92% Syrah; 8% Cabernet Sauvignon
"The only 2013 not yet in bottle, the 2013 Syrah Sequel (there’s 8% Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend) gives up a big, rich, decadent style as well as lots of ripe black fruits, caramelized meats, licorice and wood-smoke like aromas and flavors. In a vintage that too often comes up short on texture and richness, this beauty delivers in spades. It should drink nicely right out of the gate. ' (WA)
After 16 years as winemaker for Australia’s iconic Penfolds Grange, John Duval came to the Columbia Valley in 2003 as the “sequel” to his life’s work with Syrah.
The 2013 Sequel is a classic Washington Syrah, dark garnet in color with lively, colorful aromas and expressive tapenade, cassis and cinnamon flavors that dance gracefully across the palate. Rich and supple in texture, this is a layered, complex wine with a concentrated finish that lasts.
The 2013 growing season started with an early bud break followed by consistent dry, warm weather that lasted until rainfall moved across the Columbia Valley in mid-June. The precipitation allowed the vines to establish a solid canopy that proved useful when temperatures reached 100 degrees immediately following the rains. With a protective exterior canopy, we
were able to open the interior canopy to allow uniform ripening in the fruit zone, and as temperatures cooled in September, the extended hang time allowed grape flavors to fully mature.
Syrah’s delicate skin requires gentle handling during fermentation to extract richness from the grapes without imparting bitter tannins. At John Duval’s direction, the 2013 Sequel underwent a variety of gentle fermentation techniques to produce a wide spectrum of flavors, including an Australian technique known as “rack and return” that requires draining the
tank twice daily and gently putting the juice back over the top of the skins; whole-cluster fermentation to enhance richness and dimension on the palate; and submerged cap fermentation to enhance structure and mouth-feel. Aged 18 months in all French oak, 60% new.
Two of the Columbia Valley’s best Syrah vineyards are the predominate source of this delicious blend. Bacchus Vineyard Syrah, grown on a south-facing block planted in 1993, gives Sequel its dark color, concentration and viscous mouth feel. Yakima Valley’s Boushey Vineyard Syrah adds bright fruit and an elegant character to the wine, and a small percentage of Dionysus Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon enhances the wine’s complexity and structure.