I can’t think of a more passionate dude in the Washington wine industry than winemaker, Gilles Nicault. His zeal for wine, passion for life and people can only be truly appreciated if you get the chance to meet him in person. One could say that being french-born slanted him to be this way but his level of passion is hard to fake or duplicate. Gilles puts his whole heart into everything he touches and because of that, everyone should have the chance to try his wines – even if at the end of the day your palate doesn’t agree with them.
Long Shadows hires talent from around the world to work with Gilles on various projects – this is part of the success model for the winery as they get to to employ the expertise from some of the world’s most celebrated winemakers.
2006 Pirouette – W.E.P. Rating: 80%
- Blend: 54% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 15% Petit Verdot, 6% Cabernet Franc and 5% Syrah
- Alcohol: 14.6%
- pH: 3.93
- TA: 0.53 grams / 100ml
- Release Date: May 2009
- Production: 1,733 cases
- Price: $55
Nose: Waves of dark chocolate covered blueberries and blackberries. white pepper, wild game, road tar and spice.
Taste: Nice doses of black and white pepper with fresh deer meat, a touch of baby poo, radishes, blackberry, plusm, anise, and chocolate. This is an interesting wine in that it offers some nice layers of complexity and had good acids, but for a $55 wine the finish seems a bit awkward for me. It finishes with some black licorice, pencil lead and ink but all that goodness gets a bit choked out by being a touch too hot – I’d like to try this wine again in 3-5 years.
2006 Feather – W.E.P. Rating: 90%
- 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
- Alcohol: 14.2%
- pH: 3.72
- TA: 0.57 grams / 100ml
- Release Date: April 2009
- Production: 2,238 cases
- Price: $55
Nose: Cherries, dirt, raspberries, freshly-tanned leather, saddle soap and big-league chew.
Taste: Nice dose of what I’m going to call “dirty cherries” – it’s like you took a handful of cherries, dropped them in the dirt and then ate them – Good stuff. Across the mid-palate, I get some cool flavors of lavender, rose petal, charcoal, black raspberries and leather. Good finish that lingers nicely with flavors of black pepper and spice – would be a great pick for a grilled rib-eye steak.
2006 Saggi – W.E.P. Rating: 95%
- Blend:42% Cabernet Sauvignon, 39% Sangiovese, 19% Syrah
- Alcohol: 14.6%
- pH: 3.81
- TA: 0.55 grams / 100ml
- Release Date: October 2008
- Production: 1,725 cases
Nose: Crayola crayons, christmas fruit cake, cherry, blueberry, glue, star anise and some fresh road-kill.
Taste: Blackberry-laced leather straps that have been covered in molasses, cherries, pie crust, chocolate, nutmeg and wild game. There is a lot going on in the taste of this wine – it’s very complex, offering a great variety in layers of flavors. Good acidity and tannin structure – for me – make this wine an easy pick for lasagna or meat-filled ravioli or any sort of italian-styled meat and red-sauce dishes. Good velvet-action on the palate with a finish that hangs out like that annoying neighborhood kid who doesn’t “get it” on when it’s time to leave.
On the web: www.longshadows.com