Northwest Wine

503.206.8589 Sign In | Your Account cart

Avalon Wine on Facebook

Pedestal Merlot


Michel Rolland, possibly the most influential winemaker in the field, takes the lowly Merlot grape to heights rarely seen in the US with his annual production of Pedestal. Choosing from the best grapes grown in Washington State, he crafts a multi-dimensional, multi-layered, ageable wine reminiscent of Pomerol (where he lives) but containing characteristics unique to the Pacific Northwest.

Rolland is not a technician – he is, first and foremost, an observer. In uncanny fashion, Rolland understands the location and situation unique to wine from a particular area - and therefore the nuances that separate an uneventful wine from something quite exciting. It is this ability to understand the wine that makes him the oenologist extraordinaire that he is, and a legend in his time.


Pedestal Merlot 2012

2012 Pedestal ripples with decadence, a hallmark for this exceptional red. Blended with other Bordeaux varietals, structur...



$64.95 Regular

Saggi Red 2013

Previous vintage tasting notes:

2008 Wine Advocate - 91 points - The 2008 Saggi is composed of 45% ...



$52.95 Regular

Sequel Syrah 2013

2009 Vintage Wine Spectator - 92 points - Focused, plush and generous, with pomegranate-accented dark be...



$57.95 Regular

Nine Hats Sangiovese 08

Nine Hats is the "good value" second label of Washington State's



$25.95 Regular

Nine Hats Red 2013

Nine Hats is made under the same roof as the superb Longshadows wines. This is an excellent value in Washington red wine -...



$27.95 Regular

Nine Hats Syrah 09

Nine Hats is the "good value" second label of Washington State's



$25.95 Regular

More About Pedestal Merlot

In the case of Pedestal, he brings out flavors and scents that make the wine quintessentially Washington State, to a level of depth and complexity too often missed. It's ironic that a Frenchman comes to Washington and produces a wine that offers such a profound presentation of Washington Merlot at its best.

The 2003 vintage of this wine received 94 points from Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, 92 points from Wine Spectator, 95 points from Connoisseurs Guide, and 93 points from Wine Enthusiast. Read 2003 reviews below.

The 2004 Vintage

Avalon Wine's Tasting Notes

The Pedestal Merlot '04 is an impressive wine from the beginning, from its ornate label to the deep color of the wine. Stunning, classic Washington Merlot aromas of plums, cassis, and tobacco leaf explode from the glass, nicely framed by a toasty blue-fruit-vanilla-bean perfume.

This is an opulent, expansive Merlot with flavors of ripe plums, sweet blueberry, dark cherries, and cassis, giving way to leather, minerals and more fruit layers on the finish. Lively acidity and super-fine tannins provide a structure that will reward years in the cellar. With time in the glass, the Pedestal's depth evolves as darker fruit and barrel spices show.

This is a highly-collectible, Aston Martin of a Merlot--beautifully-styled, rare, powerful, crafted impeccably. -marcus


Nose- Intense scent of black fruit, sweet & rich tobacco leaf, spicy cedar incense, and toast.

Flavors- Tremendously complex layering makes this everything most new world Merlot is not- this is not a simple wine by any measure. Layers of different berry, cherry, and currant fruit flavors mingle with toasted espresso bean, bittersweet cocoa, exotic cedar incense and spice, and vanilla bean. The flavors are complemented by a lush, velvety mouthfeel, an uplifting, refreshing acidity that accentuates the complexity of the wine, and beautifully integrated tannins, balanced and unobtrusive, but present and indicating that this will be along-lived wine.

Such a rich, lush wine can be out of balance, but not this one. The big, uplifting acidity matches the silky tannins and huge flavors, reiterating the complexity and suitability for aging. The wine has a remarkable complexity of layers and range of flavors.

Finish- On the finish, hints of fresh saddle leather and minerals add to the fruit flavors. As the fruit diminishes, the sense of intense spice, sweet tobacco, and bittersweet chocolate become more pronounced.

Hype aside, this is one of the best wines ever made in Washington State. Michel Rolland marries his deep knowledge of Bordeaux with the flamboyant richness, intensity, and ripeness of the New World in this Petrus-like wine.

This wine is a complex, satisfying showstopper. -jean

Food Pairings:

Pair with: Grilled Flank steak with summer berry compote or grilled mixed earthy and sweet vegetables like carrots and rutabaga. Lots of concentrated layers of sweet tobacco leaf and toast oak with nice acidity fits well with a meaty steak lightened by the berry sauce and grilled to mirror the scent of smoke. For vegetarians, a hearty mix of earthy and sweet vegetables will give the heft of meat and find the sweet essence and smoke present in the wine. -amy

Michel Rolland (at Right) with Longshadows winemaker Gilles Nicault

Winemaker's Notes

Tasting Notes: Intense cherry, blackberry and baking spice aromas and flavors are woven throughout layers of ripe tannins resulting in a full bodied Merlot with a great concentration of flavors and richness that carry across a lengthy finish.

Vintage: Because of a harsh January freeze that left everyone anxious about damage to the vines, the 2004 vintage required meticulous care in the vineyard. Those who did, including Long Shadows vintners, were rewarded with wonderfully ripe, well-balanced wines. We asked growers to prune to two buds in the early spring, thin at bloom, thin again and drop green clusters at verasion; and finally, leaf thin in September to open up the canopy and promote even ripening. As a result, Long Shadows’ blocks averaged 1 – 2 tons per acre, just slightly less than a “typical” year. This, combined with warm summer temperatures and an extended growing season proved ideal conditions for ripening grapes fully, yielding flavorful, balanced wines.

Winemaking: Grapes were allowed to hang as long as possible for extra richness and ripeness, then hand-harvested and delivered to the winery where the fruit was de-stemmed but not crushed to avoid harsh tannins and preserve fruit character. After fermentation, grapes were moved to French oak barrels for 23 months. Rolland carefully selected the coopers himself calling for Merlot to age in Sylvain barrels for elegance and to help polish the mid-palate; Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc rested in Seguin Moreau and Saury barrels to stand-up to the wines' tannins and impart density and richness.

Vineyards: Pedestal's 2004 vineyard sources were selected to produce a rich, jammy, fruit-forward wine. Primary vineyard sources included Alder Ridge (30%) in the Horse Heaven Hills, giving the wine elegance and wonderful aromatics, Weinbau Vineyard (24%) on the Wahluke Slope adding ripe black fruit and richness and Wallula Vineyard (21%), delivering deep flavors and complexity.

Wine Clubs | Oregon Wine | Washington Wine

Privacy Policy | View Cart | Customer Service | Contact Us | Sign up For Newsletter

Avalon Wine Inc. 3115 NE Sandy Blvd. #127 Portland, OR 97232

Purple Wine Company, Inc., a California limited liability company,
and its AVALON brand are not in any way affiliated with Avalon Wine, Inc, an Oregon corporation,
or Avalon Wine's store at its physical location in Oregon.

1997-2016 Avalon Wine Inc. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction of any part of this site prohibited without permission.