95 Points - James Halliday
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.
This 2018 John Duval Plexus White is a classic 'Rhone style' white wine blend of Marsanne (48%), Roussanne (43%) and Viognier (9%). This offers plenty of vibrant, lifted aromas of stone fruits, ginger honeysuckle and citrus. The approachable and elegant palate shows excellent fruit purity and ample texture, with plenty of nectarine, mandarin and spice filling the palate.
"95 Points. This makes my head ache: fermentation started in stainless steel, but some of the marsanne and viognier finished fermentation in and was aged in barrel until bottled in Aug (or ready to be bottled). The remaining marsanne and the roussanne was aged on lees in tank until bottling (with the wine in oak) But wait, 25% of the total blend was aged in French oak (15% new puncheons) for 6 months. Arrgh. What wine was in the puncheons and when did it go in?. 12.5%. Drink 2025. Screwcap" - James Halliday, winecompanion.com.au.
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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