New Customers Save $30 off $100+* with code SEPTNEW30
New Customers Save $30* with code SEPTNEW30
*New customers only. Order must be placed by 9/22/2017. The $30 discount is given for a single order with a minimum of $100 excluding shipping and tax. Items with pricing ending in .97 are excluded and will not count toward the minimum required. Discount does not apply to corporate orders, gift certificates, or StewardShip membership fees. No other promotion codes, coupon codes or corporate discounts may be applied to order.
Pedestal Merlot 2009
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
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.
'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.
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.
An underappreciated wine-producing country currently undergoing a renaissance, South Africa has a surprisingly long and rich history considering its status as part of the “New World” of wine. In the mid-17th century, the lusciously sweet dessert wines of Constantia were highly prized by the European aristocracy. Since then, the South African wine industry has experienced some setbacks due to the phylloxera infestation of the late 1800s and political difficulties throughout the following century. Today, however, it is increasingly responsible for high-quality wines that are helping to put the country back on the international wine map. Wine production is mainly situated around Cape Town, where the climate is generally warm to hot, but the Benguela current from Antarctica provides the brisk ocean breezes necessary for steady ripening. Similarly, cooler high-elevation vineyard sites offer climatic diversity.
South Africa’s wine regions are divided into region, then smaller districts, and finally wards, but the country’s wine styles are differentiated more by grape variety than by region. Pinotage, a cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsault, is the country’s “signature” grape, responsible for earthy, gamey reds. When Pinotage is blended with other red varieties, like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, or Pinot Noir (all commonly vinified alone as well), it is often labeled as a “Cape Blend.” Chenin Blanc (locally known as “Steen”) dominates white wine production, with Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc following behind.
One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it’s grown and how it’s made. In Burgundy, Chardonnay produces some of the finest white wines in the world, typically tending towards minimal intervention in the winery and at its best resulting in remarkable longevity. This grape is popular throughout the world, but perhaps its second most important home is in California, where both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines enjoy great popularity. Oregon, Australia, South America, South Africa, and New Zealand are also significant producers of Chardonnay.
In the Glass
When planted on cool sites, Chardonnay’s flavors tend towards grapefruit, green apple, minerals, and white stone fruit, while warmer locations coax out richer, more tropical flavors of fig, melon, and pineapple. Oak can add notes of vanilla, coconut, and spice (as well as texture), while malolactic fermentation can impart soft, buttery acidity.
Chardonnay is as versatile at the table as it is in the vineyard. The crisp, clean, Chablis-like styles go well with simple seafood, light chicken dishes, and salads. Richer Chardonnays marry well with cream or oil-based sauces.
Since the 1990s, big, oaky, buttery Chardonnays from California have enjoyed explosive popularity. More recently, the pendulum has begun to swing in the opposite direction, towards a clean, crisp style that rarely utilizes new oak. These Old-World style wines have been dubbed the “New California Chardonnays,” and anyone who claims they do not like Chardonnay should give them a try.