Long Shadows Pirouette 2004
Long Shadows was founded by Allen Shoup, former CEO of Chateau St. Michelle. Shoup has been building some pretty amazing projects in washington since the late 70’s, including the Antinori project ‘Col Solare’ and the Eroica riesling joint project between St. Michelle and Dr. Loosen. Building on this concept, Shoup founded Long Shadows, a ‘virtual winery’ dedicated to bringing some of the best winemakers from around the world to make wines from Washington grapes. Challenging each winemaker to build on his/her expertise and explore the potential of Washington fruit is, in my opinion, not only a brilliant idea, but a fantastic way to help bring recognition to the state, which is already growing more and more in the consumer’s eye.
Pirouette is a Cabernet Sauvignon based blend created by Agustin Huneeus, Sr. of Quintessa (and formerly, Mount Veeder, Concha y Toro, and Estancia among others) and Philippe Mekka who has made wine for Seavy, Quintessa, and Lail among others. The wine is made with fruit from several small vineyards including cabernet sauvignon from Wahluke Slope and Sagemoor’s nearly 40 year old vines, and petit verdot from dionysus vineyard. The final blend included cab, merlot, petit verdot, and syrah.
On the nose I got blackberry, cherry, cedar smoke, and some baking spices. The palate was big and rich and certainly spoke of the winemakers’ Napa backgrounds: caramel, plum, fig, cedar smoke and cherry. For me this wine is a bit too manipulated and sweet, reminding me of a high end Mollydooker wine. For some, that is a blessing, however, and many would assuredly love this blend. For my part, I did appreciate the wine’s wonderful fullness and ripeness, and its distinctive style: fruit forward, silky, creamy, while elegant.
~$80 at BCLDB