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Wine from Washington (Columbia Valley)

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Wine from Washington (Columbia Valley)

The Columbia Valley is one of the largest winegrowing regions in the Washington state. At 185 miles wide and 200 miles long, this region is home to 11 million land acres. The winemaking history of Columbia Valley started in the early 1900s. Settlers started wine production when they planted Zinfandel grape on the downward slopes of The Dalles town in Oregon. Since then, wine production has expanded.

Columbia Valley is governed by Continental High Desert Climate. The hot days and cool nights empower grapes’ growth and ripening. Currently, Columbia Valley grows at least ten grape varietals – Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Gris, Semillon, Riesling, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Bland, Gewurztraminer and Syrah.

Columbia Valley is situated on the Columbia River Plateau and near the eastern part of Oregon State, providing an excellent location for wine grape plantation.

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Abeja Merlot Columbia Valley 2017

This one-hundred-percent Merlot has really nice, bright red fruit, rose petals, and a richness on the nose. Flavors of plum, mountain strawberry and mocha come together with a balanced mouth feel and a long finish. Though it was a cooler vintage, I feel we have still captured the powerfully elegant style for which we are known.

Review:

"Moderately saturated bright red-ruby. Sexy aromas of dark raspberry, mocha, red licorice, tobacco, minerals and cocoa nibs reminded me of a Right Bank wine. Plush, ripe and serious, with dusty herbs and spices enlivening the raspberry and plum fruit flavors; more red fruits than black here. Finishes with substantial but ripe well-integrated tannins and slowly building persistence. Not a powerhouse but uncommonly complex and refined for Washington Merlot. And more pliant at this stage than the 2016 was. (a blend of eight sites) - Stephen Tanzer"
- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (December 2019), 92 pts

 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 92
Avennia Gravura Red Blend 2017 (magnum)

Avennia Gravura Red Blend is made from 48% Cabernet Sauvignon, 41% Merlot, 11% Cabernet Franc

Gravura is our ode to the Graves AOC of Bordeaux, emphasizing a harmony of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The name is a play on an artisan printing technique, and on the Bordeaux region of Graves, which features similar blends. Featuring more Merlot and with the addition of Red Mountain fruit, this wine is designed to be more generous and voluptuous in style, while still remaining complex and balanced.

Gravura Tasting Notes: Beautiful nose of red and black fruits, some savory leaf notes, mocha, pencil shavings. The palate is elegant and balanced, almost pretty: raspberry, black and red currants, milk chocolate and caressing tannins. Finish medium-long and ethereal.


Avennia Gravura Red Blend 2018

Avennia Gravura Red Blend is made from 48% Cabernet Sauvignon, 41% Merlot, 11% Cabernet Franc

Gravura is our ode to the Graves AOC of Bordeaux, emphasizing a harmony of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The name is a play on an artisan printing technique, and on the Bordeaux region of Graves, which features similar blends. Featuring more Merlot and with the addition of Red Mountain fruit, this wine is designed to be more generous and voluptuous in style, while still remaining complex and balanced.

Gravura Tasting Notes: Beautiful nose of red and black fruits, some savory leaf notes, mocha, pencil shavings. The palate is elegant and balanced, almost pretty: raspberry, black and red currants, milk chocolate and caressing tannins. Finish medium-long and ethereal.


Avennia Justine Red Blend 2016

Avennia Justine Red Blend 56% Grenache, 31% Mourvèdre, 13% Syrah 

Justine reflects our belief that Washington is capable of producing world class blends of grape varieties traditional to the Southern Rhone region of France. The name is inspired by one of the great heroines of recent literature, who also sprung from the imagination of the Mediterranean. Dark, seductive, complex, with a chasm of depth: The Justine is a great reflection of Avennia's mission of expression, and Washington's generous terroir.

 Tasting Note: Big black cherry, blackberry, hints of orange peel, fresh herbs and loam on the nose. Plush and round on the palate. Dark earthy fruits from the Mourvedre, along with citrus high notes, mountain flowers, jasmine, and savory herbs. Balanced and complex without forgetting its hedonistic roots in the Southern Rhone.

