93 pts "Smooth and polished, feels classy from the get go. Ripe fruit, chewy oak, spice, earthy and all meshed together in contoured and shiny wine. Sexy, slinky, fresh and clean. Well honed, satisfying and cellarable. Mike Bennie WBM Magazine November 2013
"Black as the night with licorice, spice and fruit layers to write home about. Quintessentially sensual." The Adelaide Review - Hot 100 South Australian Wines 2013 /2014.
93 pts “Inky ruby. Explosive smoke and spice accented boysenberry and black current aromas show an exotic floral nuance and suggestions of licorice and allspice. Fleshy and broad on the palate, offering sweet dark fruit flavour and a bracing jolt of peppery spices. Finished energetic, focused and pure, with silky tannins and a late touch of candied flowers. As attractive as this shiraz is right now, I'd give it at least another five years of bottle aging before digging in.”Josh Raynolds Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar August 2014
94 pts “John Duval is a lovely bloke to have a chat to, thoughtful and without presence, just doing-his-do now with his eponymous label, and kicking goals by virtue of fruit source and gentle winemaking. That being said, I reckon a moustache would suit him. I’ve always thought that. That and perhaps a CHIPS bike t ride around on, with said moustache. Abstract, I know, but it comes to mind. Likeable from the get go. Richness in perfume, wholsesome red and black current fruit, warm and spiced, some leather and licorice in the mix too. Lovely scents. Glide and slide across the palate, but not formless, holding a tension from fine sheets of tannin and crisp acidity. Mouthwatering to finish. Feels elegant.” Mike Bennie The Wine Front June 2014
96 pts Australia’s best reds – 30 under £30 from the superlative 2012 vintage “For me, the best edition of this well-crafted Shiraz. The nose is ripe and mellow, with layers of rich blackberry and plum. There’s a wealth of spice and soulful, earthy depth and a smoky, tarry edge too. The palate is smoothly honed, with a dense mid-palate that offers bright blackberry and plum flavours. Deceptively sturdy tannins carry hauntingly throughout and merit considerable cellaring if you can manage to keep your hands off it.” Nick Stock Decanter Magazine July 2014
94 pts “Warm at heart but with its eyes firmly set on savouriness. Sweet plum and vanilla meet notes of soy, crushed leaf, woody spice and clove. Intricately tannic. Wind up and lets fly with a style punch of flavour through the finish.”
James Halliday, 2015 The Wine Companion
90+ pts "Medium to deep garnet-purple in color, the 2011 Entity Shiraz is attractively scented of crushed blackberries, red plums and mulberries with underlying Szechuan pepper and Provencal herb hints. Medium to full-bodied, it has a good concentation of red and balck berry flavours in the mouth marked by an herbal streak and a vibrant acid backbone. It finishes long and chewy." Lisa Perotti-Brown Robert Parker Wine Advocate, March 2014.
92 pts "Fresh black and blue fruits on the nose and palate, with peppery spice and floral notes adding complexity. Lithe and precise, with strong lift and back-end cut. Picks up a smoky quality with air and finished sweet, seamless and long. Approachable now, especially with an hour or so in a decanter. Josh Raynolds The International Wine Cellar July 2013
"One of my picks of the tasting, with an increased percentage of Eden Valley fruit this has a delightful, vibrant peppery riff to its elegant black fruit. The palate is polished and persistent. Very classy indeed, with masterful use of oak; stacks up very well against the competition price-wise too." Sarah Ahmed The Wine Detective October 2013
95 pts "Scented of blueberries, mulberries and Chinese dried plum with vanilla pod, dark chocolate, cedar, violet and fruit cake nuances. The full-bodied wine is densely packed with black berry preserve and baking spice flavours, has a refreshing acid line to add lift and medium to firm levels of reounded tannins. It has a long length with some oak poking through on the finish." Lisa Perotti-Brown Robert Parker Wine Advocate, March 2013.
93 pts "Glass-staining purple. Black raspberry, cassis, mocha and Indian spices. Concentrated and expansive, offering intense dark fruit flavors and a hint of candied violet. Shows an impressive marriage of power and finesse, with no rough edges. Lively, fresh and very persistent on the finish, with silky tannins providing shape and grip." Josh RaynoldsThe International Wine Cellar July 2012
95 pts "A wine of gravitas - generous, fleshy and smooth. Really superb texture! Seriously good wine and lots of cellar potential." Huon Hooke, Sydney Morning Herald July 2012
Matthew Jukes Best 100 Wines "Welcome back Mr Duval, we've been waiting for you. I always enjoy John's wines because there is a sheen to them which makes them so appealing. In 2010 there is also some grunt and more spice overlaying the chocolate, plum and mulberry theme and it is these extra elements which have caught my eye. If you enjoy grandiose, Le Mans-style cruising then this is the wine for you." Matthew Jukes July 2013
94 pts "Warm cassis, crushed blackberries and black cherries over a spicy undercurrent of nutmeg, cloves, vanilla and anise." Lisa Perotti-Brown Robert Parker's Wine Advocate February 2012
96 pts “Crimson-purple; the perfumed bouquet proclaims the class of the wine, it’s array of blackberry, plum and spice fruit duly delivered on the medium-bodied palate; silky tannins and quality oak complete the picture.”
