2006 Pirouette

93 Points - Wine Spectator

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 and dark in color, this unfiltered and unfined wine offers a generous spectrum of aromas and flavors including black cherry, sweet spices and a hint of earth. The mouthfeel is silky and refined with a rich core of ripe fruit that provides a lengthy finish.

 

93 POINTS - WINE SPECTATOR

Download Wine Notes
Vintage2006
VarietalRed Blend
Varietal Composition54% Cabernet Sauvignon
20% Merlot
15% Petit Verdot
6% Cabernet Franc
5% Syrah
AppellationColumbia Valley
Acid0.53g/100ml
PH3.93
AgingDrink now through 2021
Alcohol14.60%
Wine StyleRed Wine
Volume750 ml


 

2006 PIROUETTE - 93 POINTS

“This rich, opulent red teems with currant, blackberry, plum and exotic spice flavors, weaving in touches of herb and tobacco as the finish sails easily on."

 


 

2006 PIROUETTE - 93 POINTS

“Concentrated and focused, it is expressive right out of the bottle, supple and clearly defined. Floral, darkly fruited, bursting with black cherry and cassis, detailed with licorice and stone, this excellent wine will be difficult to put away for aging, but well worth the effort.” - Cellar Selection

 


 

2006 PIROUETTE - 92 POINTS

"Saturated purple in color, it offers aromas of wood smoke, earth notes, spice box, plum, black currant, and blueberry. The wine is seamless upon entry with incipient complexity and the structure to evolve for 5-7 years."

 


 

2006 PIROUETTE - 92 POINTS

“Very ripe aromas of dark raspberry, mocha and spices, with a sweetness from the Taransaud barrels. Broad and sweet in the mouth.  Finishes with big, chewy tannins that build with air without losing their essential suavity."

 


After working with a diverse collection of Columbia Valley vineyards over the last four vintages, Philippe now has a handful of preferred sites that yield rich, ripe grapes that support the wine style he and Agustin set out to produce. Nearly a quarter of the Cabernet Sauvignon in this wine is from the Wahluke Slope, selected for its tannin structure and ripe fruit character; Cabernet from Sagemoor’s old vines planted in 1972 adds another layer of structure and depth. Merlot from The Benches (formerly Wallula Vineyard) gives the wine beautiful red fruit flavor, freshness and balance. Petit Verdot from Dionysus Vineyard, dark and lively with pleasant tannins, provides backbone and an added layer of 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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2006 Pirouette
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