One of my favorites in the 2013 lineup is the 2013 Pedestal Merlot. Made by Michel Rolland and blended with 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Petit Verdot and smaller parts Malbec and Cabernet Franc, aged 22 months in 85% new French oak, its deep purple color is followed by fabulous notes of plums, coffee beans, spice box and sweet oak in a full-bodied, decadent, ripe and expansive package. In general, Cabernet was more successful than Merlot in 2013, but you wouldn’t know it by tasting this beauty. Drink it anytime over the coming decade.
(15.2% alcohol, with a pH of 3.84; made by Michel Rolland, who vinifies this wine in an upright 55-hectoliter wood fermenter): Dark, bright ruby-red. Slightly liqueur-like aromas of raspberry, blackberry, black cherry and violet. Plush, densely packed and very pliant, offering just enough shape to its creamy flavors of dark plum, blackberry and spices. Really superb fruit here. Finishes with substantial broad tannins, which Nicault noted come largely from the Tapteil Cabernet Sauvignon. He also told me that Rolland rarely adds any Malbec to this blend, as the fruit here is "not of Argentinian quality." The point of this venture is for its multiple bottlings to offer accurate reflections of the individual participating winemakers, and under the direction of estate manager/winemaker Gilles Nicault they have always been remarkably different from each other every year, not to mention consistently excellent. Nicault described 2013 as a classic vintage, with great Indian summer conditions. "We had cool nights before the harvest in 2013 and that helped us stretch out hang time," he said. Nicault added that he loves the 2012s "but had to be more careful at harvest due to some rainy spells." Only the Syrah fruit needed a bit of acidification in 2013, said Nicault. (ST)
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