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Pirouette 2009

Bordeaux Red Blends from Columbia Valley, Washington
  • WE95
  • CG91
  • WS91
  • RP91
14.9% ABV
  • JD95
  • WS91
  • WE90
  • RP95
  • WE92
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  • WE94
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2.5 2 Ratings
14.9% ABV

Winemaker Notes

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

Critical Acclaim

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WE 95
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.
CG 91
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.
WS 91
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.
RP 91
Robert Parker's 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.
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Pirouette

Pirouette

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Pirouette, Columbia Valley, Washington
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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.

Columbia Valley

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A large and geographically diverse AVA responsible for a wide variety of wine styles, the Columbia Valley AVA is home to 99% of Washington State’s total vineyard area. A small section of the AVA extends into northern Oregon as well. Because of its vast size, it is necessarily divided into several distinctive sub-AVAs, including Walla Walla Valley and Yakima Valley—which is further split into three more even smaller AVAs. A region this size will of course have varied microclimates, but on the whole it experiences cold winters and long, dry growing seasons. Frost is a common risk during winter and spring. The towering Cascade mountain range creates a rain shadow, keeping the valley relatively rain-free throughout the year, necessitating irrigation from the Columbia River. The lack of humidity combined with sandy soils allows for vines to be grown on their own rootstock, as phylloxera is not a serious concern.

Red wines make up the majority of production in the Columbia Valley. Cabernet Sauvignon is the dominant variety here, where it produces wines with a pleasant balance of dark fruit and herbs. Wines made from Merlot are typically supple, with sweet red fruit and sometimes a hint of chocolate or mint. Syrah tends to be savory and Old-World-leaning, with a wide range of possible fruit flavors and plenty of spice. The most planted white varieties are Chardonnay and Riesling, the styles of which depend on the warmth of the site. Citrus and green apple are common to both in cooler sites, while warmer vineyards will produce riper, fleshier stone fruit flavors.

Bordeaux Blends

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington, and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and/or Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde river, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux can be bold and fruit-forward or restrained and earthy, while New World facsimiles tend to emulate the former style. In general, Bordeaux red blends can have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful, and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb, or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include Syrah, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or virtually any other grape deemed worthy by the winemaker. In Australia, Shiraz is a common component.

PBC6143747_2009 Item# 123576