John Duval Entity Shiraz 2010
Deep garnet-purple in color, the 2010 Entity Shiraz is scented of ripe blueberries, mulberries and Chinese dried plum with vanilla pod, dark chocolate, cedar, violet and fruit cake nuances. This full-bodied wine is densely packed with black berry preserve and baking spice flavors, has a refreshing acid line to add lift and medium to firm levels of rounded tannins. It has a long length with some oak poking through on the finish. Drink it from 2014 to 2024+.
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.
Impenetrable colour; there is a lush and voluptuous nature to the wines of John Duval, with sweetness of fruit, exotic spices and warmth enveloping this particular example; lavish levels of oak accompany masses of fruit, tannin and licorice; long and toasty, this is big and slippery at the same time.
Rich flavors of black cherry and spice pick up hints of rose petal and white pepper as the finish evolves. The supple texture glides easily into a deftly balanced end point.
John Duval created this wine after leaving his long-time post as chief winemaker for Penfolds. It’s a blend of old-vine fruit from vineyards in Krondorf, Tanunda and Light Pass, with Eden Valley providing some of the freshness that’s apparent in the cool feel of the wine. Black pepper scents of the grape combine with intriguing herbal notes of tobacco and sage, which add dimension to the zesty dark fruit. This should age with grace.
This wine opens with a dense nose of chocolate, dates and spice. The palate is full-bodied, ripe and rich without being soft. Flavors of blackberry and leather are nicely framed by cedary oak. Could benefit from additional aging.
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Unapologetically powerful, heady, and fruit-forward...
Unapologetically powerful, heady, and fruit-forward, Zinfandel is often thought of as a truly Californian grape, though in fact it is anything but. This variety has followed an intriguing trajectory to reach its adoptive home, beginning, surprisingly, in Croatia. Originally known as Tribidrag, it first made its way to southern Italy where it became known as Primitivo. From there it eventually migrated to what is now unarguably its most successful outpost, in California, and has thrived throughout the state. Of course, this is also the grape of White Zinfandel, a sweet pink wine that enjoyed great popularity in the 1980s and 90s. Though White Zin still has a significant following, today the variety is increasingly associated with the red version.
In the Glass
Zinfandel commonly features a bold, plush texture and notes of dark plum, blackberry, sweet spice, black pepper, dark chocolate, leather, and licorice, and can often be described as “jammy” and a little bit sweet. Very ripe examples may express a hint of dried fruit like raisin, fig, or prune. Despite its significant alcohol and weight, Zinfandel has very smooth, gentle tannins.
Zinfandel is a powerfully flavored wine, mingling happily with bold food like brisket, lamb shanks, pork ribs, or anything barbecued. If care is taken with regards to alcohol levels, Zinfandel’s hint of sweetness can work well with milder Indian-spiced dishes like lamb curry.
Thanks to its popularity both for home winemaking and as communion wine, many Zinfandel vines were able to survive prohibition, leading to the abundance of "old vine" Zinfandels. These low-yielding vines tend to produce wine that is concentrated, complex, and elegant.