2005 Pirouette

92 Points - Wine Enthusiast

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.

This rich, deeply colored wine offers a broad spectrum of complex aromas including leather and black cherry interwoven with hints of spice, earth and a subtle note of licorice. Supple yet firm tannins on the entry turn rich on the mid-palate to provide a lush mouthfeel across a lengthy finish.

 

92 POINTS - WINE ENTHUSIAST

Download Wine Notes
Vintage2005
VarietalRed Blend
Varietal Composition57% Cabernet Sauvignon
20% Merlot
14% Syrah
5% Malbec
4% Cabernet Franc
AppellationColumbia Valley
Acid0.58g/ 100ml
PH3.78
AgingDrink now through 2017
Alcohol14.60%
Wine StyleRed Wine
Volume750 ml


 

2005 PIROUETTE - 92 POINTS

"This is substantial, textural, and complex. The toasty new oak flavors are more than matched by rich layers of berries, cassis and black cherries. It would show quite well against California Meritage-style wines costing twice as much."

 


 

2005 PIROUETTE - 91 POINTS

"Saturated purple in color, it offers aromas of wood smoke, earth notes, spice box, plum, black currant, and blueberry."

 


 

2005 PIROUETTE - 90 POINTS

"Firm in texture, with grippy tannins around a glowing core of plum and blueberry fruit, shaded with earthy, cedary notes as the finish persists.

 
The Columbia Valley is a diverse growing region providing winemakers with the opportunity to add complexity and dimension to their wines by drawing from a broad cross-section of vineyards. For the 2005 Pirouette, a selection of outstanding Columbia Valley vineyards (48%) were chosen for their ripe fruit character; Wahluke Slope (24%) and Red Mountain (9%) vineyards added ripe tannins and flavors; Horse Heaven Hills vineyards (14%) including Cabernet Sauvignon from Champoux and The Benches vineyards contributed texture and a distinct, earthy note to the wine; and Yakima Valley’s Boushey Vineyard (5%) added an extra layer of dark fruit.

 
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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2005 Pirouette
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