James Halliday, 2012 The Wine Companion
93 pts “Bright purple. Black raspberry, cherry and violet on the nose, complicated by bitter chocolate, minerals and cracked pepper. Juicy and precise, with strong spicy lift to its red berry compote flavors. Not an overly rich style of shiraz, but offers a silky texture and serious depth of flavor. Finishes long, with fine-grained tannins and lingering red fruit and pepper notes.”
Josh Raynolds, Steven Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar – New York July 2011
Nick Stock WINE 100 – June 2011
94 pts “The 2008 Entity Shiraz has a deep garnet-purple color and intense notes of kirsch, creme de cassis, menthol, chocolate, anise, spices and tree bark. Rich, concentrated and full-bodied yet not overly alcoholic (14.5% declared alcohol), this is a seamlessly balanced Shiraz unfolding layers of pure dark berry and spice flavors in the long finish. Though approachable now, it should open further in a year or two and drink well to 2020+.”
Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate December 2010.
96 pts “For those who picked before the heat the vintage was excellent, and former Grange winemaker John Duval needed no prompting. Intense, dark purple-crimson; a highly expressive, complex bouquet of black fruits, liquorice and oak is followed by a full bodied palate that is savoury rather than jammy, with notes of dark chocolate.”
James Halliday’s Top 100 Wines, The Weekend Australian Magazine, November 2010.
96 pts “Intense, dark purple-crimson; a highly expressive and complex bouquet of black fruits, licorice and oak is followed by a full-bodied palate that is savoury rather than jammy, notes of dark chocolate joining the black fruits. A 30-year future is conservative. Screwcap.”
James Halliday, The Wine Companion 2011 – July 2010
93 pts “Opaque purple. Blackberry, violet, licorice, bitter chocolate and Indian spices on the nose. Dense and sweet but with racy, integrated acidity energizing the dark fruit, floral pastille and bitter chocolate flavors. Finishes with sweet tannins and noteworthy freshness and length. Becomes spicier with air and already displays impressive complexity. ”
Josh Raynolds, Steven Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar - 16th July 2010
Decanter World Wine Awards 2011 – London
94 pts “The 2008 Entity Shiraz has a deep garnet-purple color and intense notes of kirsch, creme de cassis, menthol, chocolate, anise, spices and tree bark. Rich, concentrated and full-bodied yet not overly alcoholic (14.5% declared alcohol), this is a seamlessly balances Shiraz unfolding layers of pure dark berry and spice flavors in the long finish. Though approachable now, it should open further in a year or two and drink well to 2020+.”
Lisa Perotti-Brown - Robert Parkers, The Wine Advocate – December 2010
94 pts “Delicious and finely honed Barossa shiraz set for drinking now. Sweet, juicy and slightly jammy aromas of blackberries, blueberries, redcurrants and blood plums are backed by creamy, vanilla and chocolatey oak plus undertones of cinnamon and cloves. Sumptuous and juicy, it’s long, vibrant and silky-smooth, delivering sweet flavours of berries and plums, tightly knit with aromatic and slightly gamey, mocha-like oak. It finished with lingering nuances of chocolate, licorice and mint.”
Jeremy Oliver, The Australian Wine Annual 2010
94 pts “A fragrant bouquet and high-toned palate, quality oak an essential part of the wine; an almost European restraint in its make-up.
James Halliday, Australian Wine Companion 2010
93 pts “Dark berries, iron, Asian spices and cracked pepper on the nose. Silky in texture, offering sweet blackcurrant and blueberry flavors and supple tannins. Turns livelier with air, taking a turn to zestier red fruits while retaining power. Strikingly pure and juicy, with excellent finishing clarity and a strong echo of raspberry fruit.”
Josh Raynolds, Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar
92 pts “John Duval Entity Shiraz spends 17 months in French oak prior to bottling. In 2007 it’s turned out a soft, harmonious wine with an easy-going sense of structure.
Its alcohol tip-toes close to showing too overtly, without ever over-stepping the mark. A sign of careful grape-growing and making. It tastes juicy, tarry, ripe but not overly sweet. I like the profile of it, though there’s a saltiness on the finish that again walks close to the line. Lovely balance of fruit and tannin and acid. Lovely line through the finish. Needs another year or two in the bottle, after which it should drink smoothly and well.”