Review:

A blend of 56% Grenache, 31% Mourvèdre, 13% Syrah brought up all in older oak, the 2016 Justine offers a great core of black fruits as well as lots of peppery herbs, earth, and classic meatiness. It looks to be a great vintage for this cuvée."
- Jeb Dunnuck (April 2018), 92-94 pts

 94 Points
Avennia Justine Red Blend 2017

Avennia Justine Red Blend 56% Grenache, 31% Mourvèdre, 13% Syrah 

Justine reflects our belief that Washington is capable of producing world class blends of grape varieties traditional to the Southern Rhone region of France. The name is inspired by one of the great heroines of recent literature, who also sprung from the imagination of the Mediterranean. Dark, seductive, complex, with a chasm of depth: The Justine is a great reflection of Avennia's mission of expression, and Washington's generous terroir.

 Tasting Note: Big black cherry, blackberry, hints of orange peel, fresh herbs and loam on the nose. Plush and round on the palate. Dark earthy fruits from the Mourvedre, along with citrus high notes, mountain flowers, jasmine, and savory herbs. Balanced and complex without forgetting its hedonistic roots in the Southern Rhone.

Review:

"Grenache (61%) is in the lead on this wine, followed by Mourvèdre (23%) and Syrah. Alluring aromas of raspberry, blueberry, thistle, herb, smoked meat and black pepper are followed by lush, achingly pure red and blue fruit flavors, accented by a lovely sense of spicing. It's deft but pure. Smoked meat and black pepper notes linger on the extremely long finish. The balance throughout is impressive—a complete stunner. Best from 2023 to 2030, with good life beyond that. - SEAN P. SULLIVAN"
- Wine Enthusiast (April 2020), 93 pts, Editors' Choice


 Wine Enthusiast: 93
Avennia Red Willow Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

Avennia Red Willow Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon.

The Red Willow Cabernet is a true blockbuster.
Coming from one specific block of 30 year old vines at this iconic vineyard, then strictly barrel selected, this is the essence of powerful, old vine Washington Cabernet. After all of our efforts promoting the idea of the Bordeaux blend, it would take a pretty compelling argument to suspend that idea and make a 100% varietal Cabernet. In 2016 Red Willow provided us with just that. Each time we tasted it in the barrel, the belief grew that this was something special. Something we can't make every year. In the end we were won over, and decided to make a limited amount of this wine. But don't be fooled, as this too is a blend and a selection. Each year as we are tasting the grapes as harvest approaches, we notice that the vines near the bottom of this long, steep west-facing slope, are a little different. The vines at the bottom are in a little richer soil, and get a little more water, so we pick them separately, sometimes even a week or ten days apart, and keep them separate in barrel.



This wine is all from the top of the vineyard, with its lower yield and poorer soils giving more concentration and interest. Then further, nearly every combination of new and used French oak barrels were trialed to find the best blend. It's not enough just to use the four best barrels, but to trial each combination to see how they complement each other. For a wine with this much mass, 100% new French oak was used for the first time at Avennia. It is a wine that needs a little cellaring to start, but should last a very long time.

Review:

Made from 100% Red Willow Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Red Willow is another gem from this great winemaker. Deep purple-colored, with a huge perfume of blackberries, crème de cassis, cedarwood, pencil lead, and graphite, it hits the palate with medium to full-bodied richness and depth, nicely integrated acidity, and building, ripe tannins. Give bottles 3-4 years and it too will cruise for 15-20 years or more.
- Jeb Dunnuck (April 2019), 95 Points

 95 Points
Avennia Red Willow Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 (magnum)

Avennia Red Willow Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon.

