A Merlot from a young Washington State winery has won a blind tasting in Canada, besting some of the most famous, top-rated Merlots in the world. More than 90 tasters, including many international, world-class winemakers, selected Long Shadows Vintners’ 2003 Pedestal Merlot as their favorite wine. Eleven “Merlots from Around the World” were featured in a tasting at the annual Wine Summit at the Relais & Chateau Post Hotel in Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada.
While Pedestal may be something of an “upstart,” the winemaker certainly is not. Internationally celebrated winemaker Michel Rolland, Pomerol vintner and consultant to many of the world’s most famous wineries, made the 2003 Pedestal which he co-owns with Washington State wine pioneer Allen Shoup as part of the Long Shadows venture. Tasters ranked wines in the following order of preference:
Tasting Results Retail Price (on release)
1. 2003 Pedestal, Columbia Valley, Washington $ 55
2. 2004 Tenuta dell’Ornellaia, “Masseto”, Tuscany, Italy $250
3. 2002 Vérité, “La Muse,” Sonoma County, California $ na
4. 2003 Blankiet Estate, “Paradise Hills Vineyard, Napa $100
5. 2004 Tua Rita, “Redigaffi”, Tuscany, Italy $275
6. 1994 Leonetti Cellars, Washington $ 40
7. 1997 Pahlmeyer, Napa Valley, California $ 75
8. 2001 Château Petrus, Pomerol, France $590
9. 1998 Château Trotanoy, Pomerol, France $207
10. 1998 Le Macchiole, “Messorio”, Bolgheri, Italy $200
11. 1995 Chateau Certan de May, Pomerol, France $100
The tasting was moderated by Anthony Gismondi, one of Canada’s most influential wine critics. A top-rated writer, broadcaster and speaker, his expertise is widely acknowledged throughout the international wine community.