Sequel 2013 Syrah, Columbia Valley, $55

John Duval, who rose to fame during his days at Australian icon Penfolds, spearheads the Syrah brand at Long Shadows Vintners, and his 2013 work from Boushey and Sagemoor Farms’ Bacchus vineyards might be his best to date under this Walla Walla brand. Classic white pepper, blackberry and blueberry aromas include sweet herbs, black licorice and bittersweet chocolate. The fluid is reminiscent of sweet black cherries and Hostess berry pie. Marionberry juice adds acidity to the midpalate. Cabernet Sauvignon (8%) from another Sagemoor site – Dionysus – boosts the tannin structure of dark chocolate, making for a graceful finish, thanks in part to the 18-month program of 60% new French oak. This spring, it earned a gold medal in Southern California at the 2016 Pacific Rim International Wine Competition.

Rating: Outstanding!

Production: 1,663 cases

Alcohol: 14.8%

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