Friday, February 25, 2011

Wine Review & Rating: **** $$$$ Shadows Pedestal Merlot, Columbia Valley, 2007

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Initial review, by way of background: This is Long Shadows Pedestal Merlot, Columbia Valley, 2007, finished at 14.7% alcohol.  Pedestal is made at Allen Shoup's Long Shadows WInery under the direction of vintner Michel Rolland, known most widely for his French Pomerol wines.   Whole berry fermentation was followed by 20 months in mostly-new French oak before bottling.  The grapes came from a selection of vineyards, mostly warm temperatures, with a blend of 75% merlot, 15% cabernet sauvignon, 7% cabernet franc and 3% petit verdot.  Review sample was provided by Long Shadows.

In the glass: Pedestal Merlot is deep magenta in the glass, with a definite purple overtone, showing opaque from about a half inch in from the edge. 

On the nose: Poured cool with a brief decant and swirled vigorously, this Columbia Valley merlot-based blend shows an overpowering nose of eucalyptus dark fruit candycane paired with classic blackcurrant.  Seems big, bold and thick. 

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are consistent with the nose, showing a balanced, slick and deep fruit-based mid-palate.  Gentle tannins pump from the middle of this pleasant thick blackberry juice, slowly spreading out to your cheeks.  The tannins carry the extended finish, with little acid bite.

In summary: Overall, rates an impressive four stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale.

Following long decant, one day kept cool in partially filled bottle:   Still a balanced, bold and compelling nose, less candy now and more layers.    Palate is little changed, except that acids are now more present on the finish, suggesting a stronger match with food. 

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