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My January Wine of the Month

Long Shadows
Columbia Valley

The Winery – The brainchild of Allen Shoup, who is widely recognized as one of the founding fathers of the Washington wine industry, Long Shadows is a very unique winery.  Shoup’s idea was to bring well-respected winemakers from different wine regions around the world to make wine types from their home regions out of some of the finest Columbia Valley fruit.  The results have been stupendous.

For their Right Bank Bordeaux blend they have entrusted the famous globetrotter of the wine world, Michel Rolland.  A wine consultant based in Pomerol, Rolland not only has many of his own wine estates close to home on the “right bank” of the Dordogne river in the Bordeaux region, but also travels the world advising other wineries on their own winemaking techniques.

The Wine – This is one of my favorite Merlot wines of all time.  It is made up of 81% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Sauvignon, with the balance Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.  The nose has plum, dark fruit, some cedar and a touch of oregano.  The palate is big and bold, but wonderfully complex with lots of dark black fruit including black cherry and black currant, some ripe plum, mocha, some spice and velvety tannins.  Although still a baby, this ’08 Pedestal is drinking nicely now, but will evolve beautifully for at least a decade.

My Experience Visiting the Winery – I visited Long Shadows back in March of 2011.  We arrived for our appointment about half an hour early, but Jeff (a Certified Sommelier who was in charge of guiding us through the wines) was great and let us come right in.  Boy oh boy, this place is special.  The building is beautiful, the views are stunning and the wines are spectacular.  It’s really difficult to find anything wrong with this tasting.  Jeff was perhaps the most knowledgeable person of the trip, and again, the wines …

The Journey – There are two tasting rooms in which to taste the wines of Long Shadows.  One is located in Woodinville, WA, a suburb of Seattle where many different wineries have tasting rooms.  I visited their other tasting room, located right at the winery on the outskirts of Walla Walla.  The building is a great example of stunning yet simple modern architecture and sits dramatically on top of a hill with spectaculars views of vineyards.  The inside of the tasting room is adorned with glass art works of Dale Chihuly, complimenting the sleek décor and the lovely wines.  Be sure to make an appointment prior to arriving.  Check out their website here:

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