2012 John Duval "Plexus" SGM Barossa Valley South Australia (Elsewhere $40)
Armed with flavour and dangerously drinkable. Red and black berries, ground Asian spice, earth, aniseed and a quick kiss of cedary French oak. Puts on an impeccable performance.
Duval's regional red, which melds Shiraz, Grenache and Mourvèdre together seamlessly, is a stunning rendition in the 2012 vintage. The Barossan origin is strong in all aspects of the wine, which shows deep blackberries and other red fruits on the nose in addition to some gently earthy and tarry meat accents, hints of nutty oak and a sense of vibrant ripeness. The palate delivers redder than expected fruit flavors. Grenache speaks strong here. Tannins are soft, supple and layered, and the wine occupies every corner of the mouth. Starts bright, builds full, finishes long, fades slow. Drink now.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
A Shiraz, Grenache and Mourvedre blend, the 2012 Plexus has a medium-dense garnet color and offers kirsch, preserved plums, blueberry pie and dried mulberry notes with a Christmas fruit cake undercurrent. Full-bodied and packed with spicy, blackberry preserves flavors, it has velvety tannins and a refreshing lift in the long finish. (LPB)
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Deep Ruby. Complex aromas of red and dark berries, pipe tobacco, peppery spices and fresh flowers. Juicy and precise on the palate, offering sweet black raspberry and cherry compote flavours that flesh out and become spicier with air. Tightens back up on the long, incisive finish, which is firmed by dusty, fine-grained tannins, This wine saw only 10% new French oak. (JR)
Dark and spicy, with an earthy, meaty cast to the plum and black currant fruit. Fine tannins maintain a mild grip as the finish lingers with unexpected but welcome transparency. Shiraz, Grenache and Mourvèdre. Best from 2016 through 2020. (HS)
Like all the Duval wines, this is amply structured. Cedar and vanilla notes frame dark fruit flavors in this blend of 51% Shiraz, 30% Grenache and 19% Mourvèdre. Its full bodied, with a long, dusty finish. Drink now–2022. (JC)
Winemaking legend John Duval's classic Southern Rhone blend sourced from top quality old vine Barossa vineyards. This is a must try for anyone who loves Barossa wines and also folks who enjoy wines from regions like Châteauneuf-du-Pape where blends like this originated. John's wines are rich, pure, med-full bodied and have exquisite balance. Winemaker's notes: "My aim with Plexus is express the wide spectrum of red fruit flavours from Shiraz, Grenache and Mourvedre and also provide structure with a seamless balance and long finish. Traditional, low intervention winemaking techniques are employed with Plexus, allowing the wine to be approachable in its youth, but also have medium term cellaring potential for 8-10 years. Fruit is sourced from the Barossa Valley (Shiraz 51%, Grenache 30%, Mourvedre 19%). The Shiraz was sourced from old vineyards in the Tanunda, Light Pass and Ebenezer districts. Grenache from the Tanunda and Ebenezer region and Mourvèdre from the and Light Pass region. Fermentation was done in small open stainless steel fermenters. The wine was then matured entirely in fine grain French oak hogsheads (300 litre barrels), just 10% new oak, with the balance 3-6 year old barrels, for 15 months. The wine is crimson purple-red, with an array of red and black berry aromatics, wild berries and cassis. On the palate the wine shows generously, with soft texture and fine tannins. Flavours of blackberry and dark cherry with hints of Asian spice and Christmas cake."