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Long Shadows Pirouette Meritage 2014

Long Shadows Pirouette Meritage is made from 63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, 12% Petit Verdot, 6% Cabernet Franc

Vineyards: This Cabernet Sauvignon-dominant wine, sourced primarily from Red Mountain for backbone and structure, is blended with Merlot from Weinbau (Wahluke Slope) and Dionysus Vineyards (near Pasco) for richness and a soft mouthfeel. Dionysus Vineyard Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc add vibrancy and added complexity.

Tasting Notes: A deep, dark wine packed with engaging aromas of fresh blueberry and dark chocolate, the 2013 Pirouette is rich and complex from start to finish. Refined and textured on the palate with lively, mouth-filling blackberry jam flavors accompanied by hints of spice and fig that carry across a lingering finish.

Long Shadows Chester Kidder 2013

Long Shadows Chester Kidder  67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Syrah, 5% Petit Verdot.

Tasting Notes: Deep and dark in color, this intensely aromatic wine is loaded with dark cherry, blackberry and a hint of chocolate. With its impressive concentration of refined tannins and a lively mouth feel, the 2012 Chester-Kidder offers layers of intense fruit flavors and spice. Well balanced from beginning to end, the wine leaves a vibrant impression across a lengthy finish.


Review:

"The 2013 Long Shadows 'Chester Kidder' Red Wine is an impressive release by head winemaker Giles Nicault. This inky colored wine is a blend of 58% Cabernet, 34% Syrah, 5% Petit Verdot and 3% Cabernet Franc and weighs in at 15.2% alcohol. The wine begins with a bouquet of cedar, mocha, black cherry, black pepper and hints of blackberry cobbler. There are concentrated flavors reminiscent of black cherry, anise, crème de cassis and mocha with suggestions of graphite. This layered wine has a gorgeous plush texture and is impossible to resist right now. (Best 2016-2030) - O.B."
- International Wine Report (September 2016), 94 pts

 94 Points
Long Shadows Pedestal Merlot 2010 (Magnum)

Long Shadows Pedestal Merlot Columbia Valley 2010 is made from 81% Merlot & 19% Cabernet Sauvignon

 

Michel Rolland, Pomerol vintner and consultant to many of the world's top wineries, teamed with Washington State wine visionary Allen Shoup to produce this limited release wine. The 2010 Columbia Valley growing season was cooler than preceding years earning it comparisons to 1999, a highly-regarded vintage that produced wines with excellent color, flavor and varietal character.  A cool spring delayed flowering and reduced fruit set as temperatures remained moderate throughout the summer; but by working with growers to drop clusters and open up the leaf canopies early in the season, the vines were well positioned to complete ripening when the warm weather arrived and extended later than usual into the season.


 

Review:

A big, rich Merlot that’s made by famed Bordeaux consultant Michel Rolland, the 2010 Merlot Pedestal (81% Merlot, 19% Cabernet Sauvignon) offers knockout aromas and flavors of creme de cassis, black raspberry, crushed flowers, licorice and big minerality to go with a medium to full-bodied, supple and sexy palate that firms up beautifully on the finish. There’s big fruit here, yet overall, it remains perfectly balanced and has sound underlying tannic structure. Give it 3-4 years in the cellar and enjoy over the following decade or more. Drink now-2020.

Producing their first vintage in 2003 and created by Alan Shoup, who was formerly the CEO of Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, Long Shadow was founded on the idea of bringing world class winemakers to Washington State to make their own top cuvee. Each winemaker gets full control over all aspect of the winemaking and is involved throughout the growing season as well. In addition to the wines reviewed here, I was also able to taste a full lineup of their initial 2003 releases, all of which were in fine form and still youthful. -Wine Advocate #207 Jun 2013 94 Points

 Wine Advocate: 94
Long Shadows Pedestal Merlot 2013

Michel Rolland, Pomerol vintner and consultant to many of the world's top wineries, teamed with Washington State wine visionary Allen Shoup to produce this limited release wine.

