John Duval Plexus Barossa Valley Shiraz Grenache Mourvedre 2018  £28.95

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John Duval Plexus Barossa Valley Shiraz Grenache Mourvedre 

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 longtime 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 grapes were sourced from old vineyards in the Krondorf, Marananga and Ebenezer sub-regions of Barossa, with a parcel from Eden Valley included for its vibrant aromatics and flavour, while the Grenache grapes were sourced from vineyards located at Tanunda and Ebenezer, and the Mourvèdre from Light Pass and Ebenezer.

The 2018 vintage followed the pattern of recent years; the preceding winter rainfall was above average, followed by slightly drier conditions through spring. Warmer than average conditions through October and November promoted healthy canopies, good flowering and a healthy set of bunches. Very dry conditions through summer challenged growers to maintain good vineyard health, and they were rewarded with perfect ripening and harvest conditions throughout March and early April. John and Tim Duval believe that 2018 will produce many exceptional wines, displaying vibrant fruit and lifted aromatics combined with depth and intensity on the palate.

The parcels of fruit were fermented separately with a submerged cap in small, open, stainless steel fermenters. A portion of the Grenache ferment included whole bunches to accentuate the savoury aspects of the variety. The wines were barrel matured for 15 months, with 10% in new fine grain French oak hogsheads and the balance in older seasoned hogsheads.

This wine is rich and vibrant purple-red in colour. The nose is lifted and pronounced, displaying aromas of ripe red fruits and cinnamon, with hints of smoky oak. On the palate, generous layers of black and red fruits are married with savoury spice and velvety tannins that linger on the long finish.

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