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Sequel Syrah 09
2009 Vintage Wine Spectator - 92 points - 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. Drink now through 2018. 1,107 cases made. - H.S.
2008 Vintage Tasting Notes
2008 Wine Advocate - 92 points - 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. - Jay Miller
2007 Vintage Tasting Notes
2007 Wine Advocate - 92 points - The 2007 Sequel was made by Australian John Duval. It is made up of 98% Syrah and 2% Cabernet Sauvignon aged for 18 months in 65% new French oak and 5% 300-liter American oak “hogsheads”. A glass-coating opaque purple color, it emits an expressive bouquet of smoked meat, bacon, lavender, sage, blueberry, and plum. On the palate it is plush and layered suggesting readiness for near-term drinking. However, there is ample underlying structure for those wanting to wait for a more aged character. This lengthy effort should provide pleasure through 2022. - Jay Miller
Dark, lush and layered with blackberry, ripe plum and blueberry flavors complimented by aromas of black tea and incense. The wine offers great depth and richness with a silky texture and vibrant finish. - the winery
2006 Vintage Tasting Notes
2006 Wine Advocate - 93 points - The 2006 Sequel is made by John Duval, former winemaker of Penfolds Grange. The wine is 96% Syrah and 4% Cabernet Sauvignon aged for 18 months in 65% new French oak. Aromas of cedar, smoke, game, bacon, and violets are alluring while leading to a round, layered, smooth-textured, full-bodied wine with several years of aging potential. This hedonistic effort will be at its best from 2013 to 2021. - Jay Miller
John Duval, former winemaker of Penfold's internationally famous Grange Red, makes the Sequel Syrah in the style of his iconic Australian wines.
2006 Wine Spectator - 92 points - Bright and generous, delivering a lively mouthful of blackberry and plum fruit, shaded with hints of pepper and spice, lingering nicely on the beautifully focused finish. This has depth without excess weight, along with the goods to develop long term in the cellar. Drink now through 2014. - H.S.
A generous and concentrated wine of great character, the 2006 Sequel is notable for its deep purple hue, rich aromatics and layers of flavor. Almond, dark chocolate and cherry notes fill the glass, complemented by hints of black licorice, blackberry, cocoa powder and a touch of smoke. Great complexity on the palate with a lengthy finish, this is a refined wine of beauty and balance. - John Duval
2005 Vintage Tasting Notes
2005 Wine Advocate - 94 points - The 2005 Sequel is made by John Duval, former winemaker of Penfolds Grange. The wine is 96% Syrah and 4% Cabernet Sauvignon aged for 16 months in mostly French oak. Aromas of cedar, smoke, game, bacon, and violets are alluring while leading to a round, layered, smooth-textured, full-bodied wine with several years of aging potential. This hedonistic effort will be at its best from 2012 to 2020. - Jay Miller
Velvet and full-bodied, John Duval's blackberry and dark fruit driven Syrah is more old world Bordeaux than Washington State. It's about as far as you can get rom a "typical" Australian Syrah, with balanced but restrained fruit, mineral notes, youthful, fine-grained but quite present tannins, and the promise of greatness with time and careful cellaring.
Blackberry, toasted espresso bean, roasted meat, cinnamon spice, and white flowers show in the nose as an initial impression. Blackberry, black raspberry, and black currant hold the center of a wine framed by fruit and oak derived tannins that smooth out and integrate with aeration. Decant for an hour or two if drinking this wine in the next year, or cellar to allow its potential complexity to develop.
From the winery: "This is a deep, dark Syrah loaded with aromatic dark chocolate and black cherries. Lush and concentrated with a perfect balance of richness and acidity that brings the wine to life."
Wine & Spirits magazine says: "Australian winemaker John Duval is the winemaker for Long Shadows signature Syrah. His experience shows in the Oz-like color (almost black), the spicy berry, plum, cherry and currant fruit, and the silky, polished tannins. Interestingly, Duval uses a splash of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend, rather than going with Viognier. The wine seems to be holding something back; its definitely got some years ahead."
2004 Tasting Notes
2004 Wine Spectator - 92 points - Smooth and velvety, this is a graceful, beautifully balanced Syrah that shows off its blueberry and plum fruit against shades of white pepper and cedar. The finish keeps welling up with haunting flavors. Drink now through 2014. 1,359 cases made. - H.S.
Sequel Syrah from Longshadows Vintners' 2003 vintage received 92 points from Wine Spectator too. This second 2004 release is darkly-hued with cherry and cassis aromas to match. This is a focused Syrah loaded with black fruit, spice and a hint of vanilla across a supple frame. Give it time in the glass to fully reveal the wine's layers of fruit and concentration.
Made by John Duval, the very famous winemaker who for fifteen years made Australia's most celebrated wine, Penfold's Grange.
Yakima Valley's Boushey Vineyard (35%) gives the wine its elegance and balance; Alder Ridge (24%) and Wallula Vineyard (7%) in the Horse Heaven Hills combines with Red Mountain vineyards (32%) to add black fruit and richness. A small amount of Cabernet Sauvignon from Sagemoor's Dionysus Vineyard on a southwest facing slope in Pasco adds complexity and more layers.
From the Seattle Times, March 7, 2006: "Syrah, I pointed out, is a grape that seems to do very well in many places. Furthermore, it already has been "claimed" as a signature grape in both the Rhone Valley, for its smoky, meaty, pungently bloody character, and in the Barossa, for its immensely pleasurable, saturated, jammy, fruit-driven power. So where does Washington syrah fit in?
"It seems to fit in neatly," Duval insists. "True, it doesn't have the bigness of Barossa Valley shiraz, but it has the finesse and savory spice character I see in France. So I see it fitting in between the French style and the other end of the spectrum, the big bold Australian style. And we (Long Shadows) have access to some vineyards that can give a bit of both."
The Columbia Valley's 2004 vintage required meticulous care in the vineyard and those who did were rewarded with beautifully elegant, well-balanced wines. Long Shadows resident winemaker Gilles Nicault invested hundreds of hours in the vineyards from the first of the year through harvest after a harsh January freeze left everyone anxious about damage to the vines. Gilles worked with growers to manage crop loads and canopy exposure throughout the growing season. He asked growers to prune to two buds in the early spring, despite freeze damage to the primary buds; thin at bloom; thin and drop green clusters at verasion; and finally, leaf thin in September to open up the canopy and promote even ripening. As a result, Long Shadows' blocks averaged 1 - 2 tons per acre, just slightly less than a "typical" year, producing wonderfully ripened, flavorful fruit.