Friday, August 14, 2020

Long Shadows Pedestal Merlot 2015

 Michel Rolland Crafted Long Shadows Pedestal Merlot 2015 for Grilled Beefsteak Dinner

Son Alec flew in from NYC to attend son Sean's, his brother's bachelor party and we celebrated the reunion with a hearty grilled beefsteak dinner including tomahawk rib-eye steaks. We selected from the cellar this Long Shadows Pedestal crafted by legendary winemaker Michel Rolland for the occasion. 

 Linda prepared beefsteaks prepared in our favorite Pittsburgh-style (charred with hot pink center) with baked potatoes, haricot verts, sweet corn and an iceberg wedge salad with fresh tomatoes and blue cheese. I must say this is a classic midwest summer dinner. During the years that we lived in Silicon Valley, California, I missed good steak, sweet corn and beefy sweet tomatoes! I often say, California (in this case, Washington State) do the grapes, and Indiana/Illinois the beef, corn and tomatoes!

Alec turned us on to the Michel Rolland own-label crafted from fruits from the notable Tokalon Vineyard in Napa Valley - (source for many ultra-premium labels including Opus). He had that wine with soon-to-be father-in-law Frank B. We researched the label and picked up a highly allocated three pack which I shared with fellow Pour Boy Dr Dan, and son Ryan for their cellars. We'll look forward to indulging in that super-premium label. 

Long Shadows Vintners' Collection 

I have written in these pages about Long Shadows, the brand portfolio of several labels, all crafted by world famous winemakers from fruits sourced in the Washington State Columbia Valley. This was the vision of Allen Shoup, former CEO of Chateau St Michelle, champion and evangelist for Washington State wines. He formed the brand and recruited a world famous winemaker for each varietal based label. Michel Rolland, Pomerol vintner and consultant to many of the world’s top wineries, was selected to produce this Right Bank Bordeaux Blend wine. He is the 'Master of Merlot', winemaker to some of the leading Bordeaux labels from the Right Bank where Merlot is the predominant varietal in the blend as well as the Napa based Merlot based Red Blend release cited herein. 

We've long known about the brand and joined their club while visiting their tasting room hospitality center in Woodinville WA during our Seattle Wine / Dine Experience in 2018. We remain Vault Club Members of the allocated portfolio and get a case each quarter of two of the varietal based selections including this Pedestal label.

Long Shadows Pedestal Red Blend (Merlot) 2015

The blend is a Right Bank Bordeaux composition, 75% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon,  8% Petit Verdot and 2% Cabernet Franc.  The production was 2,365 cases. 

The grapes for the 2015 Pedestal were sourced from several top, notable Columbia Valley vineyards, the Wahluke Slope’s Weinbau and Stone Tree Vineyards dominate the blend and give Pedestal its aromatics, bright fruit, texture and fine tannins. Conner Lee Vineyard adds richness, and Dionysus Vineyard grapes build complexity in the wine.

The winemaker's notes for this release sum it up perfectly: "The 2015 Pedestal offers vibrant aromas of black cherry and ripe blackberries with accents of vanilla and freshly roasted coffee. Expressive and lively on entry, with a richly textured mid-palate and layers of huckleberry, bittersweet chocolate and oak spice that stretch across a lengthy finish." 

I note that at five years, this is still early in its tasting window and should continue to age gracefully for a few more years to integrate more and gain more balance and lose some of its still youthful astringency. It is dark inky garnet colored, medium full bodied, strong aromatics erupt from the bottle upon releasing the cork, bright tangy astringent black berry fruits with sprites of bittersweet dark mocha chocolate, spicy oak and notes of vanilla tobacco and expresso on the lengthy soft tannin finish.

RM 92 points.