So we’re just coming out of the holiday fog, and have entered birthday oblivion – mine January 6, the German’s, January 13; so our world is one of ceaseless celebration — not to mention that we’re just damn good at it. So no surprise when we were tapped to attend a celebration at the home of Kathleen and Allen Shoup honoring John Duval. Besides the obvious — being the winemaker for Sequel under Longshadows in Walla Walla; and being the tri-decade winemaker for Penfolds Grange AND operating his own entitiy John Duval Wines — John was really due to be celebrated — so we honored him for nothing more then just simply being John.
If you know John, you’ll agree he’s an approachable, friendly guy. But get him behind closed doors with a thief and a racking cane, and I suspect the true John comes unhinged — commanding you to sit back, hold on for dear life and enjoy the wickedly maniacal ride of this Aussie enchanter. Known for his magical potions, it’s the power of his Plexus that keeps eyebrows and glasses raised. One sip of the 2003 Plexus, Barosaa Valley, Australia and a hypnotic fog descends. Suddenly, you’re entranced by this tongue-twisting Rhone blend of shiraz, grenache and mouvedre. A round, balanced eruption of ripe red and black berry, fresh plum and wet vanilla droplets explodes in your mouth, filling its walls and fondling the senses. It hoists you to the edge of that in-between state of wanting to be really good at being really, really bad. The finish is long and layered with penetrating peppery spice– a liquified fusion that crests in ecstatic puissance. Fortitude wanes as you contemplate the cost of being so entirely exposed, but remember, too much of a good thing is simply wonderful!
Thumbs and anything else that comes up!
How much, and where?– About $40?
Photo: John Duval Wines