With its intense color and inviting aromas of dark berries, licorice, baking spice and a hint of smoke, the 2013 Pedestal is a bold wine that leaves a lasting impression. Dark fruit flavors integrated with sweetness from the barrel and richness from the tannins come together seamlessly, lingering across a structured mid-palate and lengthy finish.

Winemaking: Hand-harvested grapes were double-sorted to remove green material that might impart harsh tannins, then most of the lots were cold soaked to build richness and flavor before undergoing whole-berry fermentation in 55L upright French wood tanks. This, combined with gentle pump-overs throughout fermentation, enhanced the wine’s color, texture and mouthfeel. The finished wine was aged 22 months in 85% new French oak barrels.

 


Review:

#1 of the top 50 wines of 2016 - The Seattle Times "The combined winemaking of global great Michel Rolland and Walla Walla’s Gilles Nicault has this merlot locked and loaded with great flavor and balance. The Long Shadows experiment of bringing the world to Washington is paying off." - The Seattle Times (November 2016) - #1 of the Top 50 Regional Wines of 2016

One of my favorites in the 2013 lineup is the 2013 Pedestal Merlot. Made by Michel Rolland and blended with 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Petit Verdot and smaller parts Malbec and Cabernet Franc, aged 22 months in 85% new French oak, its deep purple color is followed by fabulous notes of plums, coffee beans, spice box and sweet oak in a full-bodied, decadent, ripe and expansive package. In general, Cabernet was more successful than Merlot in 2013, but you wouldn’t know it by tasting this beauty. Drink it anytime over the coming decade. Wine Advocate 94 Points

 Wine Advocate: 94
Long Shadows Sequel Syrah 2014

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.

 


"The 2014 'Sequel' Syrah is a stunning release from Long Shadows. This gorgeous Syrah is made by eminent Aussie winemaker John Duval, the former winemaker on the Penfolds Grange project. The Syrah wine opens with dense aromatics of smoked brisket, white pepper, black olive and hints of mocha and blackberry jam. There are layered flavors of black cherry, mocha, anise, crème de cassis and blackberry cobbler. This is intense, extracted and remains balanced from start to finish. This is one the best Sequel wines I've tasted in the past ten years. (Best 2016-2027) - O.B."
- International Wine Report (September 2016), 95 pts

 95 Points
Long Shadows Poets Leap Riesling 2015

Tasting Notes: The 2013 Poet's Leap Riesling offers aromas of white peach, jasmine, Thai basil and nutmeg. Flavors of ripe melon, apricot and an appealing minerality continue across the palate. An underlying hint of honey sweetness is balanced by a streak of bright acidity that provides a long, clean finish.

Long Shadows Feather Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

Acclaimed Napa Valley vintner Randy Dunn has a reputation for producing world-class Cabernet Sauvignon. He brings more than four decades of winemaking experience to the Columbia Valley to produce Feather, his only wine made outside of California.

Tasting Notes: Deep crimson colored with pure and expressive Cabernet Sauvignon character. Generous aromas and flavors of dark fruits, violets, coffee and toasted herbs combine with a textured mid-palate to deliver a big, yet focused, wine with polished tannins and persistent finish.

Winemaking: Grapes were hand-harvested at the peak of ripeness, then lightly crushed and fermented in small stainless steel tanks. Once fermentation was underway, the cap was pumped over aggressively to extract color and structure. As fermentation neared completion, pump overs were handled more gently to further extract color and flavors without imparting harsh tannins. The finished wine was aged 22 months in 90% new Vicard French oak barrels (Randy's cooper of choice at Dunn Vineyards as well).

