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Long Shadows Pedestal Merlot 2010 (Magnum)

ID No: 417809
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Long Shadows Pedestal Merlot 2014 (Magnum)

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:

"I loved the 2014 Pedestal Merlot and it’s 81% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Malbec and 2% Petit Verdot. It offers a downright voluptuous and incredibly sexy style in its ripe black currants, toasted spice, chocolate and licorice aromas and flavors. Broad, expansive, layered and pleasure bent, with ripe tannin, it's a knockout Merlot that's going to have 10-15 years of drinkability. - Jeb Dunnuck"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #231, June 2017), 95 pts

 Wine Advocate: 95
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.


Review:

"I loved the 2014 Pedestal Merlot and it’s 81% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Malbec and 2% Petit Verdot. It offers a downright voluptuous and incredibly sexy style in its ripe black currants, toasted spice, chocolate and licorice aromas and flavors. Broad, expansive, layered and pleasure bent, with ripe tannin, it's a knockout Merlot that's going to have 10-15 years of drinkability. - Jeb Dunnuck"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #231, June 2017), 95 pts

 Wine Advocate: 95
Long Shadows Pedestal Merlot 2015

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.



Product Description

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

Winery: Long Shadows Vintners

Long Shadows Vintners

Founded by Washington wine pioneer Allen Shoup, Long Shadows Vintners is a collection of ultra-premium wineries comprised of internationally acclaimed winemakers from the major wine regions of the world. Each winemaker is a partner in a unique winery dedicated to producing a single Columbia Valley wine representing a 'best of type' that reflects the winemaker's signature style and the viticultural excellence of Washington State's Columbia Valley.
 They construct wines in their own style, and with their own complexity, while striving to improve upon their singular benchmarks. Beginning with the 2003 crush, they are crafting signature wines that carry great promise for years to come.
They have devoted hundreds of hours sampling the many wines originating from the most important vineyards, and chose those particular vineyards that fit the desired style and type of wines each hopes to create. Grapes from every sub-appellation of the Columbia Valley were selected to take the fullest advantage of the region’s individual microclimates and terroirs.

"Long Shadows is the brainchild of Alan Shoup, longtime CEO of Chateau Ste-Michelle. It is a consortium of seven different labels, each with its own star winemaker who has a 25% share in the brand. The concept is that each “is dedicated to producing a single Columbia Valley wine representing a ‘best of type’ that reflects the winemaker’s signature style.” For the second straight year, every wine in this portfolio has achieved an outstanding rating. For this, the credit goes to Alan Shoup who put it all together."
- Wine Advocate (Issue 177, July 2008),

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Siegel Unique Selection Red is made from 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Carmenere and 20% Syrah

Aged in French oak barrels for 14-16 months.

Viña Siegel Unique Selection is the utmost expression of our best Los Lingues vineyards located in the Alto Colchagua region. 
A deep violet color. There are aromas of cassis and cherries with hints of spices, chocolate and violets. This wine is characterised by its complexity and harmony, with a robust tannic structure.

After carefully selecting the optimum harvest date, the grapes are hand selected, then they are de-stemmed and cold macerated for 5-6 days. Alcoholic fermentation occurs at 26-29°C, during this period pump overs are performed daily at the winemaker’s discretion. Post-fermentative maceration occurs for 2 to 3 weeks. The wine is smoothly clarified. Cold stabilisation only occurs when necessary.

 


Review:

Lots of flower petal, dark fruit and hits of bark. Full body, round tannins and a flavorful finish. A complete and delicious red. Better in 2017, but why wait?"

- James Suckling (June 6th 2015), 92 pts

"The blend of 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Carmenere and 20% Syrah is an expressive array of deep, black fruit and spice. A vein of chocolate sweetens violets petals and the texture and density of the wine is impressive to the finish. Aged in French oak for 14-16 months. A true-blue match with red meat. - Meridith May"

- The Tasting Panel (Publisher's Picks, April 2016), 92 pts

"Rustic aromas of baked berry fruits, black olive, herbs and eucalyptus lead to a forward, fairly tannic palate. An herbal flavor profile includes olive, blackberry, plum and spice notes, while the finish on this Cabernet-led blend tastes peppery and herbal, which is nothing unusual for Chile. Drink through 2020."

