||Barossa, South Australia
||Notes of dark berries and plum supported by hints of licorice and a floral lift.
||Dark and brooding on the palate, with tightly wound layers of rich, black and blue fruits with hints of dark chocolate and spice, finishing long with savoury tannins.
One of the world’s great winemakers, John Duval was given the ‘Grange’ torch by Max Schubert, the man who created Australia’s most famous wine. John passed it on to his successor when he left Penfolds in 2003 to start his own label.
He sources fruit from longtime friends in the Barossa, all of whom own vineyards with vines aged from 50 to 100 years old. The wines are made with minimal intervention and showcase the best of the Barossa.
The Shiraz fruit was sourced from some of the oldest vineyards in the Krondorf, Ebenezer, Moppa and Tanunda regions of the north and east Barossa. For the 2020 vintage, 6% of the Shiraz came from cooler sites in the Eden Valley, to maintain the elegant style of this wine.
Dry conditions for the second year in a row presented some challenges, with yields again well down. Despite the dry conditions, February and March were cooler than average, providing a long and even ripening period. The resulting wines are of very high quality, with great purity and depth of fruit characters.
The parcels of fruit were fermented separately in small, stainless steel fermenters, some with submerged caps, and twice daily pump overs. Due to low yields and dry conditions, they were careful to avoid over extraction, Post-ferment, the component wines were aged in oak for 15 months, with 25% in new, fine grain French oak hogsheads (300L) and the balance in older French hogsheads and puncheons.
95 pts “Ink black core, relaxing only slightly to a deep purple rim. Plums, dark chocolate and vanilla pods on the nose. Deep, powerful and brooding on the palate. Dark fruits, black olives and woody spices all coil around each other, vying for attention, leaning heavily into the savoury spectrum. The tannins bring a further sense of power with a firmness that suits, while still retaining a fine powdery texture. A serious food wine.” Stuart Knox, The Real Review 15 March 2022