2012 Plexus GSM
Australia: Barossa Valley
Penfold’s winemaker, John Duval, has crafted another high-scoring masterpiece with today’s John Duval 2012 Plexus GSM. This wine is absolutely gorgeous, with bold aromas, deep flavors, an elegant mouthfeel and a seemingly endless finish.
John Duval led winemaking at Australia’s iconic Penfold’s Winery for three decades before launching his namesake label - where he’s creating quite a stir, knocking out hit after delicious hit.
John Duval certainly shows off his exceptional winemaking skill with today’s extraordinary wine! It is bold, delicious and very well balanced.
We are very hard to please when it comes to GSM blends. They are almost always too astringent - and very angular. This wine shows finesse and style with its lush fruit, elegant feel and bold aromatics.
Aromas leap from the glass, with bold blackberry compote, plum, pipe tobacco, dried fall leaves, dried blueberry, pie spice, dried dark flower petals and black pepper.
This full-bodied blend bursts with flavor, leading with blackberry preserve, blueberry compote, tart cherry, tobacco leaf, cigar box, darkly toasted oak, baker’s chocolate, and pie spice.
This wine is bold but balanced, with bright acids and a fantastic feel. Pairs well with almost anything you can throw at it.
Drink this very highly recommended wine now, and cellar for up to 15 more years.
What the wine press has to say:
“Armed with flavor 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.” - 95 points - Australian Wine Companion
“The former Penfolds chief winemaker hasn’t put a foot wrong since launching his own label in 2003. His reds are his strength, reflecting his Barossa Valley base. Plexus is usually the most charming and approachable of his reds in its youth, and 2012 is a top vintage.
The aromas are attractively spicy, clean and fresh, while the palate is intense and well-balanced, with soft tannins and spicy red-fruit flavors. There are hints of aniseed and plum.
The texture is smooth and fleshy; it’s medium to full-bodied and deliciously drinkable despite its youth. Enjoy now to 15 years.” - 95 points - Huon Hooke, The Sydney Morning Herald, July 2014
“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.” - 94 points - James Suckling
“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 flavors 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.” - 92 points - Josh Raynolds, Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar, August 2014
“A Shiraz, Grenache and Mouvedre 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 preserve flavors, it has velvety tannins and a refreshing lift in the long finish.” - 92 points - Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, June 2015
“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.” - 91 points - Wine Spectator 12/2014
“John Duval was for many years the chief winemaker at Penfolds, crafting Grange, Bin 707 and other Australian wine icons. These days he has his own label and sources fruit from old vineyards in and around the Barossa Valley.
This was the wine with which he kicked off his new enterprise a decade ago, a Rhone-style blend of Shiraz, Grenache and Mourvèdre… and boy, is this new release a cracker.
From one of the best vintages in living memory, it has both power and elegance and is approachable now while being cellar worthy.
Fifteen months in French oak have added structure and texture to the blackberry and spice notes and the end results taste like a wine that should command at least twice the price.” - Windsor Dobbin Wine of the Week – July 2014
Inky dark burgundy hues give some clues to the richness of this wine. After swirling, thick, ropey, wine-stained legs cling to the glass wall.
Blackberry compote, plum, pipe tobacco, dried fall leaves, dried blueberry, pie spice, dried dark flower petals and black pepper.
Blackberry preserve, blueberry compote, tart cherry, tobacco leaf, cigar box, darkly toasted oak, baker’s chocolate, and pie spice.
Incredibly long, elegant and ultimately plush as a warm dryness spreads gradually across the palate.
Enjoy this fantastic wine with lamb burgers, hard cheese, duck, and almost any savory grilled meat.
What the Winery Says
- John Duval
- GSM Red Blend
- 51% Shiraz
- 30% Grenache
- 19% Mourvedre
- Australia, Barossa Valley