This is a wine that we really love. It is a complete glass of deliciousness that is made from the best fruit sources that John Duval has gotten to know in his long experience in Barossa. Most of the vines are seriously old and about a third of these are from the Eden Valley sub-zone, which is much cooler in climate than most of the rest of the Barossa, helping it maintain balance and liveliness while the dark, brooding flavours and silky tannins fill the mouth.
Blueberry, licorice, notes of black pepper, blackberry and earthy spices knit seamlessly in this wine and give a huge amount of pleasure. Dark chocolate lives long on finish in this wine, which comes from the very rich 2019 vintage.
John Duval is a very famous winemaker. Don't worry if you haven't heard of this estate before (or even himself), it's fine by him. His fame came to him without his asking, because for over a decade he was the head winemaker at Penfold's. And during his time there he oversaw the production and rocket-like growth in the demand for their top wine, Grange.
He didn't fully agree with the stylistic strictures that its fan-base sought, or even the nature of a Super-Star wine. He's too humble for that. But the issue with Grange was, in his eyes, there was so much nuance that Australian vineyards could offer which the winemaking of Grange almost necessarily homogenised. It was a massive, powerful wine that was often impermeable in youth.
What about the other ways of showing this amazing calibre of the best Shiraz fruit that Australia had to offer? He asked... and no one really listened.
So he developed a wine on his own in the winery that was a trial to see if any colleagues would come round to his way of thinking. This was RWT (Penfold's Red Wine Trial) and is one of the classiest, most elegant and complex wines from Australia that you'll ever get. It's also hugely successful, but is 1/6 the price of Grange.
But this isn't about Penfold's! It's about the man who's wine making (perhaps reluctantly?) took those wines to the top: he wanted more elegance and that's what he got, and, thankfully, he still gets today.
When he left Penfold's, he set up his own winery (hence the name) and he went to his favourite spots for grape suppliers and started up where he had left off; sourcing some of the more interesting vineyard fruit from Barossa and making it in a way that is balanced and genuinely exceptional.
The best of the Shiraz fruit all goes in to the winery and once this Entity in underway, it is fermented in a very traditional method and is aged for 15 months in barrels - 1/3 new French oak barriques and 2/3 in 300 litre hogsheads. In some years, (in only the very best years) a selection is taken out of the fermenting wine and made into a separate, uber-shiraz called Eligo. But that's another story...
Style: Rich, Powerful, Full, Elegant, Dark, Complex, Broad
Best food matches: Red Meats, Pork, Pizza, Mature Cheeses, Lamb, Game, Fine Dining, Cheeses, Charcuterie, Beef