Posts tagged ‘Long Shadows’

Cliffs Wine Picks – December 2016 Vol 1

 

2013 Michael Caitlin Pinot Noir Sta. Rita Hills

2002 Torbreck Descendant

Charles & Alphrede (Ch. & A.) Prieur Champagne Grand Prieur Reserve Brut

2009 Jean Edwards Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Seventy Four – Forty One Napa Valley

2011 Mueller Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Stars & Goats

2008 Long Shadows Wineries Chester-Kidder

 

 

 

2013 Michael Caitlin Pinot Noir Sta. Rita Hills – $20.00

This wine has a SRP of $55.  This wine was purchased from Last Bottle Wines.  Information on the site how to get a $10 credit on your first order is below.

 

This vintage was sourced from Radian Vineyard, which is the furthest South West vineyard in Sta. Rita Hills.

 

The wine is a light ruby red color.  The inviting nose has cherries, white pepper, roasted herbs, dry earth, cranberries, raspberries and wild flowers.  This has medium body with soft to moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate cherries, white pepper and dry earth quickly grab your attention with roasted herbs and cranberries coming in on the back end.  The finish has nice length with a pleasing floral note providing some depth.  This is a nicely balanced, lighter bodied Pinot.  This has 14.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (90 pts)

2013 Michael Caitlin Pinot Noir Sta. Rita Hills

2013 Michael Caitlin Pinot Noir Sta. Rita Hills

 

 

2002 Torbreck Descendant – $59.01

This wine was purchased from Last Bottle Wines.  Information on the site how to get a $10 credit on your first order is below.

 

This is a blend of 92% Shiraz and 8% co-fermented Viognier.  This is essentially an unoaked (18 months in 2 year old barrels) version of the winery’s RunRig which sells for over $200 a bottle.

 

The wine is a deep ruby to purple color.  The entrancing nose has blackberries, graphite, licorice, violets, apricot, white pepper and a hint of roasted meat.  This has medium to full body with moderate to sold ripe tannins and good acidity.  On the palate crushed berries, graphite and white pepper pops out on the front end with licorice and violets coming in later.  The long, lingering finish adds a touch or roasted meat and apricot.  This is a powerful wine full of flavor but with perfect balance.  This tastes great today but I’m in no hurry to open my remaining bottles, this will last at least through the end of the decade.  One of the better wines I’ve had this year.  This has 14.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (95 pts)

2002 Torbreck Descendant

2002 Torbreck Descendant

 

 

Charles & Alphrede (Ch. & A.) Prieur Champagne Grand Prieur Reserve Brut – $28.91

This wine was purchased from Last Bottle Wines.  Information on the site how to get a $10 credit on your first order is below.

 

This is a blend of 45% Chardonnay, 30% Pinot Noir and 25% Pinot Meunier (including 30% of reserve wine).  This was aged for at least 3 years before disgorgement and at least 3 months afterwards.

 

The wine is a light yellow-straw color with several streams of pinpoint sized bubbles.  The enticing nose has apples, lemon zest, stony minerals, yeasty bread and light nuttiness.  This is crisp and dry on the palate with nice effervescence.  On the palate tart apples, minerals and lemon zest grab your attention immediately with yeast bread coming in later.  The lingering finish add a nutty note.  This is a very nice bottle of Champagne that is perfect of any day of the week but it will not be out of place at a special occasion.  This has 12.0% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a standard Champagne cork.  (92 pts)

Charles & Alphrede (Ch. & A.) Prieur Champagne Grand Prieur Reserve Brut

Charles & Alphrede (Ch. & A.) Prieur Champagne Grand Prieur Reserve Brut

 

 

2009 Jean Edwards Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Seventy Four – Forty One Napa Valley – SRP $65

This is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from valley floor and mountain vineyards.

 

The wine is a deep purple color.  The mesmerizing nose is full of cassis, dusty minerals, cigar box, dried violets, warm baking spices, dried leafy herbs, black cherries, dark chocolate and scorched earth.  This has medium to full body with moderate to solid tannins and very good acidity.  Cassis, cedar, dusty minerals and warm baking spices quickly engulf your palate, grudgingly allowing dried herbs, black cherry and dark chocolate to slip in on the back end.  The long, lingering finish adds scorched earth and a nice floral note.  This is outstanding today with some air but additional cellar time will be well rewarded.  A top notch Napa Cabernet.  This has 14.4% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (95 pts)

2009 Jean Edwards Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Seventy Four - Forty One Napa Valley

2009 Jean Edwards Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Seventy Four – Forty One Napa Valley

 

 

2011 Mueller Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Stars & Goats – $29.12

This wine has a SRP of $40.  This wine was purchased from Last Bottle Wines.  Information on the site how to get a $10 credit on your first order is below.

