by Andrew Chalk
Allen Shoup left the position of President and CEO position at Washington State’s largest wine maker, Chateau Ste. Michelle, in 2000 but he had no intention of retiring. After three years ‘gardening leave’ (presumably to serve out a non-compete) he founded a new and very unusual winery. Long Shadows Vintners has not one winemaker, but one winemaker for each wine. Furthermore, that wine maker is not an employee but an acknowledged worldwide leader in that genre. For example, the Long Shadows Cabernet Sauvignon is made by Napa legend Randy Dunn. The Merlot, by French legend and Pomerol native, Michel Rolland. There are actually seven superstar winemakers making seven Long Shadows wines.
At a tasting this week at Pappas Bros. Steakhouse, at which I was an invited guest, I questioned Shoup about the stars involvement with the wines. It is important, in a week in which Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have apparently produced a Provence Rosé wine, to clarify how involved the stars were in the production of the product. Pitt and Jolie’s involvement seems as plausible as Kim Kardashian getting a Ph.D. from Cal. Tech. Did Brad Pitt choose the date when picking started? When asked what type of barrels to age the wine in, did Angelina Jolie respond ‘pink’? This is obviously nothing more than vapid marketing. Continue reading
by Andrew Chalk
See more of this great state with a full day road trip. One way to do it is to tour the “Way Out Wineries” (essentially the wineries south and southwest of Dallas, within approximately a 100 mile radius). Recommended in this gang:
Barking Rocks: Best Doggie Place. Seriously, the tasting room is open so the dog can come in and sniff around and meet the winery dog ‘cellar’. To see how hippies age, ask for Tiberia. People describe nearby county town Granbury as quaint too, with its square and courthouse. Babe’s chicken is just off the square. Continue reading
by Andrew Chalk
Pappas Bros Steakhouse, the location that consistently holds the best high-end California wine tastings in Dallas announces one that will be among the best of the year:
On Wednesday evening May 15, Pappas Bros. Steakhouse in Dallas will host a private wine dinner for guests to enjoy a fine wine and dining experience. The evening will highlight a four-course menu expertly prepared by Executive Chef James Johnson to complement exceptional wines from Long Shadows Vintners. Founded by Washington wine pioneer Allen Shoup in 2003, Long Shadows Vintners is a collection of ultra-premium wines created by internationally acclaimed winemakers from the major wine regions of the world. Each vintner is a part owner in this unique winery crafted to showcase the viticultural excellence of Washington State’s Columbia Valley. Guests will have the opportunity to experience the complexity,elegance and sophistication of Long Shadows Vintners and special guestand Founder, Allen Shoup, will be your guide to his outstanding Columbia Valley wines. Continue reading
By Andrew Chalk
This week I had the honor to meet Andrea Sartori, the President of his family’s winery, Sartori di Verona, along with his consulting winemaker Franco Bernabei over a meal with some of their best wines. It was a memorable experience.
Andrea Sartori is a busy man. As President of Sartori de Verona winery he already has the responsibility of running a family business. However, since he became Managing Director in 1998 his ambition has made his own job even more onerous. He had studied in the United States at Columbia University, producing a more global perspective for the scion of an old-line Veneto wine producer (as well as fluency in English). He doesn’t say he took over the reins of the family winery with an agenda, but events since that date suggest it. That agenda can be summarized as a steady march up the mountain of quality. Continue reading
by Andrew Chalk
2011 Casillero del Diablo Cabernet Sauvignon, Reserve, Santiago, Chile is a reserve offering in Concha y Toro’s popularly priced Casillero del Diablo line. Despite its modest $12 price tag it is a solid and immediately enjoyable red wine. The nose is Cabernet fruit and black cherries. The mouth feel is soft with a hint of residual sugar likely reflecting ripe fruit. There is just enough tannic to give it a backbone and a pleasant, long fruit finish. Continue reading
by Steven Doyle
Last evening I caught up with sommelier Ryan Tedder at a thought provoking Italian wine tasting at Bob’s Steakhouse in Plano. I was surprised to see Tedder in the group, but the previous year’s TexSom winner is constantly improving his knowledge, along with a group of fantastic young enthusiasts and sommeliers in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
I had not realy seen Tedder since he left FT33 as general manager/ sommelier, and was excited to sit down with him for a few minutes to discuss his most recent work in Dallas. Continue reading