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.
Three distinct Columbia Valley growing regions create this complex, multi-layered wine. Boushey and Den Hoed Grandview, two top vineyards, represent one-third of the blend to give Sequel its notable vibrancy. Syrah from a collection of Red Mountain vineyards comprises roughly 40% of the wine and adds impressive structure and backbone. Bacchus Vineyard Syrah adds intense color and aromatics.
Vintage Notes: The 2019 vintage produced excellent red wines of exceptional quality and consistency. The season started slowly. Unexpected late winter snow held on until mid-March, and as a result, soils were slow to warm; April bud break was delayed, but by May, the temperatures climbed to accelerate bloom. Summer weather was mild with no heat spikes, and the temperatures stayed moderate into the fall. Grapes ripened slowly, but the pace allowed the fruit to reach full physiological maturity, resulting in a vintage notable for its fresh, elegant style.
Hand-harvested grapes underwent a variety of fermentation techniques to produce a wide spectrum of flavors. One-third of the Syrah was whole-cluster fermented to boost viscosity and enhance the wine’s mouthfeel. Several lots underwent an Aussie technique known as “rack and return” that requires draining the tank twice daily, then gently putting the juice back over the top of the skins to extract color, soft tannins and aromatics without imparting harsh tannins. Finally, a small portion of the grapes underwent submerged cap fermentation to enhance structure and mouthfeel. Aged 18 months in all French oak barrels, 65% new
95+ points – Robert Parker’s, Wine Advocate
95 points – Jeb Dunnuck
95 points - Vinous
93 points – James Suckling