 

This wine is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from the winery’s Diamond Mountain vineyard.

 

The wine is a deep maroon color.  The very appealing nose has cassis, roasted leafy herbs, baking spices, tobacco, licorice, cedar, crushed stone minerals, white pepper and dried violets.  This has medium body with moderate tannins and good acidity.  On the palate cassis, baking spices and minerals jump out on the front end with roasted herbs and tobacco coming in later.  The lingering finish adds cedar, white pepper and a nice dried floral note.  This isn’t a powerhouse, but it has great balance and is a big success for the vintage.  (91 pts)

2011 Mueller Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Stars & Goats

2011 Mueller Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Stars & Goats

 

 

2008 Long Shadows Wineries Chester-Kidder – $28.49

This wine is a blend of 61% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Syrah, 6% Petit Verdot and 4% Cabernet Franc.  The grapes for this vintage come from several vineyards.  40% of the grapes are Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah from Candy Mountain which is just above Red Mountain.  The rest of the Cabernet Sauvignon is from three different Walla Walla vineyards that were selected to add mouth-feel and dimension to the wine.  The Petit Verdot comes from Stone Tree Vineyard on the Wahluke Slope and the Cabernet Franc is from Weinbau Vineyard on the Wahluke Slope.

 

The wine is a dark purple color.  The intriguing nose has cassis, blackberries, dark chocolate, dried herbs, black peppercorns, black cherries, dusty minerals, scorched earth, cedar and vanilla bean.  This has medium to full body with moderate ripe tannins and good acidity.  Cassis, berries, minerals and cedar coat the palate on the front end with black cherries, dark chocolate and vanilla bean coming in later.  The finish has good length with dried herbs and black peppercorns providing nice depth.  This nicely balanced wine is in a good place today but will hold easily through the end of the decade.  This has 14.7% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (92 pts)

2008 Long Shadows Wineries Chester-Kidder

2008 Long Shadows Wineries Chester-Kidder

 

 

 

last-bottle

 

 

I am a big fan of the “Flash Wine Sale” site Last Bottle.  The site is becoming my go-to site for both everyday wines and wines for special occasions.  You probably noticed some of the wines in this post were purchased from the site.  All of these wines were purchased at a big discount.  I highly recommend getting on their e-mail list.  Like most of the flash sale sites, they offer one wine per day until it sells out.  They also have a couple two-day marathons during the year.  Last Bottle is a great site to buy special wines at prices low enough to open any day of the week.

 

If you sign up using this link you will get a $10 credit that can be used on your first purchase.  I will also get a credit if you make a purchase.

 

Other than getting a credit as explained above, I have no financial interest in the site.  After you are on the list, you can also get the same credit by introducing friends to Last Bottle.

 

 

 

Connect with me

You can follow me on Twitter for more wine info, potential food pairings, and an occasional recipe or two.  Be warned, I’m also a sports fan and there are occasional Pittsburgh Penguins, Steelers, and Pirates tweets.  I attended the University of South Carolina, so during football season, there will also be some Gamecock posts.

 

I post a lot more pictures and pairing suggestions on my Instagram account, consider joining me at https://www.instagram.com/cbbrown3/

 

If you like this post, consider joining Cliffs Wine Picks Wine Blog on Facebook and giving me a Like.

 

Cheers!

 

 

This is original to CliffsWinePicks.com.  Copyright 2016 Cliff’s Wine Picks.

All rights reserved.

 

 

 

***** Shameless Self Promotion *****

 

Here is a link to a YouTube video of me getting “coal” from Santa for being named the “Nicest Person in Social Media” in 2012.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOvQTeGR3-c

 

 

 

Breaking news from Klout:

Klout

 

 

Cliff’s Wine Picks mentions or other posts

Here are posts, newsletters, blogs or other articles that either mention this site or that I have written:

 

Click here or on the “Cliff’s Wine Picks On Other Sites” link in the top right corner to see links to other sites that either have my reviews, my thoughts or other posts I have written.

