John Duval, GSM, Plexus Barossa Valley 2017
About the Wine: This wine showcases aromas of ripe red berries, flowers and spices, complemented by a subtle minerality. On the palate, it’s juicy with sweet raspberry, boysenberry, and lavender flavors. It finishes with firm tannins. About the Producer: John Duval is one of Australia's most highly regarded winemakers. Raised on a South Australian farm with three generations of grape growers before him, his vinous path was fated. However, it was during his 28-year tenure with Penfolds that his passion for the famed Barossa Valley flourished. As Chief Winemaker and custodian of Australia's most famous wine, Grange, he was instrumental in establishing Penfolds as one of the world's great wineries. His accolades include being named UK Wine and Spirit Competition's International Winemaker of the Year, Red Winemaker of the Year (twice) and receiving Wine Spectator's Wine of the Year award. In 2003, John embarked on his own label, John Duval Wines, inspired by the best of the Barossa Valley's low-yielding, old vine vineyards. With a deft touch he crafts intense wines that are as complex and distinctive as the diverse terroir of his treasured Barossa Valley. Technical Info: 93 Pts -Vinous 93 Pts - Top 100 of 2016 – #34 Wine Spectator CLIMATE: Continental: warm, dry days with low humidity and cool nights VITICULTURE: The Barossa Valley, arguably the center of the Australian wine industry today, has one of the richest cultural histories of any Australian wine region. Settled in the 1840s by English and German emigrants, many of the first vineyards are farmed to this day by sixth-generation winemaking families. Here, gnarled old vines thrive in a warm, continental climate, with ample sunshine hours allowing the small berries to reach optimum ripeness and flavor concentration. While access to this scarce, old-vine fruit is fiercely guarded, Duval’s long-established vigneron relationships and an intimate knowledge of Barossa’s sub-regions ensures he has a rich palate from which to craft his wines. WINEMAKING: Submerged-cap fermentation is employed in traditional open-top tanks to ensure gentle, yet thorough, color and tannin extraction. New oak is kept to a minimum and French coopers hold the upper hand. Technique aside, it is Duval’s commitment to expressing the best of his cherished Barossa and its people that sees him create wines not only true to the region, but also to variety and vintage. With tightly woven berry flavors and layered complexity, these elegantly structured wines offer age worthiness and restraint uncommon among their regional peers.