x
  • Country ranking ?

    220
  • Producer ranking ?

    9
  • Decanting time

    2h
  • When to drink

    2020-2035
  • Food Pairing

    Lamb

The Tb points given to this wine are the world’s most valid and most up-to-date evaluation of the quality of the wine. Tastingbook points are formed by the Tastingbook algorithm which takes into account the wine ratings of the world's 50 best-known professional wine critics, wine ratings by thousands of tastingbook’s professionals and users, the generally recognised vintage quality and reputation of the vineyard and winery. Wine needs at least five professional ratings to get the Tb score. Tastingbook.com is the world's largest wine information service which is an unbiased, non-commercial and free for everyone.

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Vintage 2018

 Very promising quality with the most bullish commentators declaring 2018 great in every region and for every variety. The more circumspect view is that early frosts reduced yields, but good, consistent weather throughout the second half of the growing season did indeed result in great potential.

2018 Barossa vintage one to savour

Barossa 2018 vintage wrapped up at the end of April 2018, with grape growers and winemakers happy with a high-quality vintage and good yields.

“Flavours and colours in reds are wonderful, and natural acids in the Eden Valley whites surprisingly high, with early standout varieties this year including Riesling, Chardonnay, Shiraz, Grenache and Cabernet”, said Yalumba head of winemaking Louisa Rose.

The growing season started off well, with Winter 2017 rainfall around 10% higher than average. However, Spring rainfall was only 78% of average in Barossa Valley (BV) and 98% in Eden Valley (EV), and December rainfall was only 57% of average in BV (88% in EV).

Drier soils, combined with warmer than average October and November days (October 2ºC above average in BV (1.8 ºC in EV) and November 1.1ºC above average in BV (1.6 ºC in EV), meant the vine canopies grew quickly; flowering well and setting a good number of bunches.

January and February were warm and dry, with very warm temperatures in February slowing down the pace of ripening. January was slightly above average (1.4ºC during the day but closer to average at night) and February was about average during the day, but with significantly warmer than average night time temperatures in Barossa Valley (5.8ºC warmer).

With summer rainfall 50% of average, growers with access to water, soil moisture monitoring, good irrigation management and healthy soils experienced less stress – and subsequently delivered sound fruit and consistent yields.

The Indian summer of March and early April was ‘the icing on the cake’, with average temperatures, without extremes, perfect for finishing off vintage. The 28-30mm of rain on 14/15 April did not cause any major problems for picking – and was a welcome post-harvest watering for most Barossa growers.

Overall, in 2018, Barossa Valley crushed 56,970 tonnes*, down 22% from the 2017 vintage but 9% above the five-year average. In 2018, Eden Valley crushed 11,593 tonnes*, down 3% from 2017.

The total Barossa crush of 68,563 tonnes* contributed 9% of the total volume and 25% of the total value of the South Australian crush.

Average prices for Barossa Valley varieties remained steady in 2018, with Shiraz at $2252 per tonne 1% down on last year. In Eden Valley, the average price for Shiraz increased 11% to $2636 per tonne and Cabernet Sauvignon increased 15% to $2354.

*Wine Australia estimates the SA Winegrape crush response rate is 85%, so the actual total Barossa crush is estimated at 75,000 to 80,000 tonnes.

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Latest Pro-tasting notes

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Written Notes

Lifted, vibrant red fruits, cinnamon, woodsy spice and a hint of smokey oak. Generous layers of red and black fruits, plenty of savoury spice and velvety tannins finishing long and pure.

Following the pattern of recent years, the preceding winter rainfalls were above average followed by slightly drier conditions through spring. Warmer than average conditions through October and November promoted healthy canopies, good flowering and a healthy set of bunches. Very dry conditions through summer challenged growers to maintain good vineyard health, and they were rewarded with perfect ripening and harvest conditions throughout March and early April.

We believe 2018 will produce many exceptional wines, displaying vibrant fruit and lifted aromatics combined with depth and intensity on the palate, without being heavy. The Shiraz component was sourced from old vineyards at Krondorf, Marananga and Ebenezer, with a parcel from Eden Valley included for its vibrant aromatics and flavour. Grenache was sourced from vineyards at Tanunda and Ebenezer, and Mourvèdre from Light Pass and Ebenezer.

The parcels of fruit were fermented separately with a submerged cap in small open stainless-steel fermenters. A portion of the Grenache ferment included whole bunches to accentuate the savoury aspects of the variety. The wines were barrel maturated for 15 months, with 10% in new fine grain French oak hogsheads and the balance in older seasoned hogsheads. The final blend assemblage comprised Shiraz (49%), Grenache (34%) and Mourvèdre (17%).

I tasted the three classical wines of John Duval. The 2018 Plexus, a GSM, shows the Grenache component in particular. It is an entry wine, but shows good harmony and intensity (90 points). The 2019 Entity is another example of the drought vintage. In previous years, this Shiraz was exceptional, but in 2019 it is not balanced. The core is quite sweet, and the finish a bit harsh (89 points). This contrasts with the 2017 Eligo, a best of fruit wine, from a cooler vintage. This wine has a big mouthfeel, but remains elegant with great length (95 points).  

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Origin

Tanunda, Barossa Valley

Highlights

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