The Red Willow Cabernet is a true blockbuster.
Coming from one specific block of 30 year old vines at this iconic vineyard, then strictly barrel selected, this is the essence of powerful, old vine Washington Cabernet. After all of our efforts promoting the idea of the Bordeaux blend, it would take a pretty compelling argument to suspend that idea and make a 100% varietal Cabernet. In 2016 Red Willow provided us with just that. Each time we tasted it in the barrel, the belief grew that this was something special. Something we can't make every year. In the end we were won over, and decided to make a limited amount of this wine. But don't be fooled, as this too is a blend and a selection. Each year as we are tasting the grapes as harvest approaches, we notice that the vines near the bottom of this long, steep west-facing slope, are a little different. The vines at the bottom are in a little richer soil, and get a little more water, so we pick them separately, sometimes even a week or ten days apart, and keep them separate in barrel.



This wine is all from the top of the vineyard, with its lower yield and poorer soils giving more concentration and interest. Then further, nearly every combination of new and used French oak barrels were trialed to find the best blend. It's not enough just to use the four best barrels, but to trial each combination to see how they complement each other. For a wine with this much mass, 100% new French oak was used for the first time at Avennia. It is a wine that needs a little cellaring to start, but should last a very long time.

Review:

"The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Red Willow Vineyard is 100% Red Willow Cabernet Sauvignon that will spend roughly 20 months in close to 100% new French oak. Blackcurrants, smoked herbs, chocolate, and graphite notes all give way to a full-bodied, plump, rich, concentrated effort that's going to be better with short-term cellaring and keep for two decades."
- Jeb Dunnuck (April 2018), 94-96 pts

Avennia Sestina Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 (magnum)

Each magnum is signed by the winemaker! 

Avennia Sestina Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc.

The story of this wine - The Sestina is an ancient form of poetry from Medieval France. Just as a modern poet can fill this form with new expressions, Avennia uses the traditional Bordeaux blend to express Washington. Sestina is their vision for an old vine, complex blend where all of the components complement each other. This wine is designed for the cellar, so the emphasis is on structure, balance, and complexity.


Winemaker Tasting Notes - “Good deep ruby/garnet color, with aromas of black cherry, fresh black currant, dark mocha, cigar box, and graphite. The palate is lively and dense with mountain berries, mocha, vanilla honey, damp earth, and wildflowers. The finish shows a distinct chalky minerality and beautiful tension. This is a classically balanced and ageworthy Sestina. Drink 2025-2040.” - Chris Peterson, Winemaker

Review:

"The Cabernet Sauvignon-dominated release from Peterson, the 2017 Sestina comes from the Red Willow, Bacchus, and Dionysus vineyards. Rocking levels of crème de cassis, sappy herbs, violets, and cedar pencil all flow to a full-bodied, incredibly pure, polished 2017 that offers flawless balance, ripe tannins, and a great, great finish. It's more approachable than normal yet is still going to evolve for 15 to 20 years. The blend is 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot, and the rest Cabernet Franc, all raised 20 months in 50% new French oak."

- Jeb Dunnuck (April 2020), 95 pts

 95 Points
Avennia Valery Red Blend 2016

Avennia Valery Red Blend is made from 86% Merlot and 14% Cabernet Franc

Valery is named for the patron saint of wine in the St. Emilion region that inspired it.
We started with old vine Merlot from a stony block in the heart of the Yakima Valley and added complex, aromatic Cabernet Franc from the Horse Heaven Hills. The result is a balanced, complex wine with the elegance and ethereal perfume that this blend of two of Washington’s best varietals are known for.

The nose on this wine is very perfumed, almost exotic with notes of fresh violets, red plum, winter mint, fresh herbs and crushed limestone qualities. The palate is poised and balanced, with red fruits and mocha powder encapsulated in limestone. The finish lingers delicately, with the Cabernet Franc asserting a light tobacco and herb note, giving depth. A compelling wine that will continue to unwind for 7-10 years in the cellar.


