Long Shadows Winery Pedestal Merlot 2018, Columbia Valley, Washington

2018 vintage – 82% Merlot, 14% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Malbec. A concentrated and layered wine offering dark fruit aromas with a hint of tobacco. The mouthfeel is opulent, with luscious wild blackberry and chocolate-covered black cherry woven around an appealing note of spicy clove. Beautifully complex, the flavors and weight of the wine combine to leave a rich, satisfying finish. Hand-harvested grapes were double-sorted before fermentation to remove any stems or jacks that might impart harsh tannins, then the majority of the 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 helped to provide richness on the palate. The finished wine was aged 22 months in French oak barrels, 85% new. Like 2017, 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 and The Benches was used to build layers and complexity. Red Mountain’s Tapteil Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon added backbone. Petit Verdot from Dionysus Vineyard contributed to the finished wine’s rich mid-palate.