Campbell Mattinson, The Wine Front, October 5 2009
92 pts “Firm, focused and juicy, with orange peel¿scented cherry and spice flavors, this feels like it's holding something back despite the generosity of flavor. Lingers well against fine tannins.”
Harvey Steiman, Wine Spectator, September 2009
94 pts, "The 2006 Entity is a 100% Shiraz cuvee exhibiting a bit more restraint than the Plexus. It presents an aromatic array of smoke, pepper, Asian spices, tar, blueberry, and blackberry liqueur. On the palate it is full-bodied, smooth-textured, deep, and intensely flavored but not over the top. Its impeccable balance should permit 5-7 years of additional cellaring and it should offer prime drinking from 2014 to 2028. It, too, is a superb value.”
Jay Miller, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate 2009
Tri Nations Wine Awards 2009 - Equal top wine in Australian Shiraz Category
Trophy - Best Barossa Valley Red - International Wine Challenge, London, 2008
Gold - International Wine Challenge, London, 2008
Silver - Decanter World Wine Awards 2008
96 pts "Has achieved the density of fruit to guarantee a 30-year life without the least hint of overripe fruit or alcohol heat; perfect balance and integration of fruit, oak and tannins, the work of a master.
James Halliday 2009 Australian Wine Companion
93 pts "Pungent dark berry and candied cherry aromas are complicated by smoked meat, licorice and Asian spices. Powerful and deep in dark berry flavours, but almost shockingly lithe and precise, displaying fresh raspberry and blueberry on the back. An undercurrent of juicy acidity contributes lift and precision, and helps to extent the finish. This terrific shiraz offers a deft balance of finesse and depth, not to mention impressive finishing clarity and cut."
Josh Raynolds, Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar, July, 2008
92 pts, Wine of the Day "Juicy and lively, brimming with blackberry, currant and subtle spices, remaining fresh and brilliant through the long, persuasive finish. The tannins are crisp but well-integrated. Drink now through 2018.
Harvey Steiman, Wine Spectator Online, October 28, 2008
James Halliday's Top 100 2008
#24 Wine Spectator Top 100 2007, 94pts.
95 pts "Harmonious fruit, alcohol and oak handling; very considerable length; old vine fruit has soaked 17 months in French oak. High-quality wine."
James Halliday, Australian Wine Companion 2008
93 pts "Full-bodied yet surprisingly elegant, this Shiraz has superb balance, great depth, layers of flavour, and a very long, pure finish. It will surly evolve for 6-8 years but few will be able to delay their gratification."
Jay Miller, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, October 31, 2007
93 pts "Lush and velvety, but with bright minerality giving the dark berry flavours remarkable vivacity. Fills out with air, picking up deeper espresso and high-octane chocolate notes. But this is all about fresh, energetic, pure fruit. Finishes on a bright, nervy note of berry skin, with superb length.
Josh Raynolds, Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar, July 2007
Best Shiraz and Best Red Wine - Penguin Wine Awards
97 Points "A wonderfully concentrated, yet elegant statement of Barossa Shiraz, this wine is all class. Aromas of stewed plums, berries, spice, polished new leather, cedar and wood smoke are deliciously complex. All is harmony in the mouth too, with velvety texture, persistent flavour, seamless structure and a super-long finish."
Huon Hooke + Ralph Kyte-Powell, The Penguin Good Australian Wine Guide, 2007
95 Points "Deep colour; full-bodied, but supple and smooth; concentrated blackberry and plum with seamless oak and fine tannins; great length."
James Halliday, Australian Wine Companion, 2007
95 Points "Voluptuous, full-bodied multi-layered texture and finish suggest this brilliant Shiraz should drink beautifully for 12-15+ years."
Robert Parker Jr, The Wine Advocate, October, 2006
92 Points "Vibrant blackberry and plum flavors, broad and generous."
The Wine Spectator, September, 2006
93 Points "This has remarkable clarity and precision for its depth and intensity of flavour, with a juicy quality that carries through the long, potent finish. A fabulous combination of power, weight, sweetness and focus, not to mention a stunning bargain for the quality.
Stephen Tanzers's International Wine Cellar, July/August 2006
94 Points "You can see ex-Grange man John Duval leaning more comfortably against his traces with this second release of his own home brand. The wine's stunning: blackberries and cream bouquet; unreal texture and weight; marvellous balance and finesse; elegant yet forceful and authoritative. Its old vine Barossa at its best. Osso bucco with black olive sauce."
Philip White, The Adelaide Advertiser, April 5, 2006