Pedestal Cellars 2005 merlot

Another early WAwineman classic, 1st posted on May 27, 2008:

I wanna be a communications director and get paid $160k/yr for basically spinning news items for the mayor of ‘our town.’ Criminy sakes…that dude’s getting paid the equivalent of 4 public school teachers. I bet he isn’t even a wine drinker, at that. Oh well…another rat race hero is born.
I hope everyone had a great weekend outside. Of course, my version of outside was a Sunday grilling under perfect weather. My only problem was, I grilled too many appetizers and hardly had any heat left for the big show…ribeye. So, I slow cooked (and smoked) the ribeye but was forced to broil the filet mignons indoors. Yeah, kinda sucked but the natives were restless, especially after a superb and juicy starter of portobellos. Gimme a ‘hell, yeah!’
So, I’ll divulge in a future review my two starter vines; this was the main event pairing. Pedestal is part of Allen Shoup’s conglomerate of oeno stars under the Long Shadows Vintners group. Guess he got tired of CSM. So, he brought on bigshot Michel Rolland, who is a consultant to over 100 other wineries ’round the world and is based out of Pomerol. Invented his own style, the “Rolland method”, where he studies the ‘zen’ of the winery/vineyard. Whatever the method, it’s the result that counts and he’s got it. Long Shadows started in 2002 and this is the third edition of Pedestal. My only wonder is how can this high-priced startup develop consistency? Whatever the composition, this is a unique wine to enjoy now as I can’t think of another company that is similarly structured.
So, lucky me, I get to road-test this porsche with two types of steaks. And, it’s really a no-brainer…grilled whipped the snot out of broiled steaks. And this wine seemed to flex more muscle with the stronger smoky accents. It cut right through the blood and char with the precision of a Jack the Ripper, with a supple balance between oak and fruit. A true forty-five buck Rolland.
Alcohol: 14.7%. pH 3.77. 1512 cases. Merlot 80%, cab sau 13%, and cab franc 7%. Vineyards: (warm sites) Candy Mountain and Weinbau to give bold, rich flavors; Conner Lee and Dionysus added bright cherry, dark berries and supple tannins; Horse Heaven Hills for the cab sau, and cab franc for the floral note. Barrels: Sylvain to help polish the mid-palate; and Taransaud and Saury to match the wines’ tannins and add density and richness.
Nose: scorched earth, burnt forest, kiawe charcoal. Color: purple abyss. Mouthfeel: thick, yet silky. Tail trail: 6 seconds with definite mid-palate burst. Flavors: bing cherry at entry, moving to blackberries and licorice jellybeans, then finishing with blackberries on toast. Released February, 2008.
Rated: 95. Value: $45. This is WAwineman…uncorked, uneducated but not uncouth.
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