The Tasting Panel magazine

October 2012

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Page 102 of 140

Allen Shoup, Winemaker Gilles Nicault and SWS Sr. VP, Fine Wines, Jim Allen at The Benches Vineyards in Walla Walla. W hat if you were to take the all-star concept from sports and apply it to making wine? The result would be Long Shadows. "My mentor was Bob Mondavi," confesses Allen Shoup. "He inspired fine wine in California and worked tire- lessly to help the world see fine wine as part of that continuum of great cultural pleasures that celebrated art, dance, music, fine dining, literature and poetry or simply the beauty in nature. Bob felt that each of these pleasures were rein- forced by the other and gave life extra meaning. He cast a long shadow over 94 / the tasting panel / october 2012 the industry." But if Robert Mondavi planted one seed that would inspire Shoup's future signature project, it was the Napa icon's brilliant plan to unite with another celebrated vintner, Baron Philippe de Rothschild, proprietor of Ch√Ęteau Mouton-Rothschild, to create Opus One in 1978. Shoup, as the former CEO of Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, Washington State's dominant presence, was casting his own long shadow over the wine world, long before he conceived of his current personal project. He brought vintner Piero Antinori to Washington State to craft American-grown "Super Tuscan" Col Solare, melding the Italian wine legend's 700-year Tuscan family culture with the wine currents of the Columbia Valley and the marketing clout of Ste. Michelle. Later, Shoup was instrumental in devising a way for Washington State Riesling to be perceived in international terms when renowned German winemaker Dr. Ernest Loosen contacted Allen to join forces with Chateau Ste. Michelle for what would become a highly suc- cessful Columbia Valley dry Riesling called Eroica.

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