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Pirouette 2015

  • JD95
  • RP93
  • V93
  • WE92
750ML / 15.1% ABV
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750ML / 15.1% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Philippe Melka and Agustin Huneeus, Sr. 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 enticing red blend.

Deep in color and complexity, this wine combines expressive red fruit aromas with dark chocolate and blueberry flavors accented by hints of oak spice that evolve across the palate. A juicy yet beautifully balanced wine with a rich mouthfeel and persistent finish.

Blend: 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Merlot, 11% Petit Verdot, 3% Malbec

Critical Acclaim

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JD 95
Jeb Dunnuck
The 2015 Pirouette Red Wine is a Cabernet Sauvignon dominated cuvée that includes 21% Merlot, 11% Petit Verdot and 3% Malbec. It spent 22 months in 75% new French oak. Blackcurrants, dark chocolate, crushed rock, and graphite notions all dominate this rich, opulent, beautifully concentrated, layered red. It has enough tannin to warrant short-term cellaring and is going to keep for 10-15+ years.
RP 93
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Pure and fruit-driven, the 2015 Pirouette wafts from the glass with notes of ripe cherries and plums. On the palate, it's lavishly textural and velvety, with an ample core of juicy dark fruits and good balancing acids, its abundant tannins only asserting themselves on the finish. Ripe and generous, it's only deficiency is a lack of complexity. Of all the Long Shadows wines—Michel Rolland's included—this would be the most at home in contemporary Napa Valley. It's made by Philippe Melka and consists of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Merlot, 11% Petit Verdot and 3% Malbec.
V 93
Vinous
Black cherry, cassis, coffee, licorice, menthol and herbs on the nose; distinctly darker in character than the Pedestal Merlot. Densely packed, fine-grained wine with noteworthy medicinal reserve to its black cherry and menthol flavors. Seriously tannic but the tannins are utterly glossy and refined. Finishes with a real whiplash of dark fruit and licorice flavor.
WE 92
Wine Enthusiast
This wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (65%), Merlot (21%), Petit Verdot (11%) and Malbec. The aromas are locked up on first pour, with notes of black cherry, cassis, cocoa, black currant, raspberry and high-toned barrel spice. The palate brings lithe fruit flavors, with firm lightly grippy tannins that need time to soften. It has all the stuffing but needs time in the cellar to come into its own. Best after 2025.
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Pirouette

Pirouette

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Pirouette, 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.

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Columbia Valley

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A large and geographically diverse AVA capable of producing 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 even extends into northern Oregon!

Because of its size, it is necessarily divided into several distinctive sub-AVAs, including Walla Walla Valley and Yakima Valley—which are both further split into smaller, noteworthy appellations. A region this size will of course have varied microclimates, but on the whole it experiences extreme winters and long, hot, dry summers. 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 entire 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. These range in style from citrus and green apple dominant in cooler sites, to riper, fleshier wines with stone fruit flavors coming from the warmer vineyards.

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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 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 lean towards a highly structured and earthy style whereas New World areas (as in the ones named above) tend to produce bold and fruit-forward blends. Either way, Bordeaux red blends generally 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 in specified percentages, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include equal amounts of Cabernet Franc and Malbec, for example. Occassionally a winemaker might add a small percentage of a non-Bordeaux variety, such as Syrah or Petite Sirah for a desired result.

PBC6143747_2015 Item# 400168