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Howard Duncan
 
7 February 2018 | Barossa, The Artisans, What's Happening at Artisans | Howard Duncan

Winemaker in the House - John Duval Wines

Hi 
 
I’m of the belief that John Duval has never once acted on impulse – certainly not when it comes to making wine. Quiet consideration, patience and a commitment to doing things ‘just right’ are engrained in his DNA. His humility, gentlemanly demeanour and ‘think then act’ approach hugely admirable.
 
Perhaps ‘hasten slowly’ is John’s motto when it comes to the headlong rush of a Barossa vintage? At a time when plans can dissolve in an instant as the vagaries of weather toss up cruel and unkind curve balls, I doubt John’s pulse rate moves a blip. Cool as a cucumber. Seen it all before. (With something like 45 vintages under his belt, I suspect ‘JD’ has.) Therefore, with patience and particular consideration for timing the essence of the Duval way, it should come as no surprise that on the cusp of the 15th anniversary of their foundation vintage, they add just a sixth wine to the range. (Plexus was first (’03), followed by Entity (’04) and Eligo (’05) in quick succession before a short hiatus leading to the release of Plexus White (’10) and Annexus Grenache(’13).) This Saturday marks the release at Artisans of the first vintage of Annexus Mataro from the stellar 2016 vintage, and this is what John had to say about the new wine.
 
“I’ve got a lot of time for Mataro, it’s a critical element of Plexus and a grape variety that deserves to be celebrated by Barossa winemakers. We’ve sourced fruit from this dry grown 100 year old vineyard at Light Pass for all the years we’ve produced Plexus - and with 2016 being such a great vintage the time was right to release a small quantity of Mataro under the Annexus label. We’re very happy with the first release wine - it shows plenty of classic savoury spiced fruit on the nose and powerful, yet restrained black fruit flavours on the palate, supported by ample, long flowing waves of tannin. It sits very comfortable amongst our small family of wines. Will we make an Annexus Mataro every year? I think the answer to that is entirely dependent on the qualities of future vintages.” (That Duval ‘quiet consideration’ at play again!)
 
Also this weekend, the new vintage of Eligo will be released at Artisans of Barossa - the 2015 vintage. John’s aim with Eligo is to produce a structured but elegant expression of Barossa Shiraz - a wine with restrained power, rich texture and palate length in the classic John Duval Wines mould. From a master winemaker with access to exceptional and rare Barossa vineyards, the release of the 2015 Eligo will be one of the highlights of 2018 at Artisans.
 
John and Tim Duval will be our Winemakers in the House this weekend at Artisans, from 12-4pm both Saturday and Sunday presenting these two brilliant new release wines along with the rest of their family of wines that has been carefully framed over the past 15 years. Not to be missed!
 
Cheers
 
Howard

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