Alcohol: 14.4%
pH: 3.86
TA: 0.58 grams / 100ml

 


Review:

One of the more backwards, structured and tannic wines of the vintage, the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Feather (100% Cabernet that saw aggressive pumpovers two to three times daily during fermentation, followed by 22 months in 90% new French oak) sports an inky purple color to go with firm, masculine notes of dark chocolate, smoked earth, roasted coffee, graphite and ripe black currants. Beautifully concentrated, with solid mid-palate depth and masses of ripe tannin, it needs to be forgotten for 4-5 years, and it will drink well through 2043. - Wine Advocate 92+

 

"Classic medicinal Dunn nose of black cherry, graphite, dried herbs and tobacco leaf, lifted by a note of rose petal. Juicy and tightly wound, offering surprising clarity. Not at all a creamy style; in fact, even austere on the back end, which shows serious but ripe building tannins and excellent length. - Stephen Tanzer." - Antonio Galloni's Vinous (November 2016), 92+ pts

This 100% varietal wine opens with aromas of minced cherries, black fruit, barrel spices, anise and high toned herbs. The flavors are pitch black showing density and depth, with a tight core of tannins providing the frame. Coffee flavors persist on the finish. Wine Enthusiast 92 Point

 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 92 Wine Advocate: 92 Wine Enthusiast: 92
Long Shadows Feather Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

Acclaimed Napa Valley vintner Randy Dunn has a reputation for producing world-class Cabernet Sauvignon. He brings more than four decades of winemaking experience to the Columbia Valley to produce Feather, his only wine made outside of California.

Tasting Notes: Deep crimson colored with pure and expressive Cabernet Sauvignon character. Generous aromas and flavors of dark fruits, violets, coffee and toasted herbs combine with a textured mid-palate to deliver a big, yet focused, wine with polished tannins and persistent finish.

Winemaking: Grapes were hand-harvested at the peak of ripeness, then lightly crushed and fermented in small stainless steel tanks. Once fermentation was underway, the cap was pumped over aggressively to extract color and structure. As fermentation neared completion, pump overs were handled more gently to further extract color and flavors without imparting harsh tannins. The finished wine was aged 22 months in 90% new Vicard French oak barrels (Randy's cooper of choice at Dunn Vineyards as well).

Alcohol: 14.4%
pH: 3.86
TA: 0.58 grams / 100ml

Long Shadows Pedestal Merlot 2014

Michel Rolland, Pomerol vintner and consultant to many of the world's top wineries, teamed with Washington State wine visionary Allen Shoup to produce this limited release wine.

With its intense color and inviting aromas of dark berries, licorice, baking spice and a hint of smoke, the 2013 Pedestal is a bold wine that leaves a lasting impression. Dark fruit flavors integrated with sweetness from the barrel and richness from the tannins come together seamlessly, lingering across a structured mid-palate and lengthy finish.

Winemaking: Hand-harvested grapes were double-sorted to remove green material that might impart harsh tannins, then most of the lots were cold soaked to build richness and flavor before undergoing whole-berry fermentation in 55L upright French wood tanks. This, combined with gentle pump-overs throughout fermentation, enhanced the wine’s color, texture and mouthfeel. The finished wine was aged 22 months in 85% new French oak barrels.

Long Shadows Saggi Red 2014

59% Sangiovese, 32% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Syrah. Among Tuscany's oldest and most prestigious wine families, Ambrogio and Giovanni Folonari teamed with Allen Shoup to produce a wine that showcases Washington State's terroir with plenty of Italian character. Saggi (meaning "wisdom") is a stunning blend of two outstanding Washington Sangiovese vineyards. Candy Mountain Sangiovese gives the wine its dark fruit flavors and appealing notes of anise. Dick Boushey's Yakima Valley Sangiovese, planted in 1992, adds vibrancy and liveliness. Because Cabernet Sauvignon has the potential to overtake Sangiovese, the Folonaris work closely with Sagemoor Vineyards to carefully select blocks of Cabernet they know from experience deliver elegant character and refined tannins. Syrah, also from Sagemoor, adds to the wine's dark color and rich mid-palate.

