Rolland's Washington Bordeaux
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 Merlot. 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.
The previous, 2003
this wine received 94 points from Robert Parker's
Wine Advocate, 95 points from Connoisseur's
Guide, 92 points from Wine Spectator, and 93
points from Wine Enthusiast.
said about the previou vintage, 2003: "None
other than Michel Rolland, of Pomerol and
flying winemaker fame, is at the helm of
this Long Shadows consortium winery. A firm
believer in ripe tannin and gentle winemaking
to promote fruit flavors and avoid harshness
or edginess, Rolland must have loved the
long hang-times possible in Washington State’s
Columbia Valley. The 2003 Pedestal (553 cases)
sports a deep nose of ripe cherries and toasty
oak. Fashioned from 75% Merlot, 15% Cabernet
Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc, and 3% Petit
Verdot, this beauty broadens on the palate
to reveal lush layers of thick, silky-textured
Pure, concentrated, and medium to
full-bodied, it is an engaging, hedonistic
wine. Drink it
over the next 12-15 years.
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
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
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.
is a complex, satisfying showstopper. -jean
2004 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 toasty 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
If we may help with an order,
please let us know.
We're available by phone at 541-752-7418
from 8 AM Pacific time until 5 PM Pacific time,
Monday through Saturday, and we answer email
Thanks for your support -
we appreciate your orders and your suggestions.
Our customers always give us our best ideas!
Marcus, Amy, Kevin, and Wendy, and Jean
201 SW 2nd Street
Corvallis OR 97333
VP Sales & Marketing
541-424-8004 (direct line)
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