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Sequel Syrah 2009

Syrah/Shiraz from Columbia Valley, Washington
  • RP93
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  • WS92
14.8% ABV
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5.0 1 Ratings
14.8% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Opaque and blue-ish purple in color, this is an expressive wine offering vibrant aromas of sweet dark fruits, grilled meats and freshly roasted chestnuts. Dark cherry flavors laced with notes of nutmeg and savory spice are framed by refined tannins and a delicate acidity that lingers on the finish.

Blend: 99% Syrah, 1% Cabernet Sauvignon

Critical Acclaim

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RP 93
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The Long Shadows 2009 Sequel – a virtually pure Syrah, whose cuvee name was chosen as an allusion to winemaker John Duval’s legacy as long-time winemaker for Penfolds and its legendary Grange – was sourced largely from the 1992 Sagemoor Bacchus and 1994 Boushey plantings, among the oldest of their varietal in the state. Allen Shoup relates that when he approached Duval to head a Syrah project under the Long Shadows umbrella, the latter’s initial reluctance stemmed from the predominance of young vines among Washington’s Syrah plantings and, in particular, among those to which Shoup at the time had access. But Shoup persevered in ferreting-out small amounts of fruit from the aforementioned – and by Washington standards old – vines, and subsequently had some small acreage planted with Australian selections that came into production for this bottling. Chocolate, mocha and brown spice elements are prominent already in the nose, creating confectionary expectations that are, at most, only partly confirmed on an expansive, plush palate. Happily, there is primary dark berry juiciness along with hints of mint, black pepper, smoky black tea, and iodine to take this wine in a properly profound direction and offer counterpoint to its sense of sweetness. What’s more, there is a lovely sense of lift and energy to the finish that strike me as Washington-typical even though not especially evident in the current Long Shadows collection when taken as a whole.
WE 92
Wine Enthusiast
Rich, dark, dense and smoky, this is a fruit-driven Syrah that has a splendid bouquet of ripe black fruit. Some herbal accents and a streak of bark runs through the tannins.
WS 92
Wine Spectator
Focused, plush and generous, with pomegranate-accented dark berry and tobacco flavors, striking a nice balance of suppleness, rich flavors and expansion on the finish.
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Sequel

Sequel

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Sequel, Columbia Valley, Washington
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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.

Columbia Valley

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A large and geographically diverse AVA responsible for a wide variety of wine styles, the Columbia Valley AVA is home to 99% of Washington State’s total vineyard area. A small section of the AVA extends into northern Oregon as well. Because of its vast size, it is necessarily divided into several distinctive sub-AVAs, including Walla Walla Valley and Yakima Valley—which is further split into three more even smaller AVAs. A region this size will of course have varied microclimates, but on the whole it experiences cold winters and long, dry growing seasons. Frost is a common risk during winter and spring. The towering Cascade mountain range creates a rain shadow, keeping the valley relatively rain-free throughout the year, necessitating irrigation from the Columbia River. The lack of humidity combined with sandy soils allows for vines to be grown on their own rootstock, as phylloxera is not a serious concern.

Red wines make up the majority of production in the Columbia Valley. Cabernet Sauvignon is the dominant variety here, where it produces wines with a pleasant balance of dark fruit and herbs. Wines made from Merlot are typically supple, with sweet red fruit and sometimes a hint of chocolate or mint. Syrah tends to be savory and Old-World-leaning, with a wide range of possible fruit flavors and plenty of spice. The most planted white varieties are Chardonnay and Riesling, the styles of which depend on the warmth of the site. Citrus and green apple are common to both in cooler sites, while warmer vineyards will produce riper, fleshier stone fruit flavors.

Syrah/Shiraz

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Marked by unmistakable aromatics, a savory palate, and an elegant texture, Syrah is capable of producing fascinatingly complex and long-lived wines with a stunning purple hue. Native to the Northern Rhône, Syrah’s best examples are found in Hermitage and Côte-Rôtie. It is also an important component of the GSM blends of the Southern Rhône and beyond, alongside Grenache and Mourvèdre. Both varietal Syrah and GSM blends are common in Australia and California and are gaining popularity in Washington State. In Australia, Syrah is known by the synonym Shiraz, which tends to indicate a bolder, fruit-driven style of wine, and is occasionally blended with Cabernet Sauvignon for added depth and structure.

In the Glass

At its best, Syrah shows aromas and flavors of purple fruits, fragrant violets, baking spice, white pepper, smoke, and even bacon fat. Many examples from California aim to recreate this savory style, while others focus more on concentrated fruit flavors. In Australia, under the name Shiraz, it shines as that country’s unofficial signature red grape, producing deep, dark, intense, and often jammy reds.

Perfect Pairings

Cool-climate Syrah, with its peppery spices, is a natural match with flavorful Moroccan-spiced lamb dishes, where the spice is more about flavor than heat. With Australian Shiraz, grown in warmer regions, heavy meat dishes with abundant protein and fat are a necessity to match the intensity of the wine.

Sommelier Secret

Due to the success of Australian “Shiraz,” this synonym for Syrah has been adopted by winemakers throughout the world. If the label says “Shiraz,” you can typically expect a plush, fruity, and potent wine made in the Australian style. New World "Syrah" will generally more closely resemble the French style.

PBC9127100_2009 Item# 123578