(82% Merlot, 14% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Malbec)
Columbia Valley, Washington
WINEMAKER – Michel Rolland
Michel Rolland is considered by many to be one of the most influential winemakers in the field. A graduate of the esteemed Bordeaux Faculty of Oenology, he continues to build upon this practical source of knowledge through observations in his own laboratory in Pomerol, France. He consults for over 100 vintners and vineyards on every continent, producing wines with an alluring style recognized as the “Rolland Method”. Rolland also maintains partnership interests in far-flung regions of the globe, including his partnership in Pedestal at Long Shadows. His home, however, is in Pomerol, where he owns and manages a number of holdings and fine wine estates: Chateau Le Bon Pasteur in Pomerol, Chateau Bertineau Saint-Vincent in Lalande-de-Pomerol, Chateau Rolland-Maillet in Saint-Emilion, and Chateau Fontenil in Fronsac. In addition, Michel manages the Chateau La Grande Clotee in Lussac-Saint-Emilion under a vineyard lease system.
The 2018 Pedestal Merlot was predominately grown on the Wahluke Slope, a warm area of the Columbia Valley that produces Merlot with layers of fresh, dark fruit and beautiful aromatics. A small amount of Merlot from Dionysus Vineyard helped build layers and complexity. Red Mountain’s Tapteil Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon added backbone. Malbec from Sonnet Vineyard contributed concentration and pretty violet aromatics.
Hand-harvested grapes were double-sorted before fermentation to remove any stems or jacks that might impart harsh tannins. Afterwards, most lots were cold soaked to build richness and flavor before undergoing whole-berry fermentation in 1,500 gallon upright French wood tanks. This, combined with gentle pump-overs throughout fermentation, enhanced the wine’s color and added richness on the palate. The finished wine was aged 22 months in Sylvain and Millet French oak barrels (85% new), two top quality coopers next to Michel Rolland’s hometown of Saint-Émilion.
96 points – Vinous Media
96 points – Decanter
95 points – Jeb Dunnuck
93 points – Wine Enthusiast