Categorized | Australia Wines, Reviews, Shiraz

A pair of 2007 Reds from John Duval

There is perhaps no more well-known Australian winemaker, in America, than John Duval. The pedigree and fame he acquired back in the glory-days of Penfold’s Estate have been well-deserved and have continued to this day to follow John around. His approach to making world-class wines has clearly spoke for itself over the years – get out of the way, and let great grapes from great vineyards do the talking.

For those not too familiar with John, you should seek out his wines if you get the chance – you’ll most likely be glad you did.

Australian wines – as of late – have unfortunately developed a stereotype over being over-the-top fruit, lots of oak and basically wines that’ll rip your face off. Thankfully, however, there are many quality producers there now who are getting back to the basics of great winemaking and let the grapes do the work.

2007 Plexus – W.E.P. Rating: 90%

Technical Data:

  • Region: Barossa Valley
  • Varieties: Shiraz 51%, Grenache 28%, Mourvedre 21%
  • Shiraz was sourced from vineyards in the Stockwell, Light Pass, Krondorf and Marananga regions.
  • Grenache from old bush vines 50-60 years old from Stockwell, Light Pass and Krondorf regions.
  • Mourvedre from old bush vines, the oldest over 100 years old, from the Light Pass and Krondorf regions.
  • Winemaking: Fermentation with submerged cap in both traditional old open top tanks and small stainless steel fermenters
  • Oak Maturation: 100% barrel matured for 16 months. Some Shiraz finished fermentation in new oak. 10% new fine grain French oak hogsheads (300 litres), balance; 3 years and older mostly French oak.
  • Alcohol 14.5%
  • pH 3.55
  • TA 6.5g/l
  • Price: $40

Nose: Jammy raspberries, blueberries, boysenberry, chocolate, road-tar and elmer’s paste

Taste: Black cherry soda with a healthy amount of dark chocolate-covered blueberries and raspberries. An insane mouthfeel that’s like a piece of velvet slipping across the tongue. Excellent notes of cinnamon, clove and black licorice round-out the ever-lasting finish.

2007 Entity Shiraz – W.E.P. Rating: 100%

Technical Data:

  • Region: Barossa Valley
  • Variety: Shiraz: Sourced from old vineyards in the Krondorf, Marananga, Tanunda, Light Pass and Eden Valley regions of the Barossa Valley
  • Winemaking: Fermentation with submerged cap in both traditional old open and small stainless steel fermenters
  • Oak Maturation: 100% barrel maturation for 17 months with 30% new fine grain French oak and the balance; 2, 3 and 4 year-old French and American oak hogsheads (300 1itres). Some batches finished fermentation in new barrels
  • Alcohol 14.5%
  • pH 3.57
  • TA 6.6g/l
  • Price: $40

Nose: Black tar with wild game and black pepper – plum skin and chocolate.

Taste: Blackberry jam with crushed blueberries toss into the mix and then topped with pepper and spread over venison. A lush wine with great body and mouthfeel, tannin structure and one that should easily lay down for the next 5-10 years under ideal temps. The finish hangs around like a lost puppy at your doorstep and refuses to stop making your tongue its slave. A billiant effort from a winemaker that knows Shiraz like none other.

John Duval website: www.johnduvalwines.com