Duval Eligo Shiraz 2018 – “Eligo” means to select the best and that is the principle behind this wine, the Duvals’ flagship Shiraz. Select the very best fruit they can find. Of course, it needs to fit within their aim of a wine that retains both structure and elegance. As has become traditional, they use around 70 percent Eden Valley fruit and 30 percent Barossa, which is sourced from the subregions of Ebenezer and Moppa. The various parcels of grapes received discrete fermentation in small stainless steel fermenters, submerged caps, and twice daily pump overs. A portion of the fruit was left on skins for two weeks for color and structure. The wine then spent 18 months in fine grained French oak hogsheads (55 percent new, the remainder older).
Inky black in color, the nose is intense but rather gorgeous. Spices, blueberries, chocolate, leather, some oak but it is integrating superbly, fresh herbs and cocoa powder. Serious concentration here with a supple, seamless palate. Vibrantly fresh, balanced, lovely length with a soft, gentle finish. The silkiest of tannins. The palate also sees notes of beef stock and soy. Immaculate balance here, glorious flavors. There is absolutely no reason this won’t improve for 15 to 20 years, but it is already drinking magnificently.
I’ll confess to thinking long and hard about the score, because that little voice in my head (and a couple of grumpy winemakers – not John or Tim, I hasten to add) says that as good as this is, the Integro is more expensive, so surely that must mean something? As much as I love the Integro, at the moment this is the wine I found myself coming back to. This was the one I wanted to drink.
In 20 years that may be reversed, but for now this is a wonderfully elegant, classic Barossa Shiraz. I know that giving an Aussie wine a score like this will mean that some people will raise eyebrows (let them!), but if this wine came from a great Rhône winery, or perhaps a Napa one, no one would blink at the score, such is the quality. I think that this is the best wine I have seen under the Duval label. Exported to the U.S., UK, Hong Kong, Switzerland, Germany, Brazil, Canada, Korea, Singapore, Spain, Taiwan, and Japan. 99.
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