Review:

"Brought up in 30% new French oak, the 2016 Valery (70/30 Merlot and Cabernet Franc) offers more black cherry and earthy, herbal notes as well as a medium-bodied, seamless, beautifully balanced style. It too shows a vibrant, fresh, yet concentrated style that has a Bordeaux feel in its weight and texture."
- Jeb Dunnuck (April 2019), 93 pts

"Good medium-dark red. Aromas of blueberry, mocha, licorice and violet are a bit darker than those of the 2015 version. Dense and penetrating, with wild flavors of dark berries, licorice and game given lift by rocky minerality and a minty nuance. Chris Peterson slightly acidified his Cabernet Franc from Champoux Vineyard, which he added to the wine for richness. This beauty may yet tighten up in the bottle.- Stephen Tanzer"
- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (November 2018), 92+ pts

 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 92 93 Points
Avennia Valery Red Blend 2018

Avennia Valery Red Blend is made from 86% Merlot and 14% Cabernet Franc

Valery is named for the patron saint of wine in the St. Emilion region that inspired it.
We started with old vine Merlot from a stony block in the heart of the Yakima Valley and added complex, aromatic Cabernet Franc from the Horse Heaven Hills. The result is a balanced, complex wine with the elegance and ethereal perfume that this blend of two of Washington’s best varietals are known for.

The nose on this wine is very perfumed, almost exotic with notes of fresh violets, red plum, winter mint, fresh herbs and crushed limestone qualities. The palate is poised and balanced, with red fruits and mocha powder encapsulated in limestone. The finish lingers delicately, with the Cabernet Franc asserting a light tobacco and herb note, giving depth. A compelling wine that will continue to unwind for 7-10 years in the cellar.


Review:

The Merlot-dominated 2018 Valery (there's 11% Cabernet Franc) comes from two great vineyards, Boushey and Champoux, and spent 20 months in 28% new French oak. Deep ruby/plum-hued, with a great nose of black cherries, plums, dried herbs, and violets, it hits the palate with medium to full-bodied richness, a round, expansive texture, soft tannins, and a great finish. This ripe, plump, sexy Merlot has loads of character and will keep for a decade. It has a certain Pomerol-like elegance, and I’m a fan.

Jeb Dunnuck 94 Points


 94 Points
Betz Family Besoleil 2015

Blending Detail:

  • 49 % Grenache
  • 20% Syrah
  • 16% Cinsault
  • 9% Mourvêdre
  • 6% Counoise

Grenache speaks loudly in the Bésoleil with notes of pomegranate, red raspberry, and strawberry leaf. The Counoise and Cinsualt bring bing cherry fruit and blueberry notes to the table, complicated by pepper and garrique. Mourvedre donates a wild meatiness to the blend, and a purple hue. Syrah rounds things out, adding texture, and flesh to the palate.

Review:

The first vintage where they’ve pushed the bottling back to give the cuvee 16-18 months in barrel, the 2015 Besoleil is a dead ringer for a high-quality Chateauneuf du Pape and offers perfumed notes of herbes de Provence, kirsch, licorice and sweet spice. It’s medium to full-bodied, textured and fruit-forward, with a hedonistic yet elegant profile that’s going to evolve gracefully. 
Robert Parker 91-93 Points



 Wine Advocate: 93
Betz Family Besoleil 2016

Betz Family Besoleil is made from 55% Grenache, 23% Mourvèdre, 11% Syrah and the rest Cinsault,

Grenache speaks loudly in the Bésoleil with notes of pomegranate, red raspberry, and strawberry leaf. The Counoise and Cinsualt bring bing cherry fruit and blueberry notes to the table, complicated by pepper and garrique. Mourvedre donates a wild meatiness to the blend, and a purple hue. Syrah rounds things out, adding texture, and flesh to the palate.

