Hello friends. Long Shadows has been on fire lately, ripping through vintages and selling out within months of release. I just looked back at our archive, and we were offering 2008 Feather in summer 2012. That means they’ve sold out four vintages (08, 09, 10, 11) in the span of 28 months. That’s crazy.
So crazy, in fact, that with the release of the acclaimed 2012 vintage coming up, the Seattle market is getting the entire release of the top three wines via pre-sell. Here’s an excerpt of the e-mail I just received from Long Shadows’ Seattle representatives earlier this week:
[We] are excited to announce the 2012 vintage release of Pedestal Merlot, Feather Cabernet Sauvignon and Pirouette Red Wine. These three wines are, respectively, the most highly decorated and most in-demand of all Long Shadows wines. Long Shadows has always enjoyed great reviews for each of their wines, and demand has skyrocketed with each passing vintage. This demand has greatly outpaced production and all of the reds are being depleted within a month of release, as the recent abbreviated release of Saggi indicated. Therefore, the winery has begun to allocate their wines with special consideration for those accounts that have been long-time supporters of the wines.
While Washington state has received the largest allocation in the nation, it is important to note the quantity of each of these wines available is about 60% of what we received last year. Therefore, we ask that you give us your MAXIMUM REQUEST for each of these three wines no later than Friday, November 7, and we will allocate accordingly. The wines will begin shipping November 10. Thank you for your continued support of Long Shadows and we look forward to filling your requests!
That is a quick deadline for allocation requests, and that explains why we’re turning around this offer as quickly as possible. I’ll wait as long as possible to send our numbers in tomorrow (Friday), but the earlier we can all get order requests in, the better. I won’t be able to provide any tasting notes for these wines, but at this point, the pedigree and year-after-year consistency of the project speaks for itself.
Long Shadows, for list newbies, is a visionary effort by Allen Shoup. Allen formerly ran Stimson Lane, which encompassed Chateau Ste Michelle, Columbia Crest, and a number of other wineries. His idea was to pair the best grapes of Washington with the best winemakers from the rest of the world, an idea that continues to succeed splendidly. The talented Gilles Nicault has headed up the winemaking and viticulture team since the inception of the project in 2003, and the wines just seem to keep getting better and better.
Pedestal is Long Shadows’ Merlot-dominant wine, made in conjunction with Bordeaux-based Michel Rolland, who is probably the most famous consulting winemaker in the world. The 2010 is a full 81% Merlot (from Conner Lee and Candy Mountain), the remainder Cabernet Sauvignon from Tapteil on Red Mountain, as well as Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot from Dionysus. It spent two years in 85% new French oak. No reviews yet, but to give you a sense of the consistent excellence, this has received 94pt reviews from Wine Advocate (Pierre Rovani, then Jay Miller, then Jeb Dunnuck) in seven of its nine previous vintages.
The outstanding Randy Dunn of Dunn Vineyards (Howell Mountain, Napa Valley) makes this 100% Cabernet Sauvignon for Long Shadows. It is 43% each The Benches at Wallula (Horse Heaven Hills) and old-block Dionysus, the remaining 14% from StoneTree Vineyard, affirmation of the growing importance of that Wahluke Slope site. The 2012 was aged for two years in 90% new French oak, the same Vicard barrels Randy uses for Dunn Vineyards. This one has received fabulous reviews over the years from a broad range of critics. Paul Gregutt, Stephen Tanzer, Jeb Dunnuck; all have heaped praise on Feather.
A Bordeaux blend made in conjunction with Californians Philippe Melka and Agustin Huneeus, in 2012 it is 63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, 12% Petit Verdot, and 6% Cabernet Franc. The Cab comes predominantly from Red Mountain, the Merlot from Weinbau, and the PV and Franc from Dionysus. It was aged for two years in 75% new French oak. No reviews yet, but this one has consistently strong press over the years (including a show-stopping 98pt review from Paul Gregutt in Wine Enthusiast for the 2008 vintage).
I honestly have no idea what our allocations might look like, so please request what you’d like of each wine, and we’ll beg for as much as we can. The wines should arrive in about a week, at which point they will be ready for pickup or shipping during the next temperature-appropriate shipping window.