When it comes to Australian winemakers, few are as esteemed as John Duval. Appointed Chief Winemaker at Penfolds in 1986, Duval followed in the footsteps of Australian winemaking greats including Max Schubert and Don Ditter, and was the custodian of Penfolds Grange for almost 30 years. In 2003, John Duval established his eponymous label, with a focus on old vine Barossa Valley Shiraz, along with some select other Rhone varietals.
John Duval Plexus is a traditional Barossa blend of Shiraz, Grenache and Mourvedre made with the intention of expressing a wide spectrum of red fruit flavours whilst delivering structure and balance. Made using traditional winemaking techniques, the 2018 John Duval Plexus certainly delivers on its objective; this is a delicious, approachable red that will provide plenty of drinking pleasure over the coming decade.
Review of the 2017 vintage included below;
"94 Points. A 51/32/17% blend, the components sourced from various districts that produce high quality fruit. Standard vinification, then matured for 15 months with 10% new French hogsheads, the remainder 3-6yo barrels. It's a powerful wine in the context of '17, old vines doing what they have done for the last 50+ years. Needs a few more years to relax. Screwcap. 14% alc. To 2027. $40" - James Halliday, Halliday Wine Companion 2020.
John Duval began working with old vine Barossa Shiraz when he commenced his winemaking career at Penfolds in the early 1970’s. Through the 1990’s he played a leading role in trialling maturation of old vine Barossa Shiraz in new French oak hogsheads, contrary to the established winery convention of blending Shiraz from multiple regions and maturation in American oak.
These early trials led to the first release of the Penfold’s RWT Barossa Shiraz from the 1997 vintage - a wine that marked a step change moment in the style evolution of Barossa Shiraz.
In 2003, John Duval established his eponymous label, with a focus on old vine Barossa Valley Shiraz, along with some select other Rhone varietals.
John’s approach to making Barossa Shiraz continues unchanged, and maturation of selected parcels of old vine fruit in French oak is fundamental to producing Entity; an elegant Shiraz that is true to the Barossa.
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