John Duval Plexus White 1.5L Magnum
This month our very own General Manager Benny Duval gave his dad a call and asked what he had in the cellar - and we got very, very lucky. John Duval’s wine-making career has been about as successful, and fulfilling, as they come. As the man in charge of Penfolds’ annual Grange release from 1986 until the early naughties, his reputation as one of the greats is already concrete - but there’s more to his story. Post Penfolds, John now travels the world consulting at vineyards across North and South America. At home in the Barossa, he releases wine under his own name John Duval Wines. Being Barrosan, his Shiraz and red blends are concentrated, yet elegant, complex and always highly regarded. But let’s take a look at something you definitely won’t see every day. An aged white, dripping with influence from the Rhone, and expressing the lush fruit and aromas of South Australian grown grapes.
Back in 2010 John created this blend from fruit sourced close to his home in the Barossa. He found Marsanne in Marananga, Roussane in Kalimna and Viogner from Eden Valley. Free run juice and gentle pressings were fermented in stainless, and the Marsanne and Viogner elements were aged in fine grain French Oak for seven months for a soft touch of barrel influence. The interplay between the three varietals presents a multifaceted wine that isn’t simply focussed on crisp acidity. In it’s youth this wine was herbal and spicy on the nose, with tart mandarin and pear notes finishing with a delicate citrus after note. But almost ten years in a bottle will invariably soften a wine’s acidity. A gentle marmalade like sweetness will linger, but it’s youth still peeks through. There really is nothing quite like it.THE
This wine is an absolute showstopper, and should be front and center as you enjoy it. Whilst the right combination of fruits and fats can do wonders with a good bottle of white at lunch, this one won’t need too much encouragement - but hey, why not go overboard anyway? Due to the complexity of this drop, the food you eat will bring out flavours ranging from fresh and acidic through to savoury and rich. So grab the chopping board and butcher paper and throw a grazing plate together. Dried fruits, nuts, olives, green apples, breads with dukkah or pesto, something salty like prosciutto and goats cheese to cut though. The more adventurous the better, but honestly - this bottle, a stick of bread and your favourite sharp cheese will do plenty as well.