95 Points - Wine Enthusiast, editor's choice
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.
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.
95 POINTS - WINE ENTHUSIAST, EDITOR'S CHOICE
Approximately one-fourth of the Syrah is from Horse Heaven Hills vineyards chosen for complexity, spice and richness. Yakima Valley Syrah from Boushey Vineyard makes up another quarter of the blend and contributes refined texture, elegance and balance. The remainder of the blend is sources from the mature vines planted at Bacchus Vineyard near Pasco as well as a few select vineyards in and around Red Mountain; both areas contribute to the wine's dimension, color and depth.
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. In 1986 John was appointed Chief Winemaker, following the winemaking greats Max Schubert and Don Ditter.
The Duval Family had for many years run a world famous Suffolk sheep stud and also ran quality vineyards, at Morphett Vale south of Adelaide, coincidently supplying Shiraz grapes and vine cuttings to Penfolds.
During his time as Chief Winemaker, John oversaw a dynamic period of development. The many awards and accolades for its wines helped establish Penfolds as one of the world's great wine brands.
While his honors and awards are too numerous to list, some of the highlights include the Robert Mondavi Trophy for Winemaker of the Year in 1989 at the International Wine & Spirits Competition in London; two-time recipient of the Red Winemaker of the Year award at the International Wine Challenge in London, first in 1991 and then again in 2000; and Wine Spectator’s “Wine of the Year” award in 1995 for the 1990 vintage of Penfolds Grange.
After 28 years, John stepped down from the company in 2002 to establish John Duval Wines, debuting with the 2003 vintage of Plexus SGM. John now makes four wines under his John Duval Wines label, a white; 'Plexus White' (Marsanne, Roussanne, Viognier), and three reds; 'Plexus Red' (Shiraz, Grenache, Mourvedre), 'Entity' (Shiraz) and 'Eligo' (Shiraz).
In addition to making his own wine, John also has a joint venture project with Ventisquero in the Apalta Valley, Chile and in 2003 John traveled to the Columbia Valley at the invitation of Long Shadows Vintners' founder Allen Shoup to make his first U.S. wine, Sequel, a name chose in recognition of his life's work with Syrah.
Never one to be far from great Shiraz, he currently resides in the Barossa Valley, home to some of Australia’s oldest vines.