2012 Sequel Syrah
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.
The 2012 vintage produced beautiful wines with excellent color and bright, rich flavors. Early spring days were warm; April conditions were near perfect, then temperatures cooled considerably in May and June before warming for the summer and remaining remarkably consistent throughout harvest. Small berries loaded with intense flavor matured beautifully, showing rich flavors and ripe, balanced tannins in the finished wine.
An intensely colored wine with spicy aromas of cassis, smoked meats and a hint of olive tapenade woven throughout layers of black currant, blueberry and a trace of licorice. Wonderfully balanced, with a broad mouth-feel and soft tannins that hold together seamlessly.
93 POINTS - WINE ADVOCATE $55 / bottle
The 2012 Sequel is a blend of a variety of top Columbia Valley Syrah vineyards, each contributing unique character and added complexity to the finished swine. Bacchus Vineyard Syrah, from a south-facing block planted in 1993, gives the wine its dense, dark character. Candy Mountain Syrah is even more concentrated, adding structure to the finished wine. Yakima Valley’s Boushey Vineyard Syrah adds a bright, lively appeal. From The Benches in the Horse Heaven Hills, Syrah is harvested from a choice, Shiraz clone block that delivers richness, wild cassis and a hint of smoky spice. Cabernet Sauvignon from Dionysus Vineyard rounds out the remainder of the blend, adding complexity and structure.
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.