 


Review:

"Following up the highly impressive 2013 'Saggi' bottling, this 2014 edition is packed with dense aromatics and flavors. Head winemakers Ambrogio and Giovanni Folonari from the famed Folonari house in Tuscany, head this project. The red wine highlights Candy Mountain and Bouchey vineyard Sangiovese as well as Stone Tree Vineyard Cabernet, as this is a blend of 52% Sangiovese, 32% Cabernet Sauvignon and 16% Syrah. This wine begins with aromatics of red cherry, anise, spicebox and hints of red raspberry and dried thyme. There are bright flavors of smoked pork shoulder, red cherry, coffee grounds and hints of white pepper with sagebrush. The finish lingers in this one of a kind Washington red blend. While this is absolutely stunning right out of the bottle, this will also cellar well into the next decade. (Best 2016-2027) - O.B."
- International Wine Report (September 2016), 93 pts

 93 Points
Long Shadows Sequel Syrah 2013

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.

 


"Highly aromatic nose offers scents of raspberry, cinnamon, white pepper and olive tapenade. In a juicy, spicy, rather penetrating style; clean and fruit-driven, with a spicy mineral underpinning. Boasts excellent density to its purple fruit flavors and carries impressively on the finish. - Stephen Tanzer"

- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (November 2016), 93 pts

 

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. - Wine Advocate 91-93 Points

 

 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 93 Wine Advocate: 93
Accordini Amarone Riserva "Le Viole" 2005

Accordini Amarone Riserva "Le Viole" 2005 is made from 70% Corvina and Corvinoni, 20% Rondinella, 10% Rossignola.

The wine is aged 60 months in oak barrels, then aged 24 months in tank, and another 6 months in the bottle before release.

This Riserva is a deep red with violet overlays in the glass, which is where the name Le Viole stems from. A more elegant expression then their standard Amarone. Complex nose of licorice, tobacco, blueberries and vanilla from the oak aging. Concentrated and balanced on the palate with well rounded and elegant tannins which give this Amarone great depth. 


Review:

Opaque black.  Dark and brooding, the Riserva Le Viole is a winter wine to be consumed with braised meats and hearty stews. It’s lush and big flavored, bold and rich with dense black/red fruit, black olives, and huge extract on the finish that goes on forever. Decant before serving.  Aged 60 months in oak barrels and 24 months in tank.-International Wine Review 92 Points

 International Wine Review: 92
Torre Castillo Jumilla Alegre 2011

Torre Castillo Jumilla Alegre 2011 is made from 100% Monastrell (Mourvedre) with a selection of the oldest vines.

Manual harvest. The grapes are picked at their full maturation. Aged for 4 months in new American oak barrels.Slight filtration.


Intense ruby color. The nose offers distinctive ripe fruit aromas. Round and rich in the mouth with blackberry flavors intertwined with soft spicy and toasty notes. Powerful tannins that will soften after a few years of cellaring.
Pairs well with rice dishes, gazpachos (cold tomato soup), game and cured cheeses.

(100% monastrell, aged in American oak for four months):  Bright ruby.  Powerful, spicy aromas of dark berry preserves and lavender.  Fleshy and round on the palate, offering spicy blackberry and blueberry flavors and gaining sweetness with air.  Finishes smooth, long and slightly warm.--Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar 89 Points

 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 89
Mullineux Iron Syrah 2013 (magnum)

Tasting Note: This very aromatic Syrah has hints of black pepper, dark berries and herbs and a bloody, earthy character on the nose. The palate is full-bodied with velvety but structured tannins and a balanced natural acidity. The finish is fresh, long and supple. Best served at 16 to 18 °C, this wine will greatly benefit from decanting when drunk within the first 3 to 5 years after bottling.

Andrea Mullineux told me that their debut 2012 Mullineux Iron Syrah has been the hardest cru to fine-tune over the years. Indeed, it has been trialed since 2005 but never bottled...until now. "We have been working hard to perfect the acidity here and it's been important to get life into the soil, getting the vineyard healthy, so that it can be picked with good acidity. Because it is dry farmed, in a space of three days, it can god from 22 to 26 Brix – so picking decision is critical," she said. It has a subtle marine influence coming through on the nose with macerated black cherries, boysenberry jam and touches of iodine. The palate is medium-bodied with fine, quite grainy tannins, very nicely poised with touches of fig and marmalade towards the slightly saline finish. This is a strong debut to form the trio of Syrah single "terroir" offerings.