Review:

"Attractively complex aromas of cherries, kirsch, white pepper, spice, potpourri and licorice, it's medium to full-bodied, sappy and succulent, with velvety structuring tannins and bright acids." 94 pts - Robert Parkers Wine Advocate 

"Bright raspberry and red-plum fruits with attractive depth and freshness. This has all you want in a Rhône-style blend. Good depth of flavor and focused structure." 93 pts - James Suckling

"Moving more and more from Olsen Vineyard, which is 20 miles northwest of Red Mountain (where they love working with the grower, who is proactive and responsive), the medium ruby/purple-colored 2016 Besoleil is 55% Grenache, 23% Mourvèdre, 11% Syrah and the rest Cinsault, all aged in a mix of neutral barrels. It offers beautiful notes of red plums, blueberries, white and black pepper and herbs de Provence, medium to full-bodied richness, a silky, elegant style, and integrated acidity. It's another beautiful vintage of this wine that will keep for a decade."  92 pts. - Jeb Dunnuck

 Wine Spectator: 94 93 Points
Betz Family Cabernet Sauvignon Pere de Famille 2017

Betz Family Cabernet Sauvignon Pere de Famille 2017 is 90% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest is Petit Verdot and Merlot.

This initial question raised by this vintage of Pere de Famille is how this wine, with such a depth of color, aromatic complexity and balance of the Old World. The answer isn’t precise, but is a reflection of a remarkable Columbia Valley vintage, plus small changes in maturation and the varietal concentration of the final blend. Its inky purple color, muscular structure and plush texture all point to its New World origins. But the aromas of pure, layered black fruits, graphite, crushed rock and lavender (think St. Julien?) lead me back to the Old World. The 2012 Père de Famille has the highest level (90%) of Cabernet Sauvignon that we’ve ever used in this wine. Add to that the high concentration of Red Mountain grapes (84%), deep and structured, and it yields a wine as generous as any Cabernet we’ve made. It showed such density in barrel that we added three months barrel aging to resolve the tannins and body. It’s weighty and yet balanced, fleshy yet fine grained, powerful yet polished. And unabashedly Cabernet Sauvignon, with its black currants, anise/thyme, savory mouth feel and dusty finish. Its dimension and precision indicate long aging ability, but you might be tempted far earlier.

Review:

Medium ruby. Vibrant aromas of black fruits, violet and pepper. Densely packed and plush but also sharply delineated, with the intense black fruit and saline mineral flavors boasting terrific inner-mouth perfume; there's also an exhilarating element of wildness here. As sappy as this powerful, gripping Cabernet is, it also hints at an almost candied sweetness. (Winemaker Skinner feels that the vinification in concrete was conducive for rounding out the structure of the Red Mountain fruit in this vintage and added that the year of aging in neutral oak helped the wine's texture and allowed its fruit to come through.) Spreads out horizontally to saturate the palate on the back end, finishing with broad, dusty tannins. This wine too is plusher and more concentrated than the 2016 version. (13.8% alcohol; two-thirds fermented in concrete; aging began in 75% new oak but the wine was moved into neutral barriques for a final 12 months)

- Stephen Tanzer 95 Points


A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot and Merlot, the 2017 Pere de Famille has a rich nose of black fruit and a structured, chewy core. Medium-bodied and dense on the palate, the wine shows an impeccable balance and steadily growing tannins on the back of the mid-palate. Soft purple flowers evolve with the robust expression while still in the mouth, and the finish is bold and precise—the flavors persist with great complexity long after the wine has left the mouth. This is an age-worthy wine with 13.8% alcohol and nice balance. 1,100 cases of this simply stunning wine were made. It's a delicious wine, and I highly recommend it.

-Wine Advocate 95 Points




 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 95 Wine Advocate: 95
Betz Family Clos de Betz 2013

Betz Family Clos de Betz is 67 % Merlot, 27% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petit Verdot

SALE!
Washington southern Rhone varieties continue their winning streak, proving to excel in cool and hot vintages. Fans of this
Southern Rhone-inspired wine will note that there’s no Counoise in the 2012 blend as there has been in recent vintages; that variety ripened fine, but they lacked the penetrating character needed to complement the final wine. The Mourvedre fraction (15%) stepped through in the wine, making the 2012 deeper, more structured yet finely layered. Grenache (50%) still dominates the blend, with its creamy black raspberry, wild dried strawberry, dried herbs and floral notes. Cinsault (20%) fills in with its dusty blue notes, and Yakima Valley Syrah (15%) provides more backbone. This is a Bésoleil for the cellar, dense and full, and a few years of aging will expand its Chateauneuf-like appeal.

