One of Washington’s premier wineries that will be also featured at our 2019 Washington Wine Blog Critic’s Choice of Washington event, Long Shadows has made their name by crafting outstanding red wines with a superstar cast of winemaking talent that spans the globe. I have tasted at Long Shadows for well over a decade and year in, year out, they are one of the most consistently good producers of Washington red wine. A few days back I tried their epic 2006 ‘Pedestal’ Merlot (WWB, 95) which was a monumental wine that was absolutely singing at this point of development. Tried last month and nearly as good is their 2007 Long Shadows ‘Feather’ Cabernet Sauvignon (WWB, 94) which has copious dark fruits and coffee ground flavors.
The new releases by Long Shadows were seriously good across the board. Long Shadows produces one of the great Rose wines in Washington and their 2017 Long Shadows ‘Julia’s Dazzle’ Rose (WWB, 92) shows a vibrant minerality and is bursting with delicious red fruit flavors. For Chardonnay lovers, look to their 2015 Dance Cellars ‘Whisper’ Chardonnay (WWB, 93) which shows incredible richness and balance from this warm vintage in Washington. The best new release that I tried was the stunning 2015 Long Shadows ‘Pedestal’ Merlot (WWB, 94) which has a long life in the cellar but is drinking marvelously in its youth. Learn more about this amazing winery at http://www.longshadows.com/ Here are the amazing new release wines from Long Shadows.
2017 Long Shadows ‘Julia’s Dazzle’ Rose- Sourced from The Benches Vineyard in the Columbia Valley, this wine is another spectacular effort by superstar winemaker Giles Nicault. The nose is highly perfumed with rose petals, guava puree and red cherry candy. The palate is both lush and lithe, showing off exotic rose water, cran-cherry, and blood orange flavors. The tension is vibrant, as this is nearly impossible to resist right now. Enjoy this beautiful Rose young while it keeps its verve. Drink 2018-2022- 92
2016 Dance Cellars ‘Dance’ Chardonnay- Largely sourced from the Boushey Vineyard, as well as the Crawford Vineyard, this shows brioche and toasted macadamia nut on the nose with creme brulee. The palate shows a wonderful texture with briohce, toasty oak, buttered popcorn and a lovely cream finish. Lively and showing some good aging potential, this is an outstanding effort by superstar winemaker Giles Nicault. Drink 2018-2024- 92
2015 Dance Cellars ‘Whisper’ Chardonnay- This Wente clone Chardonnay, sourced from the Boushey and Crawford Vineyards, was released later, given an additional four months of oak treatment. The resultant wine is a fantastic effort by superstar winemaker Giles Nicault. This begins with aromas of toasty oak, and butterscotch and apricot. The palate shows a really nice weight and mouthfeel with a lovely texture without being heavy. Vanilla cream, banana and butterscotch flavors all mingle beautifully in the glass. Drink 2018-2024- 93
2015 Long Shadows ‘Pedestal’ Merlot- Primarily sourced from the Connor Lee Vineyard, as well as the StoneTree, Weinbau and Dionysus Vineyards, the wine is a blend of 75% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Petit Verdot. This was first aged for 22 months in largely new French oak prior to bottling. A strong whiff of chocolate hits the glass with sagebrush and wonderful earthy tones rounding out the nose. The palate has a wonderful mouthfeel with a silky texture. Black tea, mocha, creme de cassis and milk chocolate flavors combine nicely in the mouth. The light tannins coat the mid-palate. A downright stunning bottling, this ‘Pedestal’ will cellar well over the next fifteen to twenty years. Drink 2018-2035- 94
2015 Long Shadows ‘Pirouette’ Red Wine- The 2015 ‘Pirouette’ is a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Merlot with the remainder Petit Verdot and Malbec. The wine is largely sourced from Red Mountain Vineyards. Aged for 22 months in 75% new French oak prior to bottling. The rather intoxicating nose entices with an herbal edge, followed by copious dark fruits and a touch of baking spice. The palate shows a wonderful mouthfeel and texture. Black tea, mint, blueberry compote and mocha flavors all wonderfully combine in the glass. Complex and refined, this is a gorgeous bottling by Long Shadows. Drink 2018-2035- 93
2015 Long Shadows ‘Chester Kidder’ Red Wine- This wine is a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Syrah, and 15% Petit Verdot. The wine shows a smoky and earthy nose with green bell pepper, sagebrush and dark fruits that round out this seductive wine. The mouthfeel and texture to this wine is truly fantastic, as the wine shows a silky edge. Black fruits with milk chocolate dill and sage mark this outstanding bottling. Tightly wound now, this really needs another year of bottle age to fully develop. Drink 2019-2035- 93