 

Review:

 "The 2013 Iron Syrah has a roundness and softness on the nose that almost belies its complexity - red berry fruit, red peppercorns, rooibos and undergrowth scents that are very well defined. The palate is medium-bodied with ripe tannin, wonderfully savory and quite gamey, and beautifully balanced with impressive volume and sustain on the finish that you would have difficult distinguishing from a top Côte-Rôtie. This is an excellent Syrah, my only reservation being that there is a touch of heat on the finish. - Neal Martin"

 - The Wine Advocate (erobertparker.com, November 2015), 93 pts

 

"Similar to the Schist Syrah in its weight and meatiness, the Iron Syrah offers a more elegant, immediate appeal. Dark red plum, smoked meat, and savory herbs are seamlessly integrated on a lush, juicy and firmly structured palate, finishing very very long." h

 - iwinereview.com (January 2016), 95 pts

 Wine Advocate: 93 International Wine Review: 95
Roland Champion Grand Cru Champagne Blanc de Blancs NV

Roland Champion Champagne Blanc de Blancs NV is aged for minimum 30 months (the minimum for NV is 15 months). This cuvee is made from 100% Chardonnay and is produced from the free run juice only. The current release is the result of the blend of the 2005, the 2006 and the 2007 vintage.
Fresh and delicate, its fine bubbles and wide range of aromas will be perfect as an aperitif. This Champagne will also match very well with seafood and shellfish.

dosage : 8 grams per liter
ageing : 30 months on laths
Even if it doesn't say on the label, 100% of the production is RD (Recently Disgorged)
Total Production for this Cuvée : 1,500 cases (9 liter equivalent) per year
 

"Spiced with ground anise and ginger accents, this offers notes of poached pear, lemon meringue pie, hazelnut and stony mineral. Very elegant and well-meshed throughout, with a silky finish.  Tasted twice, with consistent notes. 1,500 cases made. –AN"
- Wine Spectator  92 pts

"This cuvée made from 100% Chardonnay offers a fresh aromatic nose of light toast, dried yellow fruit and nuances of yeast. On the palate it has a creamy mouth feel of toasted nuts and rich autolytic notes. This is a beautiful wine, rich and complex."
International Wine review  92+ pts

"Medium gold color with very attractive aromas of yeast and lemon tart. A lovely and very flavorful palate of yeast and nuts gives way to a long, long finish. This is a crowd pleaser!"
- I-Wine Review 91 pts

"Graphite, bread dough and citrus aromas segue to lemon, apple and floral notes as this remains focused and crisp. There's a nice chalky feel on the long finish.   1,800 cases made. –BS"
- Wine Spectator  90 pts

"A finely wrought wine, this is tangy and mineral drivel, layering acidity, citrus and white fruit in a complex, elegant whole"- Wine Enthusiast  90 pts


"Small grower. Autumn fruits dominate the aromas of this wine, which is blatantly more like a wine than we normally expect a champagne to be. Some may find that unexpected and even off-putting, while others will find it intriguingly delicious."
- Washington Post  - EXCELLENT

"Roland Champion is a small family-owned producer, now with the fourth generation, in the village of Chouilly (”shoo-ee”), which has only Grand Cru vineyards. Made from 100 percent chardonnay grapes, this Champagne offers ethereal grace and poise and harmony; if I were fighting a duel tonight, I would ask for this Champagne as my last beverage. The nose here is about the richness of warm biscuits and hazelnuts, dried fruit and spice, like a Platonic, ineffably light fruitcake; in the mouth, however, it’s about a structure that encompasses an incredible marriage of power and elegance, like the delicacy and strength of the finest bone china. And there’s something porcelain-like about this Champagne, in its notable crisp, lively character, its transparency and its slightly chalky, shale-like mineral elements. Forget the Champagnes that come on with heavy toasty, caramel qualities; here, instead, is a wealth of subtlety and nuance touched with a racy, dynamic edge. Exceptional."
Biggerthanyourhead.net 

 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 90 Wine Enthusiast: 90 Wine Spectator: 92 International Wine Review: 92
Trombetta Gaps Crown Chardonnay 2014

 

Review:

Aromas of tropical fruits, lemon curd, vanilla and floral  honeysuckle. Bright acid with a creamy mid palate and lingering finish of vanilla and lemon. 100% Chardonnay – Hand harvested grapes

- Wine Enthusiast (April 2016) 94 pts + Editor's choice

 Wine Enthusiast: 94
Trombetta Gaps Crown Pinot Noir 2010

Trombetta Gaps Crown Pinot Noir 2010 is 100 percent Pinot Noir

Vineyard: Gap's Crown
Clones: 777, swan, 828
Vineyard age: Planted from 2002 to 2005
Site: Located in the Petaluma Gap region; West facing hillside of Sonoma Mountain; multiple exposures.
Soils: Goulding Cobbley Loam
Yield: 2.3 tons/acre

Hand-harvested grapes
Fermented with native yeast
Extended period of cold soak and maceration
Hand-punched cap
Native malolactic fermentation in barrels
Aged 9 months in Francios Freres, Damy and Cadus French oak barrels; 50% new 50% 1 year
Unfined and unfiltered.

The deep garnet color is a preparation for the abundance of dark fruit this wine exudes. Aromas of dark chocolate covered pomegranate and wild blackberry dance harmoniously with hints of both vanilla bean and clove spice. The palate is then filled with a luxurious cream that coats the mouth to finish with a lingering mouth feel resembling berry cobbler with amazing structure and acid.
Alcohol 14.7%.

"Nose of spice black cherry; smooth, lush and rich with stunning fruit and lovely acid structure; juicy, long and beautifully balanced."
- Anthony Dias Blue, The Tasting Panel (May 2013), 93 pts

 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 93
Varinelles Saumur Champigny 2009

Varinelles Saumur Champigny uses a traditional vinification process: 18 days of low temperature maceration, pumping over every two days, aging in tanks, no fining, slight filtration, bottling in July. This wine is highly representative of the appellation. It is hardly aggressive or excessive, and displays balance and finesse throughout.

Weinkeller Erbach Riesling 2015 (liter)

Weinkeller Erbach Riesling (liter) is 100 percent Riesling. 

Round and refreshing wine with light touches of lemon and lime on the nose. Slightly sweet mouthfeel, with juicy and fruity flavors.

A.P. Vin Clos Pepe Vineyard Pinot Noir 2014

Bright and vibrant, sweet gorgeous texture layered with black cherry, blueberry and earthy Christmas spice surrounded by big, bold fruit and focused oak. Supple and delicious with a long, lingering finish.

The fruit is picked in the early morning hours to retain acidity, 100% destemmed and left to cold soak for four to five days. A light pigeage followed by a one-time racking to barrel is all there is to this one.

Aged in a combination of new and older French oak barrels for 11 months. 
Bottled unfined and unfiltered in August 2014.

 

 

A.P. Vin Rosellas Vineyard Pinot Noir 2014

Lush and mouthwatering mid-palate bursting with sweet fruit and subtle notes of spice. Deep wild berry, blackberry and plum flavors with structured oak and a long lasting, epic finish.

Vineyard: Rosella's Vineyard

Clone: 777, Pisoni & 115
Appellation: Santa Lucia Highlands, Monterey County, California
Harvested: October 6th & October 16th, 2013
Style: Unfined and Unfiltered
Bottled: August 2014

 



 
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Paul Jaboulet Aine Riesling Spatlese 1983

Older vintage wines have been sourced from a single collectors cellar. Pictures can be requested before shipment.