95 Points - Winsor Dobbin
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 2019 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.
"95 Points. I was all set to write about another John Duval wine - the vibrant 2019 Concillio grenache ($30) - when I tasted this. Both are delicious but this just edged out its stablemate in a photo finish. It is a lip-smackingly good classic Barossa blend of old vine shiraz, grenache and mourvèdre and delivers serious drinking pleasure with a velvety smooth finish and hints of Asian spice. John Duval, for those who do not know, was for many years the winemaker behind Penfolds Grange. Nowadays, he works in his family business making wines in much smaller quantities, and at much more affordable prices. This one will certainly not disappoint. $40."- Winsor Dobbin, winsordobbin.com.au.
"Sloshy, good times red of charisma, brightness yet depth, sweet-ripe fruit character and a lick of nutty-savoury seasoning through it all. Swamps the palate in plummy fruit and salted liquorice characters then the afterglow of hazelnuts and dark chocolate. You can see the queue forming. Great shape, feel, satiny texture and character. 92 Points Tasted: JUL21 14.5% alc. Price: $40 Closure: Screwcap Drink: 2021 - 2027"- Mike Bennie, The Wine Front.
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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