- Wine Enthusiast (June 2016), 91 pts

 Wine Enthusiast: 91 92 Points
Ayni Vino de Parcella Gravas 2015

Ayni Vino de Parcella Gravas is 100% Malbec

Ayni Gravas was created show the diversity of wine profiles that can be derived from Paraje Altamira’s terroir. The goal with this particular wine is to show a markedly calcareous profile that derives in a more intense black fruit flavor profile and a chalky tannin structure with great age potential, as opposed to the more feminine and elegant style which is typical from Paraje Altamira wines.

Chakana plans to further develop this wine, increasing its accents through vineyard selection and oak aging. Over time, production can potentially increase to 10,000 bottles (maximum).

Ayni Gravas is produced from smaller plots of a 20 hectare vineyard in Paraje Altamira, Valle de Uco, Mendoza. Paraje Altamira is a Geographical Indication (IG) located on the alluvial cone of the Tunuyan River. The Ayni vineyard has been planted on virgin soils on the upper (south western) side of the cone. The vineyard is crossed by numerous smaller river beds that once formed the river delta, and these create a pattern of different soil depths and gravel formations, imparting very different characteristics on the wine. Ayni Gravas is produced only with the sections of the vineyard where the calcium carbonated gravels come to the surface and the vines grow amongst them with no soil. Only a smaller percentage of the vineyard (approximately 20%) features these conditions.

Pairs well with grilled meats and stews.

Review:


"This limited release from Paraje Altamira is much more mineral than the other Ayni Malbec bottling. It’s a tad austere at the moment, as well as showing more oak, but there’s plenty of structure here, with savoury tannins, dense fruit and a chalky finish. Just needs more time in bottle. 2019-28"
- Tim Atkin (Argentina Special Report 2017), 94 pts

"The grapes for this wine come from Chakana’s Altamira vineyards, a selection of the property’s most stony/gravel soils (shallow). It’s aged in untoasted wooden vats (foudres) for a full year and today is the new brother of Ayni, Chakana’s traditional red. As seen in recent releases from this producer, especially in the last two vintages that we’ve tasted at “Descorchados”, it’s the red fruit, bracing, and with zip that predominates. Rather than make a more ambitious ripe & woody monster, they opted to lengthen it, to make in more linear, more vertical. This is a little stunner from one of the wineries to keep track of today in Mendoza."
- Descorchads 2018, 95 pts

Red-plum, pomegranate and wild-berry aromas make for a potpourri of fruit on the nose of this Malbec from gravelly soils in the Altamira district of the Uco Valley. A tight sinewy palate is structured, while this deals a hardy mix of plum and berry flavors with no interference from oak. A racy tight finish is mildly astringent. This should benefit from more time in the cellar. Drink from 2019–2030. – Wine Enthusiast 92 Points & Top 100 Cellar Selection for 2010

 Wine Enthusiast: 92 95 Points
Alain Jaume Tavel Rose Le Cretace 2016

Alain Jaume Tavel Rose Le Cretace is made from 60% Grenache, 30% Syrah and 10% Mourvedre

Rosé de saignée (bleed technique) with a vibrant ruby color, complex and elegant, notes of crushed strawberries and rose petals.

Review:

"I loved the 2016 Tavel Le Crétacé, and this Grenache dominated beauty offers a big, ripe, even a touch reductive nose of black cherries, mineral water and wild strawberries. Elegant, yet rich and textured, it’s a terrific Rosé well worth drinking over the coming year or so. - Jeb Dunnuck"

- Jeb Dunnuck (2017 Rosé Round Up, September 4th 2017), 91 pts

 

 Wine Advocate: 91
Ron Thorn Shiraz 2014

Deep red with a slight purple hue on release. The wine has a rich mix of dark chocolate infused with coffee bean and black liquorice, then scents of tar, aniseed, raw (pure) soy and black olive on the nose. The palate is expansive, and yet balanced and finessed. An amalgam of dark berried flavors and textural sensations. The 100% new oak is completely absorbed, meshed with ripe tannins, completing a palate of impressive length and youthfulness.

Parcels of fruit for this wine were identified in the vineyard by the winemakers. Daily fruit inspection led to the fruit being harvested at optimum flavor ripeness. The fruit was harvested at night and quickly transported to the winery. The fruit was destemmed to 6T open fermenters for fermentation. A Shiraz specific yeast was selected to ferment the wine and fermentation was carried out at a maximum of 28°C. The fermenter was manually pumped over twice daily in the first half of fermentation to give the winemakers control of color, flavor and tannin extraction. Pump over regimes were adjusted toward the end of fermentation to suit the tannin and flavor extraction of the wine. The cap was completely broken up on each pump over. The wine remained in fermenters for 6-8 days (dependent on parcel) before being pressed, inoculated with malolactic bacteria and filled to American oak (100% new barrels). The wine was racked post malolactic fermentation and returned to the same barrels. The wine was topped every month and after six months racked and returned to the same barrels again. Prior to bottling the parcels were emptied from oak and blended. Minimal fining and filtration was carried out prior to bottling.

