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Pedestal Merlot 2008

Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
  • RP93
  • WS92
  • WE91
14.7% ABV
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14.7% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Vibrant flavors of fresh blackberries, currants and ripe red fruits are framed by notes of toasted oak and bittersweet chocolate. Dark and rich with great concentration, texture and a hint of baking spice that weaves through nuances of fresh huckleberry pie that linger on the finish.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 93
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2008 Pedestal Merlot is fashioned by the peripatetic Michel Rolland. Made up of 81% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Sauvignon, with the balance Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, it was aged for 22 months in 85% new French oak. It reveals a nose of cedar, Asian spices, incense, cassis, and black currant. Structured and savory on the palate with spicy black fruit flavors, it has the balance to evolve gracefully for 2-3 years and will offer prime drinking from 2013 to 2023.
WS 92
Wine Spectator
Firm in texture, with a moderate grip of tannins surrounding dark berry, black currant and licorice flavors, lingering gently and persistently. One sip demands another. Best from 2012 through 2016. 2,012 cases made.
WE 91
Wine Enthusiast
A blend of 81% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot. An unusually tight Pedestal, this absolutely must be decanted. It opens well, with black fruits, toasted grain, and firm tannins, then hits a wall and stops short. However, with a lot of breathing time and/or aerating, it broadens out a bit and shows more length and finesse.
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Pedestal

Pedestal

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Pedestal, Columbia Valley, Washington
2008 Merlot
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.

Columbia Valley

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A large and geographically diverse AVA responsible for a wide variety of wine styles, the Columbia Valley AVA is home to 99% of Washington State’s total vineyard area. A small section of the AVA extends into northern Oregon as well. Because of its vast size, it is necessarily divided into several distinctive sub-AVAs, including Walla Walla Valley and Yakima Valley—which is further split into three more even smaller AVAs. A region this size will of course have varied microclimates, but on the whole it experiences cold winters and long, dry growing seasons. Frost is a common risk during winter and spring. The towering Cascade mountain range creates a rain shadow, keeping the valley relatively rain-free throughout the year, necessitating irrigation from the Columbia River. The lack of humidity combined with sandy soils allows for vines to be grown on their own rootstock, as phylloxera is not a serious concern.

Red wines make up the majority of production in the Columbia Valley. Cabernet Sauvignon is the dominant variety here, where it produces wines with a pleasant balance of dark fruit and herbs. Wines made from Merlot are typically supple, with sweet red fruit and sometimes a hint of chocolate or mint. Syrah tends to be savory and Old-World-leaning, with a wide range of possible fruit flavors and plenty of spice. The most planted white varieties are Chardonnay and Riesling, the styles of which depend on the warmth of the site. Citrus and green apple are common to both in cooler sites, while warmer vineyards will produce riper, fleshier stone fruit flavors.

An easy-going red variety with generous fruit and a supple texture, Merlot’s subtle tannins make it perfect for early drinking and allow it to pair with a wide range of foods. One simply needs to look to Bordeaux to understand Merlot's status as a noble variety. On the region’s Right Bank, it dominates in blends with Cabernet Franc, and on the Left Bank, it plays a supporting role to (and helps soften) Cabernet Sauvignon—in both cases resulting in some of the longest-lived and highest-quality wines in the world. They are often emulated elsewhere in Bordeaux-style blends, particularly in California’s Napa Valley, where Merlot also frequently shines on its own.

In the Glass

Merlot is known for its soft, silky texture and approachable flavors of ripe plum, red and black cherry, and raspberry. In a cool climate, you may find earthier notes alongside dried herbs, tobacco, and tar, while Merlot from warmer regions is generally more straightforward and fruit-focused.

Perfect Pairings

Lamb with Merlot is an ideal match—the sweetness of the meat picks up on the sweet fruit flavors of the wine to create a harmonious balance. Merlot’s gentle tannins allow for a hint of spice and its medium weight and bright acidity permit the possibilities of simple pizza or pasta with red sauce—overall, an extremely versatile food wine.

Sommelier Secret

Since the release of the 2004 film Sideways, Merlot's repuation has taken a big hit, and more than a decade later has yet to fully recover, though it is on its way. What many viewers didn't realize was that as much as Miles derided the variety, the prized wine of his collection—a 1961 Château Cheval Blanc—is made from a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc.

PBC6141048_2008 Item# 117429

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