Sunday, February 12, 2023

Super Bowl party wine - Long Shadows Feather

 Super Bowl party big red sipping - Long Shadows Feather 2018

Wine buddy, fellow Pour Boy, Dr Dan hosted a Super Bowl party and opened a selection of champagne and wines for the occasion. I zero'd in on this favored sipper from the Long Shadows Vintners Collection, Feather by Randy Dunn

We've written often in these pages about the Long Shadows Vintners Collection featuring a cadre of world class winemakers, chosen for their expertise in a particular varietal, then challenged to produce the optimal wine sourced from Washington State fruit. 

This was the vision of Allen Shoup, former CEO of Chateau St Michelle, champion and evangelist for Washington State wines. He formed the brand and recruited a world famous winemaker for each varietal based label to craft wines that showcase Washington State vinifera. For Cabernet Sauvignon he chose and partnered with iconic Napa Valley winemaker Randy Dunn. 

We've long known about the brand and joined their club while visiting their tasting room hospitality center in Woodinville WA during our Seattle Wine / Dine Experience in 2018. We remain Vault Club Members of the allocated portfolio and get a case each quarter of two of the varietal based selections including this Feather label, which we often share with Dr Dan and his cellar.

And, we've written often about our affinity for Randy Dunn and his handicraft with Cabernet Sauvignon. While this label might not normally be considered a casual sipper, it was enjoyable with the broad buffet of artisan cheeses, Italian Beef and BBQ pulled pork, and medley of chocolate, cherry and cheesecake desserts.

Long Shadows "Feather", Columbia Valley, Washington, 2018

This is a label from a producer we know well from our broader cellar collection that span more than two decades, and vertical collection of this label. Our meeting with winemaker Randy Dunn during a visit to Dunn Vineyards estate high atop Howell Mountain was a highlight of our Napa Valley Howell Mountain Wine Experience back in 2008.
One note about winemaker Randy Dunn's wines is that they tend to be long-lived. Pundits say in their reviews, "Best after 2025, with a long life beyond that"; "This wine will be even more delicious with another several years of bottle age. Cellar this and enjoy it for the next 15 years or longer."

That said, this showed better than when we last tasted this label last summer when I wrote "this may have been consumed too young and need several more years of aging to develop, integrate, and settle to reveal its true profile, character and potential". A risk of drinking young wines from a restaurant wine list at that time. They might likely be better served perhaps holding this back a few years, or, more likely, featuring some of the other Long Shadows Vintners Series labels that might provide earlier younger drinking gratification.

I gave this an additional point over that earlier tasting last summer of this label. 

This label also got blockbuster reviews and ratings - 96 points from International Wine Report, 95 points from Jeb Dunnuck and Vinous, Owen Bargreen, and 93 points from Wine Enthusiast who awarded it Cellar Selection, Best of the Year 2021.

This 100% Cabernet Sauvignon Feather comes from the Horse Heaven Hills and Wahluke Slope Weinbau and Wallula Vineyards in Columbia Valley, Washington, and spent 22 months in 90% new French oak. 

Classic Randy Dunn style Cabernet with dark garnet colored, medium full bodied, tight, structured dense and concentrated yet somewhat subdued blackberry and black plum fruits accented by cassis, dust, tar, graphite, leather, tobacco leaf, with hints of dark chocolate and expresso coffee. 

RM 92 points. As noted, an additional point over earlier tasting last summer.