 

 

 

Remember to support your local wine store!

 

 

 

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

 

Notes – I use the “official” Cellar Tracker name for the wines.  I use Cellar Tracker to help manage and organize my cellar.  I highly recommend checking it out at www.cellartracker.com.  Loading you existing cellar is a lot less intimidating than it would first appear.  There is a good chance 99% of your wine is already in the system, so you generally only need to enter part of the wine’s name and the system will find it for you.

 

 

Prices noted are the prices I paid at the time of purchase.  I don’t shop around to find the best prices, but always check out the sale and close out items when in a store.  Wines purchased direct from a winery do not include any shipping charges.  None of the prices include the sales tax.

 

 

All wines that were sent to me free of charge to sample will be noted and I will show suggested prices when available.

 

 

 

Cheers!

Wine of the Week – 2009 Long Shadows Wineries Syrah Sequel

 

Each week I pick out one wine to highlight as my wine of the week.  This wine may be an outstanding wine, a great value or just something very interesting.

 

 

Long Shadows logo

 

Overview

When the local wine store acquired a relatively small number of bottles of several Long Shadows wines a few weeks ago and offered them at close out prices via their e-mail list, I had to jump in.  I bought a few bottles of three of the wines.  After having this bottle and a bottle of their 2008 Chester-Kidder a few weeks ago, I realized I really screwed up.  I should have bought more, a lot more.

 

 

The Winery

Named for the “long shadows” cast by the industry luminaries who travel to Washington to make wine here and shed light on the Columbia Valley’s world-class vineyards.

 

Long Shadows brings seven highly acclaimed vintners from the major wine regions of the world to Washington State, each an owner-partner in a unique winery dedicated to producing Columbia Valley wines that showcase the best of this growing region.

 

Founded in 2003, Long Shadows is the brainchild of Washington wine luminary Allen Shoup.  As president and CEO of Chateau Ste. Michelle and its affiliated wineries, Allen spent 20 years building the reputation of the growing region, in part by forging winemaking partnerships that brought Italy’s Piero Antinori and Germany’s Dr. Ernst Loosen to the Columbia Valley.

 

After leaving Ste. Michelle in 2000, Allen’s commitment to advancing the Columbia Valley remained undaunted.  He spent the next three years developing Long Shadows, a proposition that was as simple as it was complex: recruit a cadre of the finest winemakers in the world; give each vintner access to Washington State’s best grapes; and outfit a winery to accommodate a diverse group of winemakers’ exacting cellar specifications.

 

With the vision in place, Allen began by introducing a dream team of celebrated vintners to the vines and wines of the growing region.  The idea quickly sold itself; and from the beginning, the wines have enjoyed critical acclaim that has continued to grow, vintage after vintage. In addition to the wines, Long Shadows collectively has won numerous awards, including recognition as Food & Wine magazine’s “Winery of the Year.”

 

I’ve been a fan of the Long Shadows wines for a few years.  This “winery” has a very interesting story and I highly recommend reading the story on their website by clicking here.

 

 

The Winemaker

The winemaking partner for this wine is John Duval.  John was formerly the winemaker for Penfolds Grange and is the owner/winemaker of his aptly named Duval Wines.

 

John joined the Penfolds team in 1974.  In 1986 he was appointed the title of Chief Winemaker.  Some of the recognition he has garnered over the years include the Robert Mondavi Trophy for Winemaker of the Year in 1989 at the International Wine & Spirits Competition in London.  He is also a two time recipient of the Rew Winemaker of the year at the same event.  In 1995, John’s 1990 Grange  was named Wine Spectator’s Wine of the Year.

 

 

block504_harvest

 

 

2009 Long Shadows Wineries Syrah Sequel – $28.49 (SRP is $50)

This wine has 1% Cabernet Sauvignon added to the Syrah.  The grapes for this wine came from Boushey, Bacchus, Red Mountain and Horse Heaven Hills vineyards.

 

During fermentation, some of the lots undergo “delestage” or “racked and returned”, an Australia technique that helps extract optimal color and richness.  Some other lots are cold soaked to enhance fruitiness and freshness.  Other lots undergo extended maceration for up to 30 days to enhance the wine’s mouth feel.

 

The wine is aged in 100% French oak barrels, with about two-thirds being new.

