By Duane Pemberton
When Washington wine monger, Allen Shoup, decides to throw a party he does so in style. Like the winery he started, this 2010 Long Shadows Fall Release party was classy, elegant and full of character. They came by the bus-loads (from Canada) and as close as Walla Walla but regardless of how far the distance people traveled was, one thing was patently clear – the Long Shadows brand and quality can certainly draw a crowd.
Most of the Long Shadows staff was on-hand and even some of their spouses which made for a great experience in adding that extra “personal touch” between the winery and its fan-base. On-site winemaker, Gilles Nicault, was there in his typical passionate self – if you’ve never had the chance to hear from him, you should really seek him out at the next wine event you attend where Long Shadows is pouring. His passion and pure enthusiasm is contagious and one can quickly grasp as to why Allen and crew hired him.
Along with the amazingly cool staff is the amazingly cool building and infrastructure – Gilles and the other consulting winemakers have a world-class cellar in which to hone their products and I believe it greatly makes their lives a bit easier. Certainly, the skills of the jedi-masters at this winery could make world-class wines by simply using a tin-can, matches and a water bucket but the arsenal of cutting-edge cellar goods does in fact make things nicer for them.
Of course what this weekend was really about was the new wines that Longshadows has released – a few of my personal favorites were the:
– Poet’s Leap
– Chester Kidder
All the wines – to me- show huge cellar potential from good acidity. In fact, they were pouring the 2004 Chester-Kidder and it was drinking very nicely. The reality is that Long Shadows produces wines that are designed to lay down for a long time – sure you can enjoy them now but they have super long-legs under them and will cellar for well over a decade or longer.
If you tire of so many of the “cookie-cutter” wines out there that so many other wineries in the “New World” seem to be caught up in then you should check out Long Shadows and consider joining their club for the good discounts and benefits.