2017 John Duval "Entity" Shiraz Barossa Valley South Australia

SKU #1431211 99 points James Halliday

 From old vines in five districts, fermented with submerged cap, matured in French hogsheads (32% new) for 15 months. Complex and rich from the first whiff through to the aftertaste, not wasting a single berry in this great vintage. So much power, such elegance.  (1/2019)

94 points Wine Spectator

 Vibrant, with blackberry, blueberry and spiced plum flavors that are fresh, plump and generous at the core. Impressively elegant and seamless, featuring fresh earth, spice and floral notes that linger effortlessly alongside fine-grained tannins. Shiraz, Grenache and Mourvèdre. Drink now through 2037. 2,000 cases imported.—M.W  (11/2019)

K&L Notes

Joe Czerwinski for Wine Advocate has praise for Duval: "Catching up with John Duval is a lesson in modern Australian winemaking. He made Grange for Penfolds, working with Max Schubert and Don Ditter before serving as chief winemaker from 1987–2002, so he's got historic bona fides. He seems to know all the growers in Barossa, where he's made his own wines since 2003. His son, Tim, recently joined the family business, but the big news this year is the release of their first varietal Mataro, from centenary vines in Light Pass." (08/2018)

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Price: $34.99

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Product Reviews:

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By: Thomas Smith | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/21/2019 | Send Email
This is it. This is the big one. This is the breakthrough Shiraz of the year. John Duval spent nearly 30 years as a master winemaker crafting Penfolds Grange, Australia’s most heralded Shiraz that can easily cost upwards of $800. Striking out on his own to craft the wines at John Duval, the 2017 Entity clearly puts this mastery on display. The concentration and minerality on the nose wavers between warm, detailed fruit and more mineral, graphite driven aspects that remind me of Bordeaux like Leoville Barton, with a fruit expression that has seemingly endless depth. Black raspberry, black cherry and whiffs of spice tinged smoke are all at play here. The palate has fiery dynamics, velvety tannins, and a bright whip of acidity that pushes down the palate. All in all this is stunning in its complexity, balance, and focus. It may be awhile before I see anything that even comes close to the value here. It’s no wonder that James Halliday named this No.1 on his list of best Australian Shiraz this year.

By: Elsa Baez | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/21/2019 | Send Email
Looking for a nicely layered and not too plush Barossa Shiraz?...look no further! We are lucky to carry the 2017 Duval Entity not only because it recently was rated 99 points by James Halliday, it's also a fantastic bottle of Shiraz we're all excited about here at K&L for so many reasons. Aromas of chocolate powder undertones, with dark ripe fruit nicely intertwining with the savory undertones on the palate. It's elegant and ready to be paired with your favorite beef dish.

By: Cameron Hoppas | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/21/2019 | Send Email
Absolutely delicious. Unctuous and dense core with seamless texture and freshness. Perfumed fruit aromas with warmth and classic Barossa-style spice. This wine is incredibly powerful and elegant. This wine reflects the excellence you'd expect from John Duval's storied winemaking career as chief winemaker for Penfolds for 29 years before setting out on his own in 2003.

By: Lilia McIntosh | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/21/2019 | Send Email
Unbelievable wine! John Duval winery has outdone itself this time! I have been a huge fan of this wine for a few vintages now, but this 2017 is off the charts. Gorgeous black fruit: mulberries, wild blackberries, polished and silky tannins. wine glides absolutely seamlessly on your palate and has long-lasting, bright, mouth-watering finish. It's a beauty and a stunner of a wine.

By: Tim Telli | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/20/2019 | Send Email
Dark and rich fruit flavors on the nose. Clean fruit with no apparent oak. Well balanced sweet fruit and a nice long finish. This wine is all about the harmonious integration of fruit, oak and texture. Quite a steal at $35 that is made by an icon of the Australian wine industry with access to some exceptional fruit sources. This is classic Barossa Shiraz without the weight and oak sweetness that is all too common.

By: Neal Fischer | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/20/2019 | Send Email
I'm a bit of a John Duval fan-boy, and my appreciation for this bottling is no exception. The nose starts with a little pepper, big black fruit, and heady potpourri. The palate is more robust and jammy with juicy plum and mixed dark berries. Deeper flavors emerge with more nosing and sipping such as dark cocoa, spicebox, and earthy tobacco. It stays juicy and powerful through the end with good structure and a luscious texture.

By: Alex Schroeder | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/20/2019 | Send Email
This beautiful wine from a veritable master of Shiraz is a beautiful iteration of the grape from down under. It has the concentration and depth of a high-dollar, luxury Syrah while showing off its beautiful terroir with wonderful expressiveness and lift. Aromas of plums, black currants, black pepper, eucalyptus, mint, and licorice lift from the glass. It has a fantastic silky texture with ripe tannins and balancing acidity, and the finish goes on for ages.

By: Gary Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/20/2019 | Send Email
The critics love big, supple, decadent wines like this one for their smoky, dark fruited intensity. For me, the part that impresses the most is the lack of heat and the lack of residual sugar. This is a big boy that can dance, and a fantastic value for this style of wine.

By: Cameron Price | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/20/2019 | Send Email
What a sexy bottle of Shiraz! Big, bright and juicy Shiraz that is as delicate as it is powerful. Soft and silky tannins with a light savory note are highlighted well in the wine. Do not fret about ageing this wine as it is locked and loaded and ready to enjoy now...like right now!

By: Miles Philippe | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/20/2019 | Send Email
The presence of this wine certainly backs up the name of, "Entity." All encompassing dark red and black fruits envelope your palate and carry through all the way to the end of the finish. To describe this wine in a word: Sexy. With a soft and velvety texture, this wine is one to drink now, and to drink often! It's fabulous on its own, but this will also go toe to toe with any powerful meat dish that you serve this with!
Top Value!

Additional Information:



- 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.


- 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.

South Australia

Specific Appellation:

Barossa Valley

Alcohol Content (%): 14.5