Nockies Palette meets John Duval


John Duval is legendary in the Barossa Valley and for 17 years was chief winemaker for Australia’s largest wine company which included brands such as Penfolds.

In 1997 he developed a new Shiraz for the group called Red Winemaking Trial or what is today the iconic RWT label. 

The collaboration between John and Nockies Palette began with the recognition that to make a great painting it is the artist who makes the decision of what combination of colours, tones and textures to apply to a surface. It is the artist who is the creator, using the best resources he can find, but ultimately it is his or her talent that makes something great. Similarly with the making of wine it is the artisan, the winemaker, who makes the decision of how to combine the essential elements of terroir, weather, viticulture and processing to make a great wine. 


John Duval began his collaboration with Nockies Palette Wines with the 2009 vintage Shiraz, using his network and knowledge of the region to source the best fruit from the Barossa region. The recent vintages have been from a single long established vineyard and are grapes grown on predominantly Old Vine and Centenarian Vine. The Hoffmann Vineyard at Ebenezer in the far northern Barossa also supplies fruit to wines such as Torbreck’s RunRig. 

These vines typically have lower yields and deep roots and in John’s hands produce a structured but elegant expression of Barossa Shiraz. They are typically wines with restrained power, rich texture and palate length. John’s high standards have meant that some years the fruit was not of a quality that would meet the Nockies requirements. Vintages produced to date include 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, and 2015.