 


Review:

Thorn Clarke has taken its Shiraz to a new level with this single-vineyard wine, bottled only in exceptional vintages. The 100% new American oak gives this a classic Barossa profile, starting with vanilla, cedar and maple syrup-like notes and flowing seamlessly through ripe blackberry and plum flavors. It's full bodied, lush and creamy in texture, with a long, velvety finish. Drink now–2025, possibly beyond. - Wine Entusiast 96 Points

 

2012 Vintage:

Voted Best Shiraz in the World at London's International Wine & Spirit Competition 

 

  

Voted Best Shiraz in the World at London's International Wine & Spirit Competition 

 Wine Enthusiast: 96
Levendi Reserve Chardonnay 2015

Brilliant and straw-like in apperance, this wine has notes of lush apple and ripe tropical fruit, such as fresh pineapple. Rich and creamy on the palate this wine finishes with elegance and finesse.

Known for its ideal climate and soil, Napa Valley is home to some of the most celebrated vineyards in the world. Grapes harvested from vineyards located in the Oak Knoll District, Yountville and Oakville make up this stunning Chardonnay. These sustainably-farmed vineyards have given us bountiful and immaculate fruit that captures the rich essence of Napa Valley.


Review:

"Salty brioche and pretzel bread come to mind first on the entry of this wine, both aromatically and on the palate. An intensity of ripe peach and pineapple show through with lush, full-bodied force, accented in vanilla oak."
- Wine Enthusiast (June 2017), 90 pts

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- Wine Spectator (July 2017), 91 pts

 Wine Enthusiast: 90 Wine Spectator: 91
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Marcassin Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2013

Marcassin Sonoma Coast Chardonnay is made from 100 percent Chardonnay. 


The 2013 Chardonnay Marcassin Vineyard may be even better. Notes of caramelized citrus, hazelnut, apple blossom, lemon oil and orange marmalade are all present in this wine of dazzling aromatic and flavor dimension. It is full-bodied, again shows some wet pebbles (which I equate with minerality), vibrant acidity, and no real evidence of any oak. Much like the 2012, the finish goes on for 45+ seconds. This is another killer Chardonnay from Helen Turley and John Wetlaufer. -Wine Advocate 100 Points

What an extraordinary tasting this was at the Marcassin winery just north of Santa Rosa in Sonoma County. Just when you think the duo of Helen Turley and John Wetlaufer can’t make greater wines, they bowl over the taster with an array of exquisite quality that really must be tasted to be believed. Marcassin was probably California’s greatest Chardonnay after the famous Chalone winery fell from the pinnacle and onto hard times in the 1980s (and it has yet to rebound). Moreover, Marcassin set the bar for great Pinot Noir as well. And while both their Chardonnay and Pinot Noir have many competitors these days (from the likes of Harford Court, Mark Aubert, Kistler, Kongsgaard, DuMol, Thomas Brown, Peter Michael, Martinelli and Luc Morlet, to name a few), John Wetlaufer and Helen Turley remain the reigning geniuses of these two varietals in California. Certainly, their meticulous attention to detail in both the vineyard and in the winemaking and élevage account for the quality, but they were among the pioneers who saw the unlimited potential from the Sonoma Coast, now a relatively crowded neighborhood. This was a remarkable tasting that simply blew me away, and I have been following their wines since the first Marcassins were made in the early 1990s. By the way, any doubts about aging potential should be crushed immediately, as even in the most challenging vintages in California, Marcassin Chardonnays and Pinots have aged as well as, if not better than just about any grand cru white Burgundy. For example, 1995 and 1996 Chardonnays, particularly those from the Lorenzo Vineyard, are incredibly youthful and dynamic, and the Marcassin Estate Pinot Noir, even from vintages such as 1998, is simply amazing. The three Chardonnays tasted include two perfect wines. Perhaps the closest comparison is not to anything made in California, but a Corton-Charlemagne in a top vintage from the famous Jean François Coche-Dury.



 Wine Advocate: 100