LONG SHADOWS is the brainchild of Allen Shoup, who for years was the head of Washington state’s Chateau Ste. Michelle and its affiliated wineries. He left in 2000 and established Long Shadows to lure top winemakers from around the world to make wine with Columbia Valley fruit. Famed French wine consultant Michel Rolland casts the long shadow for Pedestal Merlot.
Long Shadows Pedestal Merlot Columbia Valley 2013, $65: Even days after opening the bottle, the fruit, acidity and tannins are not diminished. This wine is rock-solid. Flavors of ripe plum, blackberry, brown cooking spices, brown sugar, licorice and dark chocolate are knit with elegant tannins, oak and firm acidity. It’s full-bodied, structured and complex, and yet so approachable. It’s an example of Washington’s signature ripe, chewy fruit. It was made by French wine consultant Michel Rolland, a vintner in the Pomerol district of Bordeaux, where Merlot is king.
CA’ MOMI was founded by Stefano Migotto, his wife Valentina and Dario De Conti in 2006. They call their wines “heartcrafted” and brand themselves as the “New Napa” with wines that offer a hint of tradition and a lot of fiery Italian passion. The 2013 vintage brings their first Reserve Merlot grown in the Carneros district of Napa Valley. The name Ca’ Momi is Italian for “house of Momi” — a reference to the name given to the Migotto family home in the Veneto region of Italy.
Ca’ Momi Reserve Merlot Carneros Napa Valley 2013, $44: This is a big, beautiful wine with rich tannins that paint the palate and creamy flavors of dark plum, dark berries, dark chocolate and mocha. It is elegantly infused with oak and has so much texture, it’s like food.
KENDALL-JACKSON’s Grand Reserve wines will cost you a little more than the Vintner’s Reserve. They are crafted from the top 7 percent of all the Kendall-Jackson wine lots. The 2013 Merlot is Sonoma County fruit off hillside vineyards owned by Jackson Family Wines.
Kendall-Jackson Grand Reserve Merlot Sonoma County 2013, $26: True to the power and intensity of wines created from the 2013 vintage in California, this baby will rock your socks: It has big, bold, dark berry flavors with notes of dark plum, dark cherry, dark chocolate and cedar. Tannins are refined; acidity provides structure. It was aged 17 months in mostly French oak. It’s no wallflower.
You can reach Sandra Silfven at email@example.com.