2004 Pirouette

93 Points - Wine Advocate

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.

A full spectrum of bright aromas and flavors gives the 2004 Pirouette wonderful complexity and style. Cabernet Sauvignon makes for a rich, structured wine; Syrah and Merlot add vibrant, dark fruit and a hint of licorice and spice; Petit Verdot contributes to its balance and liveliness. Lush and concentrated, the flavors continue through a lingering finish.

 

93 POINTS - WINE ADVOCATE

Download Wine Notes
Vintage2004
VarietalRed Blend
Varietal Composition49% Cabernet Sauvignon
27% Merlot
13% Petit Verdot
11% Syrah
AppellationColumbia Valley
Acid0.55g/ 100ml
PH3.82
AgingDrink now through 2014
Alcohol14.60%
Wine StyleRed Wine
Volume750 ml


 

2004 PIROUETTE - 93 POINTS

"The expressive nose offers up pain grille, scorched earth, blueberry, and blackberry liqueur. This is followed by a thick wine with silky tannins, superb depth and richness, and layers of flavor."

 


 

2004 PIROUETTE - 91 POINTS

"A wine of many parts and many facets, its aromas start with ripe black cherries and hints of wild berries and proceed to caramel, currants and toast combined in the most mannerly and never flamboyant way."

 


 

2004 PIROUETTE - 90 POINTS

"Ripe, plush and generous with its dark-hued cherry and currant fruit, shaded with licorice and roasted pepper as the finish rolls on and on. A hefty wine that finds a balance as the aftertaste lingers."

Creating complexity and layers in a wine is due in part to vineyard selection. To that end, the winemakers chose a diverse selection of Columbia Valley vineyard sites, each contributing unique character to the blend. Grapes from the Horse Heaven Hills vineyards (32%) contributed depth; Wahluke Slope (24%) provided richness, concentration and dark fruit; Columbia Valley (25%) added ripe fruit character; the Yakima Valley (5%) gave the wine its balance and acidity; and Petit Verdot from Ciel du Cheval on Red Mountain (14%) further enhanced balance and complexity.

 
After two earlier appearances in Napa Valley, Philippe Melka returned in 1994.  He swiftly rose to prominence and is now widely recognized as one of the leading craftsmen of his trade.  Melka’s talents are the consequence of an ideal juxtaposition – the geologist’s feel for terroir, the traveler’s familiarity with far-flung wineries and estates, and a vintner’s passion to produce the very best.
 
Melka graduated from the University of Bordeaux, France, where he received a degree in geology in 1989.  In his final year, he took a course in Terroir and Viticulture, and thereafter aspired to become a winemaker.  After earning a second degree in Agronomy and Enology, he began to apply what he learned during stints at prestigious wineries in Australia, Italy, California and France (Petrus, Haut Brion and Dominus, among others).
 
Since his return to Napa Valley, Melka’s technical expertise has contributed to the production of several highly acclaimed wines from a number of elite estates, including Marston, Seavey, Constant, Lail, Bryant Family, Caldwell, Quintessa, Hundred Acre, and Vineyard 29.
 
Some of the most exciting wines crafted by Melka are from his own labels, Metisse & CJ.  These meritage blends pay homage to Melka’s French influence (new oak aging, extended skin contact and gentle handling techniques) as portraitures of classic structure, balance and elegance.
 
Melka’s blends are also influenced by the effects of terroir on each harvested lot.  Although subtly nuanced to most, they are prominent and critical to Melka the geologist.  It is the creative touch of Melka the winemaker, by which his wines exude the complexities and full flavors that distinguish his talents from the rest. 
 
Philippe Melka and his wife, Cherie, reside at Melka Cellars in Napa Valley. Cherie is an accomplished wine professional and laboratory manager at Silver Oak.
 
 
Agustin Huneeus, Sr. embarked upon his legendary career as a winemaker over four decades ago.  He founded premier wineries both in California and Chile, and guided others to worldwide acclaim. He is perhaps best known for his artistry and innovative techniques resulting in critically acclaimed wines crafted in the Bordeaux tradition.
 
Wines and wineries achieving prominence under Agustin’s hand include Veramonte (Primus) and Concha y Toro of Chile, and Franciscan Oakville Estate, Mount Veeder, Estancia and Quintessa of California. He is considered a trail blazer with his Cuvee Sauvage, Napa Valley’s first wild-yeast fermented Chardonnay, and Magnificat, one of Napa Valley’s first Bordeaux style proprietary blends.
 
To most vintners, a wine is a Chardonnay, perhaps, or a Zinfandel, or a Merlot. To Agustin, a wine is the embodiment of a place. Its heritage, its terroir, - its ‘somewhereness’, in his words – matters most. Meritage wines, those artful blends that pay tribute to the winemaker rather than to the variety, exemplify the Huneeus principle of “attaching wine to a place.” Agustin’s famous Quintessa, a 100 point winner (1999), testifies to the wisdom of his philosophy of allowing the vineyard to express itself.
 
Agustin served as Chairman of the 1996 Napa Valley Wine Auction, and was awarded the Distinguished Service Award by the Wine Spectator Magazine that same year. He is the former president and current chairman of Franciscan Estates, a winery he brought from obscurity to world prominence.  Along with his winery at Long Shadows Vintners, Agustin retains ownership in Veramonte and Quintessa. He resides at Quintessa Estates with his wife, Valeria, who holds a Ph.D., and is a scientist and viticulturist.

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2004 Pirouette
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