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Long shadows, Walla Walla (Oct 2022)

Long Shadows was voted the "Best Wine Tasting Room in the Country" by USA today. The winery, and essentially project, is the brainchild of the late Allen Shoup, who passed on Nov 7, 2022. Shoup was the CEO of Chateau Ste Michelle, and influenced the designation of the Columbia Valley American Viticultural Area (AVA) in 1984.

After Shoup retired from Ste. Michelle in 2000, he connected with Gilles Nicault (a French native, at the time winemaker for Woodward Canyon, Walla Walla). With Gilles as director, Allen recruited: Randy Dunn (Napa, Feather Cabernet Sauvignon), John Duval (Australia, Sequel Syrah), Philippe Melka and Agustin Huneeus, Sr. (Napa, Pirouette Red Wine), Michel Rolland (France, Pedestal Merlot), Armin Diel (Germany, Poet’s Leap Riesling), and father-and-son winemakers Ambrogio and Giovanni Folonari (Italy, Saggi Red Wine).

The tasting room is spacious, and displays Chihuly artwork generously to create a warm tasting atmosphere amongst the concrete and stone slabs.

2019 Saggi

52% Sangiovese 32% Cabernet Sauvignon 16% Syrah

"Inspired by the great wines of Tuscany and father-son winemaking team Ambrogio and Giovanni Folonari, winemaker Gilles Nicault crafts Saggi in the style of its original winemakers.

Dark and vibrant in the glass with red cherry and sweet, spice aromas. Ripe, wild strawberry, and a hint of white pepper add layered complexity across a lively, balanced mouthfeel. A pleasant richness on the mid-palate leads to a soft and lengthy finish.

Like previous vintages, the 2019 Saggi is a blend of two top Washington state Sangiovese vineyards, both planted in 1998 on sites with well-draining soils, important to managing Sangiovese’s vine vigor and berry size. Candy Mountain is a warm vineyard that delivers Sangiovese grapes with ripe, black currant aromas and flavors. Boushey Vineyard Sangiovese, grown in the Yakima Valley, is a cooler site that brings vibrancy and balanced acidity to the blend. Cabernet Sauvignon from the Horse Heaven Hills offers silky, refined tannins. Den Hoed’s Grandview Vineyard Syrah adds dark color and liveliness."

Price $65

Rating 4.2

2018 Pedestal

82% Merlot 14% Cabernet Sauvignon 4% Malbec

"Michel Rolland, Pomerol vintner and consultant to many of the world’s top wineries, provides the vision for this limited release wine.

A concentrated and layered wine offering dark fruit aromas with a hint of tobacco. The mouthfeel is opulent, with luscious wild blackberry and chocolate-covered black cherry woven around an appealing note of spicy clove. Beautifully complex, the flavors and weight of the wine combine to leave a rich, satisfying finish.

Like previous vintages, the 2018 Pedestal Merlot was predominately grown on the Wahluke Slope, a warm area of the Columbia Valley that produces Merlot with layers of fresh, dark fruit and beautiful aromatics. A small amount of Merlot from Dionysus Vineyard helped build layers and complexity. Red Mountain’s Tapteil Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon added backbone. Malbec from Sonnet Vineyard contributed concentration and pretty violet aromatics."

Price $65

Rating 4.2

2018 Pirouette

68% Cabernet Sauvignon 22% Merlot 10% Petit Verdot

"Philippe Melka, named one of the top nine winemakers in the world by Robert Parker, used small lots from Washington State's finest vineyards to craft this enticing red blend.

The 2018 Pirouette is an expressive wine that opens slowly to reveal oak spice and a kaleidoscope of red and black fruit aromas and flavors that become more vivid as the wine develops in the glass. Textured and richly concentrated on the palate, the wine’s voluptuous mouthfeel and refined tannins stretch across a long, satisfying finish.

Cabernet Sauvignon sourced from a collection of Red Mountain’s best vineyards gives Pirouette the structure and textured richness that has come to characterize this acclaimed growing region. Stone Tree Vineyard Merlot, grown on a rocky, south-facing hillside on the Wahluke Slope and managed for low yields, brings concentrated fruit flavors to the wine, notably black cherry. Finally, Dionysus Vineyard’s Petit Verdot enhances the Pirouette’s color and builds layers of intense aromas and flavors in the finished wine."

Price $65

Rating 4.5

2019 Feather

100% Cabernet Sauvignon

"Napa Valley vintner, Randy Dunn, whose reputation for producing world-class Cabernet Sauvignon spans more than four decades, brings his artistry and expertise to Washington State.

Dark and concentrated in color with depth that’s consistent with its intense flavor profile and texture. A generous wine that offers ripe black fruit character, notes of fresh plums and a hint of dried herbs. The mouthfeel has structure and richness that mingles with elegant tannins to create a complex, fully integrated impression. Drinking beautifully in its youth, this wine also has enough tannin and bright fruit to benefit from a long life in the cellar.

The 2019 Feather combines three distinct Washington state Cabernet Sauvignon growing regions to create a complex, layered wine. Weinbau (Wahluke Slope) and Dionysus (White Bluffs) vineyards comprise the majority of the finished blend. Weinbau gives the wine structure, and Dionysus lends a lush, dark character. The remaining quarter of the blend is from a handful of top Horse Heaven Hills vineyards selected for refined, silky tannins and appealing earthiness."

Price $75

Rating 4.2

2018 Chester-Kidder

64% Cabernet Sauvignon 28% Syrah 8% 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, Gilles Nicault, to craft this New World blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and other classic Bordeaux varieties.

A beautifully dark and concentrated wine with gorgeous aromatics. The mouthfeel is soft and lush on entry with sweet spice that becomes rich on the wine’s mid-palate. Fresh fig and ripe plum flavors are interwoven with notes of graphite and an alluring earthiness. A structured, solid wine with a silky, textured mouthfeel and a flavorful, vibrant finish.

Summit View Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon from the Walla Walla Valley brings classic Cabernet aromas, flavors, and a textured mouthfeel to this rich, multi-layered wine. Candy Mountain Syrah adds structure and layers of sweet spice. Dionysus Vineyard Petit Verdot completes the blend by adding balanced acidity and dark fruit character that lifts the finished wine."

Price $65

Rating 3.9

2018 Sequel

100% Syrah

"After 16 years as winemaker of Australia's iconic Penfolds Grange, John Duval came to the Columbia Valley in 2003 as the "Sequel" to his life's work with Syrah.

An expressive wine showing wonderful varietal character. Dark and inky in color with layered aromas and flavors of wild blackberries, crushed rock, currants, charcuterie and oak spice. Sporting a rich mid-palate with appealing viscosity, the wine’s balanced acidity creates a vibrant impression that carries throughout a lovely, violet-imbued finish.

Three distinct Columbia Valley growing regions, each comprising roughly one-third of the blend, create a complex, multi-layered wine. Yakima Valley’s Boushey Vineyard is a moderately cool site, notable for the bright, elegant character of Syrah grown here. Bacchus Vineyard Syrah from Block 5A, planted in 1994, brings intense color and aromatics. Red Mountain Syrah gives the wine its impressive structure and backbone."

Price $60

Rating 4.1

Long Shadows produces an amazing portfolio, with the interesting concept of recruiting a variety of winemakers to showcase a variety of styles. There is something for everybody, and each option is solid.


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