Eldorado Road Onyx Durif 2014
Durif is one of those grapes that, despite endless promise, never quite gets beyond ‘solid’. The variety is great if you want thick and deep reds, but for something a bit more ethereal and complex? Nup.
This Eldorado Road Onyx Durif, however, is different. I slipped it in amongst a broad bracket of full bodied reds without expecting much – Durif discrimination in action. Yet it surprised me in a big way. Head-turning Durif.
Produced from a single vineyard in Rutherglen, this was open fermented and had an extended time on skins. That handling – time on skins in particular – has helped give this a dimension beyond chunky, lush plum fruit methinks. There’s still plenty of thick fruit (and oak), but it’s so fresh and vital with nary any of the ‘hanging on until the fruit gets phenologically ripe’ cooked plums you’d see in a 14.9% Durif. Top it off with gritty, sandy tannins and the whole package, while dense and full, is entirely satisfying. It feels almost exuberant and lithe for a big wine, like a hulking full-forward who can sidestep.
More Durif like this, please. Best drinking: 2019-2030. 18.5/20, 94/100. 14.9%, $35. Would I buy it? I’d go a few glasses for sure.