"The only other 2013 reviewed on this go around (most were reviewed last year), the 2013 Clos de Betz checks in as a blend of 63% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon and 22% Petit Verdot, mostly from Red Mountain and Yakima Valley, that spent 19 months in French oak. Sexy, supple, perfumed and beautifully complex, with notes of currants, dried flowers and an almost garrigue like perfume, this full-bodied beauty is already impossible to resist, yet will absolutely cruise for another 10-15 years. - Jeb Dunnuck"
- Wine Advocate (Issue #225, June 2016), 94 pts

 Wine Advocate: 94
Betz Family Clos de Betz 2015

Betz Family Clos de Betz is 67 % Merlot, 27% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petit Verdot

Washington southern Rhone varieties continue their winning streak, proving to excel in cool and hot vintages. Fans of thisSouthern Rhone-inspired wine will note that there’s no Counoise in the 2012 blend as there has been in recent vintages; that variety ripened fine, but they lacked the penetrating character needed to complement the final wine. The Mourvedre fraction (15%) stepped through in the wine, making the 2012 deeper, more structured yet finely layered. Grenache (50%) still dominates the blend, with its creamy black raspberry, wild dried strawberry, dried herbs and floral notes. Cinsault (20%) fills in with its dusty blue notes, and Yakima Valley Syrah (15%) provides more backbone. This is a Bésoleil for the cellar, dense and full, and a few years of aging will expand its Chateauneuf-like appeal.



Review:

The 2015 Clos de Betz is a blend of 75% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Petit Verdot. Offering up aromas of blackcurrants, crème de cassis, licorice, incense and rich soil tones, it's full-bodied, layered and velvety, with super concentration and depth, fine-grained structuring tannins and a long, youthfully chewy finish. The structural refinement and detail are indicative of Betz's thoughtful approach to the challenges of the 2015 vintage.

-Wine Advocate 95 Points

 Wine Advocate: 95
Betz Family Clos de Betz 2017

Betz Family Clos de Betz is 67 % Merlot, 27% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petit Verdot

Washington southern Rhone varieties continue their winning streak, proving to excel in cool and hot vintages. Fans of thisSouthern Rhone-inspired wine will note that there’s no Counoise in the 2012 blend as there has been in recent vintages; that variety ripened fine, but they lacked the penetrating character needed to complement the final wine. The Mourvedre fraction (15%) stepped through in the wine, making the 2012 deeper, more structured yet finely layered. Grenache (50%) still dominates the blend, with its creamy black raspberry, wild dried strawberry, dried herbs and floral notes. Cinsault (20%) fills in with its dusty blue notes, and Yakima Valley Syrah (15%) provides more backbone. This is a Bésoleil for the cellar, dense and full, and a few years of aging will expand its Chateauneuf-like appeal.



Review:

Full, dark ruby-red. Black fruit and licorice aromas are complicated by a mineral element. Wonderfully sappy, concentrated and ripe, with well-delineated Merlot-dominated flavors of black fruits, licorice and bitter chocolate conveying sexy sweetness. Finishes with plush tannins and excellent length. A superb vintage for this wine, clearly more concentrated and ripe than the 2016. Winemaker Skinner told me that the Petit Verdot element from Olsen vineyard is somewhat Pinot-like and actually softens this wine's tannins. And he noted that the cool late-season temperatures in 2017 allowed for easy picking. (aged until June of '18 in 60% new oak before being moved to neutral barrels for nearly another year of aging)

- Stephen Tanzer 93 Points


A blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot, the 2017 Clos de Betz has a vibrant expression on the nose, with plush, generous fruit aromas and an underlying brooding tightness. Full-bodied on the palate, the fleshy, plump fruit tones deliver a velvety lushness over the mid-palate, then the wine becomes more dusty and rigid on the finish, ending with oak spices that linger. I will revisit this swine in 36 months, as I suspect it will show better at a later date. This will easily last a decade and more. 750 cases produced.

