John Duval Plexus Barossa Valley Shiraz Grenache Mourvedre 2016  £27.95

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One of the world’s great winemakers, John Duval was given the ‘Grange’ torch by Max Schubert, the man who created Australia’s most famous wine. John passed it on to his successor when he left Penfolds in 2003 to start his own label. He sources fruit from long-time friends in the Barossa, all of whom own vineyards with vines aged from 50 to 100 years old. The wines are made with minimal intervention and showcase the best of the Barossa.

The Shiraz was sourced from old vineyards in the Krondorf, Ebenezer and the Eden Valley. The Grenache from Tanunda, Ebenezer and Greenock regions and the Mourvèdre from the Light Pass and Ebenezer regions.

The 2016 growing season started with a warm, dry spring with good conditions for flowering and fruit-set. The balance of the ripening season comprised warm days, but slightly cooler than average nights, helping the vines to cope with the warm conditions.

Fermentation was carried out with the cap submerged and in small open stainless steel fermenters. The wine was 100% barrel matured for 15 months, with just 13% in new fine grain French oak hogsheads (300 litre barrels). The remaining barrels were between three and six years of age.

This wine is vibrant purple-red in colour with intense red and black fruit aromas, which are complemented by dried herbs and floral notes. It is medium-bodied with smooth, fine tannins and a bright acidity. The finish is long and spicy.

95 Points - James Halliday - The Wine Companion

A 52/30/18% blend open-fermented separately, the grenache with up to 20% whole bunches, matured for 15 months in French hogsheads (13% new). This is a very good Barossa Valley SGM, looking to the future rather than the past. While the flavours are complex, there is a lightness of touch ex the winery after careful monitoring of ripeness in the vineyards. Thus it has the best of both worlds, and by rights should please everyone with its mix of cherry, plum and blackberry couched in savoury tannins on the finish.

91 Points - Huon Hooke - The Real Review

Deep, dark red colour with a purple tint. The bouquet is low-key, pepper-spicy, with some meaty charcuterie and coconut oak nuances. Medium to full-bodied and gritty, with abundant tannin and some chewiness, it's a typical Barossa red, and good value

91 Points -  Joe Czerwinski - Robert Parker

Smooth, supple waves of black cherries characterize the flowing profile of Duval's 2016 Plexus, a blend of 53% Shiraz, 29% Grenache and 18% Mourvèdre. Enough savory meat and spice notes creep in to keep the wine multidimensional. With just 15% new oak, it's not a major player in terms of flavor, though the oak no doubt had an impact on the wine's fine-grained, easy-going feel.

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