 

This wine has 14.8% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep, dark maroon color.  The nose is loaded with blackberries, dark chocolate, crushed rocks, road tar, black pepper, melted licorice, dried herbs, baking spices and violets.  The wine has a fairly full body with moderate tannins and good acidity.  Layers of fruit and spice engulf the palate on the front end with minerals, dried herbs and black pepper coming in on the back end.  The finish has outstanding length with a nice blend of fruity and savory elements.  I should note a touch of alcohol pokes through on occasion but not enough to detract from the overall experience.   (94 pts)

2009 Long Shadows Wineries Syrah Sequel

2009 Long Shadows Wineries Syrah Sequel

 

 

 

Connect with me

You can follow me on Twitter for more wine info, potential food pairings, and an occasional recipe or two.  Be warned, I’m also a sports fan and there are occasional Pittsburgh Penguins, Steelers, and Pirates tweets.  I attended the University of South Carolina, so during football season, there will also be some Gamecock posts.

 

If you like this post, consider joining Cliffs Wine Picks Wine Blog on Facebook and giving me a Like.

 

Cheers!

 

 

This is original to CliffsWinePicks.com.  Copyright 2014 Cliff’s Wine Picks.

All rights reserved.

 

 

 

***** Shameless Self Promotion *****

 

Here is a link to a YouTube video of me getting “coal” from Santa for being named the “Nicest Person in Social Media” in 2012.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOvQTeGR3-c

 

 

 

Breaking news from Klout:

Klout

 

 

Cliff’s Wine Picks mentions or other posts

Here are posts, newsletters, blogs or other articles that either mention this site or that I have written:

 

Click here or on the “Cliff’s Wine Picks On Other Sites” link in the top right corner to see links to other sites that either have my reviews, my thoughts or other posts I have written.

 

 

 

Remember to support your local wine store!

 

 

 

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

 

Notes – I use the “official” Cellar Tracker name for the wines.  I use Cellar Tracker to help manage and organize my cellar.  I highly recommend checking it out at www.cellartracker.com.  Loading you existing cellar is a lot less intimidating than it would first appear.  There is a good chance 99% of your wine is already in the system, so you generally only need to enter part of the wine’s name and the system will find it for you.

 

 

Prices noted are the prices I paid at the time of purchase.  I don’t shop around to find the best prices, but my local store is usually VERY competitive.  I generally get case discounts, and since I work there part time, I get a 5% discount.  Wines purchased direct from a winery do not include any shipping charges.  None of the prices include the sales tax.

 

 

All wines that were sent to me free of charge to sample will be noted and I will show suggested prices when available.

 

 

 

Cheers!

 

Cliffs Wine Picks – Sep 15, 2014 to Sep 21, 2014

 

 

2010 The Lucky Country Shiraz

2009 Atalon Cabernet Sauvignon

2011 Uccelliera Rosso di Montalcino

2008 Long Shadows Wineries Chester-Kidder

 

 

 

2010 The Lucky Country Shiraz – $9.90

It’s been a while since I opened a bottle of this wine.  When I opened one not long after picking up a case at my local store, the wine was decent, but seemed to be a bit below the previous vintage.  I felt a bit of cellar time should help the wine settle down a bit.  It’s time to check in to see how it is doing.  This is made by the team behind Two Hands, and the general thought is this is the declassified fruit from Two Hands.

 

Winery history

The Lucky Country Wines offers quality wines packaged with iconic Australian photography, representing the lively spirit of Australia.

 

The name is taken from the 1964 book, The Lucky Country, written by social critic Donald Horne and was originally written to be ironic, as an indictment of 1960’s Australia.  Donald believed that the economic success of 60’s Australia was derived from luck rather than skill.

 

But over the years, this phrase has taken on new meaning and is now proudly used by many to describe what is great about Australia.

 

The Lucky Country Wines is the result of hard work combined with vision, creative acumen and business ‘smarts’, and maybe just a little bit of luck to help bring it all together.  The wines are already proving a hit, available in several markets around the world and with the brand continuing to grow every day.