-Wine Advocate 94 Points


 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 93 Wine Advocate: 94
Long Shadows Chester Kidder 2017

Long Shadows Chester Kidder is made from 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Syrah and 15% Petit Verdot

Allen Shoup named this wine in honor of his mother, Elizabeth Chester, and his grandmother, Maggie Kidder. He selected Long Shadows' director of winemaking and viticulture, Gilles Nicault, to craft this New World blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and other classic Bordeaux varieties.

Select Cabernet Sauvignon lots underwent an extended maceration of 40 days to produce supple yet firm tannins that stand up to 30 months of barrel aging in tight-grained French oak barrels (85% new).  The extra time in barrel helped to integrate the fruit, enhance the mid-palate with an extra layer of complexity, and provide an appealing earthiness to the finish.

Deep and dark in color with an intensely aromatic profile of blackberry jam, sweet spice, dark chocolate and hints of earth.  Dark cherry and subtle oak flavors integrate nicely to create an enticing layer that adds complexity and depth.  Its firm structure, yet refined texture, balances well with a vibrancy that extends throughout a lengthy finish.


Review:

"Brooding aromas of cassis, blackberry, licorice, espresso and violet, plus a whiff of iodiney minerality. Dense, sweet and deep, conveying a youthful medicinal quality to its dark fruit, menthol, licorice and mineral flavors. This seriously mouthfilling wine shows very good mineral energy and finishes with substantial tongue-coating tannins. - Stephen Tanzer." - Antonio Galloni's Vinous (December 2020), 92+ pts

 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 92
Long Shadows Feather Cabernet Sauvignon 2017

Long Shadows Feather Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 100 percent Washington State Cabernet. 

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:

I always love this wine, and the 2017 Feather is no exception. Made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon and brought up in 88% new French oak, it has loads of black fruits, dark chocolate, graphite, and charcoal aromatics as well as a full-bodied, concentrated, backward style on the palate. It's terrific, but don't open bottles for at least another 3-4 years. -Jeb Dunnuck 95 Points


 



 95 Points
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 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 (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 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:

"The 2015 Pedestal Merlot from Long Shadows is a blend of 75% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 10% Petit Verdot aged 22 months in 85% new French oak barrels. Crème de cassis, wood smoke, scorched earth, and graphite characteristics all emerge from this rich, full-bodied, voluptuous beauty that has more mid-palate depth and richness than any other Merlot made in the state. With ample tannin, it will benefit from a year or three and keep for 15. It's a gorgeous wine."
- Jeb Dunnuck (April 2018), 96 pts

Number 83 in Wine Enthusiast Top 100 Wines of 2018


 96 Points
Long Shadows Pedestal Merlot 2016 (magnum)

Long Shadows Pedestal Merlot 2016 is made from 75% Merlot, 21% Cabernet Sauvignon, and the rest Petit Verdot.

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 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:


"The 2016 Pedestal from Michel Rolland checks in as a blend of 75% Merlot, 21% Cabernet Sauvignon, and the rest Petit Verdot that spent 22 months in 85% new French oak. It has a rocking bouquet of smoked black fruits, espresso, chocolate, and tobacco that gives way to a full-bodied, plump, incredibly sexy red that does everything right. It's one serious mouthful of Merlot and should keep for 10-12 years." - Jeb Dunnuck (April 2019), 95 pts



"The 2016 Pedestal Merlot has a precise nose of dusty plum, red flowers and soft oak tones with an elegant aroma of pencil lead fluttering about. The medium to full-bodied palate is clean and correct, with plush dark red fruit, dusty tannins, purple flowers and soft oak spices of vanilla, cardamom and nutmeg. The wine ends with a long, thoughtful, well-balanced finish that delivers complexity and pleasure simultaneously. Michel Rolland made this beauty of a bottle. - Anthony Mueller"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #246, December 2019), 94 pts 


 95 Points
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