Sequel Syrah 2008
Syrah/Shiraz from Columbia Valley, Washington
A deep, dark beauty loaded with dried cherry and currant aromas and flavors wrapped in nuances of cola, incense and barrel spice. Plush and savory on the palate with an appealing concentration of fruit and silky tannins that linger on the finish.
Wine Enthusiast - "Bursting with sweet toast from the barrel aging, this offers ripe and pretty berry fruit, deep and long, with highlights of oolong tea. The alcohol is not intrusive, and the acidity keeps it buoyed and lively. Editors' Choice."
The Wine Advocate - "The 2008 Sequel Syrah contains 2% Cabernet Sauvignon and was made by John Duval, former winemaker of Penfolds Grange. It was aged for 18 months in 65% new French oak and 5% 300-liter American oak barrels. Smoke, game, black tea, incense, blueberry, and blackberry aromas compose the bouquet of this relatively forward, plush, pleasure-bent Syrah. It can be approached now and will continue to provide enjoyment through 2020."
Wine Spectator - "Firm in texture and dark in flavor, this is tightly wound with tannins. The pieces are there for this to come together, but needs time for its blackberry and smoke flavors to shed their straitjacket."
International Wine Cellar - "Ruby-red. Lively aromas of black raspberry, blackberry, white pepper, minerals and a whiff of game. Sweet and smooth but rather brooding today; less expressive than this John Duval-made syrah normally is in the early going. Dark fruit and musky game flavors dominate, but this rather musclebound wine will need at least a few years in the bottle to gain in nuance. Rating: 91(+?)? "
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John Duval, formerly of Australia’s iconic Penfolds Grange, chose the Columbia Valley as his “Sequel” for the continuation of his life’s work with Syrah. Sequel is one of six distinct red wines from the Long Shadows Vintners Collection.
A generous and concentrated wine of great character, Sequel is notable for its deep purple hue, rich aromatics and layers of flavor. Almond, dark chocolate and cherry notes fill the glass, complimented by hints of black licorice, blackberry, cocoa powder and a touch of smoke.
Carefully selected, hand-harvested grapes are fermented in two to four-ton tanks using a variety of fermentation methods including “rack and return,” a technique John Duval frequently uses in Australia. This allows for gentle handling of the berries while extracting optimal color and richness. The wine is aged an average of 18 months in 65 percent new French oak barrels.
Duval uses Syrah from The Benches at Wallula and Alder Ridge for their dark flavored fruits. Red Mountain grapes provide the structure of the wine and Boushey Vineyard in Yakima Valley brings the elegance to Sequel. View all Sequel Wines
About Columbia Valley
Columbia Valley is the largest of Washington State's wine growing regions, with almost 11 million acres. It encompasses a number of smaller regions, including Yakima Valley, Walla Walla Valley, Red Mountain and more. The vast area consists of a range of climates, allowing viticulturists to plant a diverse selection of grape varieties. Most wineries plant rows sparsely, which helps the vines survive the harsh winters.
Notable FactsMerlot is the most popular and most planted grape of the area, followed by Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. Syrah and Riesling are also popular and continue to grow in acreage.
About WashingtonRelated Links:Now the number two producer in the United States, Washington State has also grown in quality.
So how does a state known for rain and coffee produce high quality wines? They plant their grapes on the east side of the Cascade mountains, away from that ever-present rain cloud that sits along the coast. Perhaps wine grapes do well since the sandy loam soils east of the Cascade range give way to an almost desert-like land, saved from drought only by the helpful rivers that run through the area – and the good irrigation systems.
Thinking that the state would do best with typical northern growing grapes like Riesling and Gewurtztraminer, turns out the apple state is well-suited for reds, namely Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and, more recently, Syrah. Of course, whites have not been forgotten - Washington State Rieslings range from bone-dry to sweet, are well-structured and high quality, and Chardonnay dominates most of the other white plantings, making a range of wines. But the reds of the region, Merlot in particular, have made Washington State a quality force to be reckoned with.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.