Pedestal Merlot 2009
Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
#11 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2012
Rich and expressive, yet graceful, this intensely aromatic Merlot displays a wide array of mouthwatering flavors, including ripe blackberries, dark plum and baker's chocolate. Sweet tannins and a velvety texture persist across a lengthy finish.
Blend: 83% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cabernet Franc
Wine Spectator - "This red is round, generous and expressive, offering plum, loganberry, cherry and clove flavors that pick up hints of loam and floral character as the finish tightens its focus. Impressive for its length and deft balance."
International Wine Cellar - " Bright ruby-red. Very ripe aromas of black cherry, melted licorice and minerals. Sweet, ripe and strong, with a distinctly sappy quality to its black cherry and sexy oak flavors. This struck me as more masculine than the 2008 version and every bit as fresh--and in need of longer bottle aging. Finishes classically dry and long, with solid backbone."
The Wine Advocate - "'It's a blending grape,' Shoup continues to maintain about Merlot, 'and has to be grown in really special ways to achieve greatness standing alone' – he should surely have added: 'in special places' – but, nonetheless, he felt that given its status as something of a signature grape for Washington, he should (to hear him tell, with considerable effort) persuade Michel Rolland to render a Merlot showcase, of which 2009 Pedestal is the latest installment, prominently featuring Red Mountain fruit, while involving small amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon and (for the first time) Malbec. Scents of cherry preserves, mint, peat, espresso roast, toasted coconut and caramelized resin, presage a correspondingly complex, torrefied and confitured palate impression. The polish and plushness here are impressive as is the wine's sheer sweet and smoky length, though a hint of heat does creep into the finish from 14.9% alcohol. This definitely should be served no warmer than 65 degrees Fahrenheit. I imagine it will remain fresh for at least the better part of a decade."
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Michel Rolland crafts wines for many of the world’s most famous wineries, but his roots come from Pomerol, home to Bordeaux’s finest Merlots. In partnership with Washington wine visionary Allen Shoup, Michel has created a Columbia Valley Merlot that exemplifies the complexity and concentration of flavors for which his wines are internationally known. Pedestal is one of six distinct red wines from the Long Shadows Vintners collection.
An intense, fruit-forward wine, bursting with fresh blueberries, ripe plum, cedar and spice. Good concentration in the wine adds to its pleasing mouth feel; balanced acidity enhances its appeal. Supple tannins are well-integrated on the entry, across the mid-palate and throughout a long, layered finish. View all Pedestal Wines
About Columbia ValleyView a map of Columbia Valley wineries
Columbia Valley is the largest of Washington State's wine growing regions, with almost 11 million acres. It encompasses a number of smaller regions, including Yakima Valley, Walla Walla Valley, Red Mountain and more. The vast area consists of a range of climates, allowing viticulturists to plant a diverse selection of grape varieties. Most wineries plant rows sparsely, which helps the vines survive the harsh winters.
Notable FactsMerlot is the most popular and most planted grape of the area, followed by Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. Syrah and Riesling are also popular and continue to grow in acreage.
About WashingtonRelated Links:Now the number two producer in the United States, Washington State has also grown in quality.
So how does a state known for rain and coffee produce high quality wines? They plant their grapes on the east side of the Cascade mountains, away from that ever-present rain cloud that sits along the coast. Perhaps wine grapes do well since the sandy loam soils east of the Cascade range give way to an almost desert-like land, saved from drought only by the helpful rivers that run through the area – and the good irrigation systems.
Thinking that the state would do best with typical northern growing grapes like Riesling and Gewurtztraminer, turns out the apple state is well-suited for reds, namely Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and, more recently, Syrah. Of course, whites have not been forgotten - Washington State Rieslings range from bone-dry to sweet, are well-structured and high quality, and Chardonnay dominates most of the other white plantings, making a range of wines. But the reds of the region, Merlot in particular, have made Washington State a quality force to be reckoned with.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.
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