dense, velvety tannins. Drink now through 2033. 1,200 cases imported. (MW)  (3/2019)

91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Dark berry fruit marks the nose of Duval's 2016 Entity Shiraz. Blackberries, blueberries and plums pick up hints of campfire, charcoal and grilled meat, making it a complete, savory wine, not a simple fruit bomb. It's medium to full-bodied, controlled and contained, without any rough edges and a crisp finish. (JS)  (8/2018)

K&L Notes

95 points Campbell Mattinson: "60/40 blend of Barossa and Eden Valley Shiraz. 100% barrel matured for 15 months; 33% new 300 litre French oak, the balance going into 2, 3 and 4 year old oak (also hogsheads). Svelte, sturdy, plump, you name it. There’s ample tannin here but the fruit sweeps through it. This is a ripping Barossa/Eden shiraz. As generous as it is refined; as neat as it is ribald. Blackberry, roasted plums, cloves, mint, dark chocolate and a rush of boysenberry. Both grunty and succulent. It’s a beauty." (Wine Front, 07/2018)


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By: Chris DePaoli | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 1/11/2019 | Send Email
John Duval spent years as the head winemakers for Penfold's, and drinking Entity you can see why his expertise and skill are so well known. This is one of my favorite Barossa Valley Shiraz, and it may be the easiest to approach if you're unfamiliar with the area. It's got a stereotypical big body, but the tannins are rounded off well enough, even this young, that it feels ready for you now. Blackberry and dark chocolate are the main notes with a cool herbal background and a meaty nose. I picniced with this wine, pairing it with a meat pie and a Barossa view, but it'll do just as well with a good beef roast or BBQ.

By: Stefanie Juelsgaard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 1/11/2019 | Send Email
Coming from one of the most respected and experienced winemakers in the Barossa Valley, this is a striking Shiraz marking the standard for Barossa wines. John Duval quickly shot to notoriety as the winemaker behind Australia's most famous wine "Grange" when he was winemaker at Penfolds. His years of experience there taught him to craft an ageable, uniquely-styled wine, that he is now showcasing under his own label. Dominated by dark fruit, leather, and fresh herbs, this is reminiscent of a Châteauneuf-du-Pape with its power and elegant, brooding quality, though Duval will be the first to tell you he doesn't try to imitate the French style. Pulling from both cool and warmer climate sites in the Barossa and Eden Valleys, as well as from dominantly older vines, the Entity exhibits great concentration and lift. Duval's flagship Shiraz is not to be missed for any fan of the varietal and is one of my favorite wines on the shelf.

By: Blake Conklin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 1/10/2019 | Send Email
With mild but still present tannins, and a medium yet lengthy finish, dark berries, chocolate, earth and black currant, the Entity is just a damn good shiraz from Barossa. John Duval has always been one of those producers that I feel really showcases shiraz, and because of bottles like the Entity, I think he does a fine job of showing what Shiraz/syrah is capable of from Australia. Is it anything like Cornas or Hermitage from the Northern Rhone? No, not really, but what I truly appreciate about it is that it's not trying to be, and it's beautifully executed in a way where the Australian terroir can speak for itself.

By: Neal Fischer | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 1/4/2019 | Send Email
Like all of Duval's wines, this Shiraz is characterized by restraint and elegance. The different aromatics and flavor notes meld seamlessly creating an understated yet flavorful red wine. On the nose there's a nice earthy spice, notes of dried leather, and dark fruit scents. The fruits enliven on the palate, showing tart cherry, plum, and overripe blueberry. The spice comes via a soft oak influence, and the tannins are gentle while still providing structure. This wine manages to be rich, yet never brash or boastful. Quite lovely.

By: Andrew Whiteley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 1/4/2019 | Send Email
Dark, glossy, intense, and remarkably fresh and fruity at the same time. I love this wine every vintage, but this one feels particular glorious. The velvety texture is splendid and the dark plummy fruit is concentrated, pure, and clean. Another great achievement from John Duval.

By: Lilia McIntosh | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 1/4/2019 | Send Email
This is my favorite expression of Shiraz in Australia: bright, spicy, with juicy acidity balanced by deep black fruit (black plum, boysenberry and mulberry) with black pepper notes to go along with it. It's not big and heavy Shiraz despite being blackfruited. It's elegant and almost silky on the palate. It's perfectly drinkable now but I can see that with little bit of age it will blossom even more. Beautifully crafted wine worth of buying a case to see it evolving in the future.

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 wine regions are in the southeastern area of the continent, including Barossa Valley, Clare Valley, McLaren Vale, and Coonawarra in South Australia; Yarra Yarra Valley 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 and Sauvignon Blanc from the land Down Under, where Riesling also enjoys international acclaim. 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.
Sub-Region:

South Australia

Specific Appellation:

Barossa Valley

Alcohol Content (%): 14.5