Category Archives: Washington State

Tempranillo in the U.S.: A Learning Curve

The problem with a great many of the Tempranillos produced in the U.S. thus far is that they are too low in acidity and often lacking many of the varietal characteristics that make Tempranillo grown at higher altitudes, in cooler climates, and at controlled yields so very appealing. Continue reading

Posted in California Wine, Oregon, Washington State | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Syrah: The Rodney Dangerfield of Wine

Syrah is a black grape that, unlike Pinot Noir, is relatively easy to grow and to make great wines from. Unfortunately, while it is a grape that is popular with winemakers, and there are many very well made and reasonably priced bottlings on the market, it has yet to gain much respect among U.S. consumers. Continue reading

Posted in California Wine, Northern Rhone, Syrah, Washington State | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Long Shadows Vintners and the phenomenon of big name, long-distance joint venturing

In general, these are well made and tasty wines, if not particularly exciting or characterful. I appreciate that Shoup has also not priced them at ridiculous levels, in an attempt to make them seem like “instant cult” wines, unlike Heidi Barrett partner John Schwartz, whose ridiculously over priced Coup de Foudre, Amuse Bouche and Au Sommet I’ve railed about here. The retail prices run from $20 for the Riesling, which I think is the least of the lineup, to $45 for the Saggi, $50 for the Chester Kidder, $55 each for the Pirouette, Sequel and Pedestal, and $60 for the Feather. (Artisan is selling them for significantly less than that.) I particularly like the Sequel, the Chester Kidder, the Pedestal and the ’07 edition of the Feather. I do wonder, though, about the continuing value of importing distant big name winemaker/partners to bring more attention to an up and coming region like Washington State. Continue reading

Posted in Cabernet Sauvignon, Riesling, Syrah, Washington State | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments