Posts tagged ‘Syrah’

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.

 

 

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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

 

 

 

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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.

 

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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

 

 

 

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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!

 

 

 

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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!

 

Feb 15, 2013 to Feb 17, 2013

 

 

2004 Cameron Hughes Priorat Lot 49 – $10.00

 

My comments

This is a perfect example of the perceived power of the Wine Advocate.  In February 2007, Jay Miller bestowed the dreaded 89 points on a upper $30s Priorat.  Knowing it would be a hard sell, the 2004 Celler Joan Simó Priorat Les Sentius is labeled as 2004 Cameron Hughes Priorat Lot 49.  I don’t know the exact selling price of the Cameron Hughes version, but I got a case for $10 a bottle.  Even though the label and capsule are all Cameron Hughes, the cork labeling holds the truth.

 

This is a blend of 48% Grenache, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, 12% Syrah, 10% Carignan.

 

My first Cameron Hughes wine was their 2003 Cameron Hughes Pinot Noir Lot 8 Arroyo Seco.

Winery history

Cameron Hughes Wine is an American négociant that makes, imports, and distributes ultra-premium wine under four wine brands; The Lot Series, Hughes Wellman, CH Collection, and Zin Your Face.  We are nationally distributed and carried in chains, grocery, broad market, on premise and online at our vertically integrated Web store, chwine.com.

 

Cameron Hughes Wine was founded by Cameron Hughes and partner Jessica Kogan who are dedicated to delivering truly exceptional wine at real world prices.  This has been their mission since starting their company in San Francisco more than 10 years ago.

 

Much more information and current wines available at their website.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep ruby red color.  The slightly rustic nose has cherries, raspberries, dried herbs, crushed stone minerals, baking spices, and earthy underbrush.  This has medium body, fairly solid tannins and good acidity.  This is in a nice place today with some air, but additional cellar time will be rewarded.  89 pts

2004 Cameron Hughes Priorat Lot 49

 

 

 

2006 Carlisle Syrah James Berry Vineyard – $48.00

 

My comments

For some absurdly stupid reason, I only bought one bottle of this wine.  I know this will improve with more cellar time, but it’s calling my name.  Since I’m leaving on a business trip tomorrow, I might as well give into temptation.

 

Winery history

We are a small Sonoma County winery specializing in the production of old-vine, vineyard designated zinfandels and red Rhone varieties (syrah, grenache, mourvèdre, and petite sirah).  While we like our wines to be bold, rich, and intensely flavored, each reflecting a sense of place, its origins in the vineyard, we also strive to create wines of balance, complexity, and perhaps most importantly, pleasure.

 

Rich.  Lusty.  Hedonistic.  These are some of the descriptors we often hear applied to our wines.  However, we also hear the words elegant, balanced, complex.  Yes, through hard work in the vineyard and winery, we believe you can have it all, the best of both worlds.  Our approach to winemaking is simple, yet difficult.  We prefer to intervene in nature’s process as little as possible but we will leave no stone unturned in our quest to maximize the quality of each wine we produce.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep, dark ruby color.  The deep and dark nose has smoked meat, black berries, black cherries, licorice, black pepper, Asian spices, minerals, and some earthiness.  This is fairly full bodied with solid, ripe tannins, and very good acidity.  Loads of spicy, peppery, mineral laden berries on the palate with some meaty and earthy notes coming in on the back end.  The long finish seems to linger forever.  This is still on the young side but is drinking very nicely with a good amount of air.  (94 pts)

2006 Carlisle Syrah James Berry Vineyard

 

 

 

2010 Loring Wine Company Convergence Russell Family Vineyard – $66.33

 

My comments

This is another of the non Pinot Noir wines Brian Loring has produced.  Thus far, every one has been outstanding.  This wine is 75% Grenache and 25% Mourvedre from Paso Robles.

 

Winery history

My name is Brian Loring and my obsession is Pinot Noir.  OK, I’m also pretty crazy about Champagne, but that’s another story.  While in college, I worked at a wine shop in Hollywood (Victor’s), where one of the owners was a Burgundy fanatic.  So, my very first experiences with Pinot Noir were from producers like Domaine Dujac, Henri Jayer, and DRC.  Needless to say, I found subsequent tasting safaris into the domestic Pinot Noir jungle less than satisfying.  It wasn’t until I literally stumbled into Calera (I tripped over a case of their wine in the store room) that I found a California Pinot Noir that I could love.  But it would be quite a while before I found someone else that lived up to the standard that Josh Jensen had established.  I eventually came to understand and enjoy Pinots from Williams Selyem, Chalone, and Sanford, but I really got excited about California Pinot Noir when I met Norm Beko from Cottonwood Canyon at an Orange County Wine Society tasting.

 

I’d made about 3 trips around the booths at the tasting without finding a single good Pinot Noir.  So, being the open minded person that I am (remember I passed him up 3 times), I stopped at the Cottonwood booth.  I was BLOWN away by Norm’s 1990 Santa Maria Pinot Noir.  After a few years of attending every Cottonwood event and asking Norm 10,000 questions about winemaking, he offered to let come learn the process during the ’97 crush.  I checked sugar levels, picked, crushed, punched down, pressed, filled barrels, and generally moved a bunch of stuff around with fork lifts and pallet jacks!  It was the time of my life… I was totally hooked.  And even though I hadn’t planned it, I ended up making two barrels of Pinot Noir.  That was the start of the Loring Wine Company.  What had started out as a dream 15 years earlier was now a reality – I was a winemaker!

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep ruby red, much lighter at the edge.  The very pleasing nose has blackberries, cherries, earthy underbrush, minerals, baking spices, and some dried herbs.  The wine has a full body, fairly solid, ripe tannins, and good acidity.  The palate is loaded with spicy, juicy berries, but it’s not all about the fruit, there is also nice minerality, dried herbs, and earthiness coming in on the back end adding depth and complexity.  The fairly long finish is a nice continuation of the palate with some additional baking spices and dried herbs kicking into high gear.  This is on the young side, but absolutely delicious today.  (93 pts)

2010 Loring Wine Company Convergence Russell Family Vineyard

 

 

 

 

 

***** 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

 

 

 

 

 

Wines bought or received this week

I picked up 2 bottles of 2009 Anderson’s Conn Valley Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Reserve yesterday.  These were from my local store’s weekly e-mail offer.  After getting their special price, my 5% discount, and using a couple of older $10 gift cards, my cost was just a touch over $50 a bottle.

 

 

 

 

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!

 

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