 

The Lucky Country Wines were created to deliver great value, stylish wines to drinkers at a reasonable price.  People everywhere can now share and enjoy the experience of what makes Australia the Lucky Country.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep purple color.  The very Australian nose features blackberries, blueberries, black pepper, vanilla, baking spices, and wild flowers.  This has a medium body with soft, ripe tannins and decent acidity.  On the palate the big fruit and peppery spice carries the load with a touch of chocolate and earthiness in the background.  The finish has decent length with sweet berries and spice.  This carries a touch of residual sugar but not enough to really stick out.  This would be a nice holiday or party wine.  (87 pts)

2010 The Lucky Country Shiraz

2010 The Lucky Country Shiraz

 

 

 

2009 Atalon Cabernet Sauvignon – $22.79

This is a blend of 78.9% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13.3% Merlot, 5.2% Malbec and 2.6% Petite Verdot.  From these Napa Valley vineyards, 51.5% Round Pond-Rutherford, 21.5% Stagecoach-Atlas Peak, 13.3% Keyes-Howell Mountain, 5.2% Huichica-Napa Carneros, 4.1% Bosché-Rutherford, 2.9% Veeder Peak-Mt. Veeder, 1.5% Potelle-Mt. Veeder.

 

The wine has an alcohol level of 14.8% and is sealed with a natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep ruby red color.  The slightly shy nose has cassis, baking spices, cherries, roasted leafy herbs, roses, licorice and a touch of mint.  This has medium body, moderate tannins and good acidity.  On the palate berries and cherries add nice sweetness and are balanced by roasted herbs and spice.  The finish has nice length with the fruit stepping into the background, allowing the savory elements to shine.  This is on the young side with a touch of oak poking through at times.  If you are not a fan of oak let this sleep for a couple years, other wise, open a bottle and enjoy it after it gets a bit of air.  (89 pts)

2009 Atalon Cabernet Sauvignon

2009 Atalon Cabernet Sauvignon

 

 

 

2011 Uccelliera Rosso di Montalcino – $18.99

This 100% Sangiovese comes from vineyards in Castelnuovo dell’Abate, at elevations of 150-350 metres on well-exposed hillslopes south-east of Montalcino.  The wine was aged in a mix of Slavonian and French oak barrels for a minimum of 8 months followed by a minimum of 3 months of bottle aging before it is released.

 

This wine has 14.0% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a light ruby red color.  The intriguing nose has cherries, dusty minerals, dried thyme, baking spices, raspberry, leather and a touch of underbrush.  This is barely medium body with soft to moderate tannins and very good acidity.  Cherries, minerals and spice initially take hold on the palate with dried thyme and leather coming in on the back end.  The finish has good length with just a touch of earthiness entering the picture.  This is on the young side but already showing very nicely.  (91 pts)

2011 Uccelliera Rosso di Montalcino

2011 Uccelliera Rosso di Montalcino

 

 

 

2008 Long Shadows Wineries Chester-Kidder – $28.49

The local wine store brought in a few of the Long Shadow wines from past vintages and offered them at close-out prices via their e-mail list.  With a suggested retail price around $50, the price was almost 50% off.  This vintage is a blend of 61% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Syrah, 6% Petit Verdot, and 4% Cabernet Franc from assorted vineyards in Washington.

 

This has 14.7% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep ruby red color.  The comforting nose has cassis, minerals, cedar, blackberries, baking spices, tobacco, dark chocolate, leather, dried herbs and dried wildflowers.  This has a medium body with moderate to solid tannins and good acidity.  On the palate spicy cassis and minerals jump out first with cedar, dried herbs and a dried floral note coming in later.  The finish has very good length with dark chocolate and leather coming in to add even more complexity.  This is an outstanding effort from this unusual blend.  (94 pts)

2008 Long Shadows Wineries Chester-Kidder

2008 Long Shadows Wineries Chester-Kidder

 

 

 

Connect with me

You can follow me on Twitter for more wine info, potential food pairings, and an occasional recipe or two.  Be warned, I’m also a sports fan and there are occasional Pittsburgh Penguins, Steelers, and Pirates tweets.  I attended the University of South Carolina, so during football season, there will also be some Gamecock posts.

 

If you like this post, consider joining Cliffs Wine Picks Wine Blog on Facebook and giving me a Like.

 

Cheers!

 

 

This is original to CliffsWinePicks.com.  Copyright 2014 Cliff’s Wine Picks.

All rights reserved.

