John Duval Eligo Shiraz 2012
97+ Points – Lisa Perrotti-Brown, The Wine Advocate
6x75cl – £240 In Bond
£302.98 Duty and VAT paid
John Duval has the exclusive honour of being the torch bearer for Max Schubert, the man who fashioned Penfolds Grange, Australia’s most famous and revered wine. Duval graduated in agriculture and winemaking in 1973 from Adelaide University and then spent 29 years as a Chief Winemaker at Penfolds. He worked alongside Schubert and Don Ditter who mentored him from 1986 to 2002. As Chief Winemaker at Penfolds it meant that he was the custodian of Penfolds Grange, as well as developing the new and exciting portfolio seen today. It is noteworthy that Penfolds RWT was Duval’s idea, believing that Barossa is capable of a paradigm shift toward more open, balanced and ample style, aged in French, not American oak.
In 2003, after more than a decade with Penfolds he decided to start his own label. His new label allowed him free reign and instead of a continuation of a Penfolds style, he shifted, choosing to create the elegant Plexus in 2003. In 2004, he introduced his Entity Shiraz and in 2005, his Reserve style Eligo, the pinnacle of his winemaking, which has reached incredible heights in quality. Since its introduction Eligo has been awarded scores in line with Penfolds Grange and while stylistically different, has become Grange’s direct competitor!
The 2012 vintage was characterised by a warm spring but a cool summer, superb conditions for the perennially hot Barrosa Valley. This resulted in excellent vine health and healthy balanced grapes. As a result, Eligo has been awarded 97+ points by Lisa Perrotti Brown MW, Editor in Chief of the Wine Advocate and an extremely strict marker. At £240 per case of six bottles and 97+ points, John Duval’s Eligo offers incredible value and quality normally seen at £200 plus per bottle. As demonstrated below, Eligo has excellent vintage premium and consistently very high scores placing it, like it winemaker, as one of the greatest in the world.
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Eligo is a Barossa style Reserve, crafted to achieve balance and elegance on top of the powerful and complex style seen in the leading Barrosa’s Shiraz wines. Duval views Grange as a shift in the Barossa paradigm, which he intends to succeed with Eligo. Duval sees old vines as core to Eligo and believes that when they are cherished and nurtured their own balance and exceptional complexity will shine. As such he sought out vines aged between 50 to 100 years. Eligo is sourced from very old vineyards from the Light Pass, Marananga and Krondorf regions in the north and east of the Barossa Valley. He selects grapes only from the finest sections of the two best Shiraz vineyards. Eligo is the pinnacle of his career and as with the RWT Shiraz, which began his new winemaking canon, 80% of Eligo is aged in 100% new fine French oak and matured for 20 months, the balance in oak hogsheads.
Lisa Perrotti-Brown, 97+ Points
Medium to deep garnet-purple colored, the 2012 Eligo has a profoundly scented nose of crème de cassis, blackberry pie, licorice, dark chocolate and blueberry preserves against an earthy/meaty background of bacon fat, forest floor, beef dripping and black loam. The densely packed, full-bodied palate manages almost paradoxical elegance and restraint with velvety tannins and lively acid giving closure to the long, multilayered finish.
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