Bordeaux Red Blends from Columbia Valley, Washington
The 2009 Pirouette offers vibrant aromas of black cherry, violets, and incense that leap from the glass. Ripe currant flavors, hints of black olive, roasted coffee bean and vanilla nuances provide layers of depth, with excellent structure and polished tannins contributing to its lengthy finish.
Blend: 57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot, 13% Cabernet Franc, 3% Malbec
Wine Enthusiast - "A four-grape, Bordeaux-style blend, this packs 57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot, 13% Cabernet Franc and 3% Malbec. Refined and elegant, it is precisely structured, with a firm herbal attack and a perfect blend of berry and cassis flavors. It's dense, deep and compact, suggesting long aging ahead. Cellar Selection."
International Wine Cellar - "Deep, bright medium ruby. Ripe, inviting aromas of cassis, black raspberry, blackberry and black licorice. Large-scaled, sweet and rich; wonderfully glossy in the mouth, with concentrated dark fruit flavors complemented by a strong element of sweet oak. This big boy finishes with lovely lingering perfume, excellent length and terrific tannic grip.
Rating: 93(+?) "
Wine Spectator - "This focused and generous red has cherry, cranberry and floral aromas and flavors, riding easily over refined tannins on the long finish. Shows intensity without great weight. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Malbec."
The Wine Advocate - "The Long Shadows project of Philippe Melka and Agustin Huneeus Sr., the 2009 Pirouette blends Cabernet Sauvignon largely from Red Mountain, with 27% Merlot, 13% Cabernet Franc and 3% Malbec. High-toned evocations of herbal distillates are married to confitured dark berries, chocolate, caramel and spice cake. The tannin here is powdery, if not quite melted; and 14.9% alcohol in no way mars a soothingly sustained, rather dessert-like finish."
Connoisseurs' Guide - "Here is a wine that proves just how deceiving a first impression can be, for, while it is lively enough and a bit tight to start, it unfolds and blooms into beauty when given the chance. It is never an obvious wine, yet it is a deep and impressively layered one with a nary an ounce of fat on its frame, and its uncommon combination of potency and restraint would seem to portend a quite long, very promising future-and the wait should be worth it."
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Agustin Huneeus, Sr. (Quintessa) and acclaimed winemaker Philippe Melka teamed to combine the traditions of old world winemaking, the advancements of new world technology, and small lots from Washington State’s finest vineyards to craft this classic Bordeaux-styled blend. Pirouette is one of six distinct red wines from the Long Shadows Vintners collection.
Richly layered and complex, the wine is unfiltered and unfined to allow for a generous spectrum of aromas and flavors including black cherry, sweet spices and a hint of earth. The wine’s refined texture provides a seductive mouth feel and lengthy finish.
Long Shadows partners Agustin Huneeus, Sr. and Philippe Melka craft Pirouette in the vineyard by working with a select group of growers to keep yields low and ensure grapes are picked at the perfect time. Once at the winery, grapes are hand-sorted and only the highest quality clusters undergo a controlled fermentation on the skins to produce optimal color and tannin extraction. After this, the wine is aged an average of 22 months in 70 percent new French oak. View all Pirouette Wines
About Columbia ValleyView a map of Columbia Valley wineries
Columbia Valley is the largest of Washington State's wine growing regions, with almost 11 million acres. It encompasses a number of smaller regions, including Yakima Valley, Walla Walla Valley, Red Mountain and more. The vast area consists of a range of climates, allowing viticulturists to plant a diverse selection of grape varieties. Most wineries plant rows sparsely, which helps the vines survive the harsh winters.
Notable FactsMerlot is the most popular and most planted grape of the area, followed by Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. Syrah and Riesling are also popular and continue to grow in acreage.
About WashingtonRelated Links:Now the number two producer in the United States, Washington State has also grown in quality.
So how does a state known for rain and coffee produce high quality wines? They plant their grapes on the east side of the Cascade mountains, away from that ever-present rain cloud that sits along the coast. Perhaps wine grapes do well since the sandy loam soils east of the Cascade range give way to an almost desert-like land, saved from drought only by the helpful rivers that run through the area – and the good irrigation systems.
Thinking that the state would do best with typical northern growing grapes like Riesling and Gewurtztraminer, turns out the apple state is well-suited for reds, namely Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and, more recently, Syrah. Of course, whites have not been forgotten - Washington State Rieslings range from bone-dry to sweet, are well-structured and high quality, and Chardonnay dominates most of the other white plantings, making a range of wines. But the reds of the region, Merlot in particular, have made Washington State a quality force to be reckoned with.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.