 

 

 

***** Shameless Self Promotion *****

 

Here is a link to a YouTube video of me getting “coal” from Santa for being named the “Nicest Person in Social Media” in 2012.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOvQTeGR3-c

 

 

 

Breaking news from Klout:

Klout

 

 

Cliff’s Wine Picks mentions or other posts

Here are posts, newsletters, blogs or other articles that either mention this site or that I have written:

 

Click here or on the “Cliff’s Wine Picks On Other Sites” link in the top right corner to see links to other sites that either have my reviews, my thoughts or other posts I have written.

 

 

 

Remember to support your local wine store!

 

 

 

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

 

Notes – I use the “official” Cellar Tracker name for the wines.  I use Cellar Tracker to help manage and organize my cellar.  I highly recommend checking it out at www.cellartracker.com.  Loading you existing cellar is a lot less intimidating than it would first appear.  There is a good chance 99% of your wine is already in the system, so you generally only need to enter part of the wine’s name and the system will find it for you.

 

 

Prices noted are the prices I paid at the time of purchase.  I don’t shop around to find the best prices, but my local store is usually VERY competitive.  I generally get case discounts, and since I work there part time, I get a 5% discount.  Wines purchased direct from a winery do not include any shipping charges.  None of the prices include the sales tax.

 

 

All wines that were sent to me free of charge to sample will be noted and I will show suggested prices when available.

 

 

 

Cheers!

 

Cliffs Wine Picks – Apr 5, 2013 to Apr 7, 2013

 

 

2005 Mas des Dames Coteaux du Languedoc

2004 Clarendon Hills Grenache Old Vines Blewitt Springs

2007 Long Shadows Wineries Cabernet Sauvignon Feather

 

 

 

2005 Mas des Dames Coteaux du Languedoc – $15.86

 

My comments

This is another wine I purchased from Garagiste Wines and Jon Rimmerman.  I bought three bottles of this wine but held off opening a bottle for a couple of years.  I had a bottle about a year ago and thought it was very nice, but felt it would improve with some additional cellar time.  It’s time to check in again.  This is a blend of 50% Grenache, 30% Carignan, and 20% Syrah.

 

Winery history

Mas des Dames is a former 18th century farmhouse surrounded by 14 hectares of vines located in the hills behind Béziers, Southern France.  Where the Languedoc is often a ‘sea’ of vineyards, in this hidden valley we were lucky to find an ancient structure of small plots, surrounded by a natural flora.  This ‘garrigue’ of oak, olive, and pine trees creates a natural balance in the vineyards, enabling us to work without any insecticides and just minimal treatments against illness.  We’ve never used chemical fertilizers and do not irrigate.  That is why our yields are low (about 35hl/ha). but have a nicely concentrated quality.  A certification for organic farming is pending.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a nice ruby red color.  The very nice nose has black cherries, red raspberries, plums, crushed stone minerality, smoke, roasted herbs, meat juices, warm baking spices, and a touch of earthiness.  This has medium body, fairly solid tannins, and very good acidity.  The palate has some nice up front fruit followed by roasted herbs, minerals, grilled meat, and a touch of dark chocolate.  The finish has nice length and leans more on the savory elements with the fruit adding a touch of sweetness.  This is in a nice place, but should hold for another year or two.  (91 pts)

2005 Mas des Dames Coteaux du Languedoc

 

 

 

2004 Clarendon Hills Grenache Old Vines Blewitt Springs – $25.00

 

My comments

We had a “house favorite” for dinner, Lime-Cilantro Pork Tacos for dinner and I was in the mood for something “different”.  I knew the tacos would be well seasoned and have a bit of bite from a jalapeño so I wanted something big, rich, and fruit driven to pair.  It’s been a while since I had this wine, but knew it would meet my requirements.

 

Winery history

In 1990, Roman Bratasiuk embarked on a truly remarkable wine making journey.  His vision: to create single vineyard wines equal to anything in the world.  Quite simply.  Working with old, dry-grown vines and performing every step of the process by hand, Roman sought to redefine the Australian fine wine landscape by solely conveying the imprint a vineyard forges on the varietal expression.  Every year a pragmatic and calculated Clarendon Hills learns a little more about our vineyards and pushes a little further to propel each one of our 100% varietal wines to the pinacle of their capability.

