(93% Syrah, 7% Cabernet Sauvignon)
Columbia Valley, Washington
WINEMAKER – John Duval
Few winemakers are as synonymous with the iconic wines of a country as John Duval, best known for his work with Penfolds’ Grange, the gold standard for Australian Shiraz. John joined Penfolds winery in 1974 after completing his studies in agriculture and winemaking. He was appointed Penfolds’ chief winemaker in 1986. During his 16-year tenure, John helped establish Penfolds as one of the world’s most celebrated wineries. After 28 years, John stepped down from the company in 2002 to establish John Duval Wines. In addition to making his own wine, John traveled to the Columbia Valley in 2003 at the invitation of Long Shadows Vintners’ founder Allen Shoup to make his first U.S. wine, Sequel, a name chosen in recognition of his
life’s work with Syrah.
Yakima Valley’s Boushey and Den Hoed Grandview Vineyards comprise 50% of this delicious blend and give the 2016 Sequel its bright, vibrant character. Bacchus Vineyard Syrah (25%), grown on a south-facing block planted in 1993, adds black fruit character and richness. A Shiraz clone from Sonnet Vineyard at The Benches brings blueberry notes to the wine, and a small amount of Red Mountain area Syrah adds to the wine’s dark, brooding character. Dionysus Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon provides added backbone.
Syrah’s delicate skin requires careful handling to avoid harsh tannins so a variety of gentle fermentation techniques are used to give Sequel a wide spectrum of flavors without imparting bitterness. One-third of the grapes were whole-cluster fermented to enhance richness and dimension on the palate. Several lots underwent an Australian technique known as “rack and return” that requires draining the tank twice daily and gently putting the juice back over the top of the skins to extract color, soft tannins and aromatics. A small portion of the grapes underwent submerged cap fermentation for structure and mouthfeel. The finished wine was aged 18 months in French oak barrels, 65% new.
93 points – Jeb Dunnuck
93 points – James Suckling
92 points – Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
92 points – Antonio Galloni’s Vinous Media
91 points - Wine & Spirits Magazine
90 points - Wine Spectator