 

Please join Roman and the Clarendon Hills family in celebrating our 19 single vineyard, 100% varietal wines.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep garnet to purple color.  The impressive and massive nose has kirsch, black raspberries, melted licorice, Asian spices, minerals, black pepper, blueberries, earthiness, and cherries.  This has a full body, solid, ripe tannins, and decent acidity.  This is a massive wine on the palate with a boat load of syrupy fruit with enough spice and black pepper to add some depth, but this is all about the fruit.  The finish seems to last forever with berry compote and black pepper slowly adding some dark chocolate and a touch of earthiness, but again, this is a fruit driven wine.  Not a lot of subtlety or finesse,  but every once in a while a solid kick in the head does you well.  (92 pts)

2004 Clarendon Hills Grenache Old Vines Blewitt Springs

 

 

 

2007 Long Shadows Wineries Cabernet Sauvignon Feather – $42.74

 

My comments

This is a 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from the Columbia Valley in Washington.  The winery teamed up with a few “world renowned” vintners to establish individual wineries that would reflect the reputation of each wine maker.   In this case, the winemaker is Randy Dunn.  Randy started his wine making career at Caymus.  He has also assisted at Pahlmeyer, Livingston, La Jota and others.  He also owns his own winery, Dunn Vineyards, and has produced roughly 5,000 cases a year since 1979.

 

I bought a few bottles of this a while ago but knew it would take a few years before it would show well.  I’m sure this will be better in a few years, but I really want to check in to see how it is doing.

 

Winery history

After twenty years at the helm of the Stimson Lane wine group (Chateau Ste. Michelle, Columbia Crest and other wineries), Allen Shoup retired to pursue a personal dream.  For years he had envisioned a joint venture with highly acclaimed winemakers from different regions of the world.  His goal was to bring their expertise to Washington to create some of the most special wines ever crafted from the region’s top vineyards; wines that would stand shoulder to shoulder with the world’s best.

 

Encouraged by his associates, including long time friend and mentor, Robert G. Mondavi, Allen invited several of the world’s most talented and celebrated vintners to the sunny slopes of the ColumbiaValley.   Peering over steep cliffs into the valley where the Snake and YakimaRivers flow into the mighty Columbia, each vintner embraced Allen’s dream and agreed to lend their talents to create this tribute to the worldwide celebration of wine.

 

With their enthusiastic support and advice, Allen drew up plans to establish individual wineries that would reflect the reputation of each winemaker.  He named the venture Long Shadows Vintners in tribute to this select group of individuals who have shaped the industry with their benchmark wines and wineries.

 

His vision is now unfolding.  Long Shadows winemaker-partners are designing world-class wines comparable in stature to those they crafted in their native wine regions.  They are touring the land, running the soil through their fingers, and surveying with practiced eye the leafy trellises that spill down the hillsides of the ColumbiaValley.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a dark red color, verging onto purple.  The very nice nose has cassis, minerals, white pepper, licorice, violets, sun baked earth, dried herbs, red raspberries, baking spices, and some dark bittersweet chocolate, and a touch of cedar.  This has medium body, fairly solid tannins, and very good acidity.  The palate has a nice fruit component up front with a load of savory elements coning in on the back end adding depth and complexity.  The finish is fairly long with some sweet fruit joined by dried herbs, dark chocolate, and a touch of spicy oak.  This is a very classy wine that would cost twice this price if it had a Napa Valley appellation in its name.  This is a touch young, but tastes great none the less.  (93 pts)

2007 Long Shadows Wineries Cabernet Sauvignon Feather

 

 

***** Shameless Self Promotion *****

 

Here is a link to a YouTube video of me getting “coal” from Santa for being named the “Nicest Person in Social Media” in 2012.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOvQTeGR3-c

 

 

 

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Remember to support your local wine store!

 

 

 

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Notes – I use the “official” Cellar Tracker name for the wines.  I use Cellar Tracker to help manage and organize my cellar.  I highly recommend checking it out at www.cellartracker.com.  Loading you existing cellar is a lot less intimidating than it would first appear.  There is a good chance 99% of your wine is already in the system, so you generally only need to enter part of the wine’s name and the system will find it for you.

 

 

Prices noted are the prices I paid at the time of purchase.  I don’t shop around to find the best prices, but my local store is usually VERY competitive.  I generally get case discounts, and since I work there part time, I get a 5% discount.  Wines purchased direct from a winery do not include any shipping charges.  None of the prices include the sales tax.

 

 

All wines that were sent to me free of charge to sample will be noted and I will show suggested prices when available.

 

 

 

Cheers!

 

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