2015 Pirouette

2015 Pirouette
2015 Pirouette

Philippe Melka, named one of the top nine winemakers in the world by Robert Parker, used small lots from Washington State's finest vineyards to craft this enticing red blend.

A warm, dry spring arrived early in 2015 and was followed by a hot summer.  Careful canopy management throughout the growing season helped protect the grapes from too much sun.  Although warm daytime temperatures persisted throughout the fall, evening temperatures were cool, perfect conditions to maintain the grapes’ natural acidity and fully ripen the vintage’s small, thick-skinned berries.  The resulting wines are both powerful and elegant.

As in previous vintages, hand-sorted grapes underwent a variety of fermentation techniques to build layers of complexity and richness in this refined blend.  Cabernet Sauvignon was fermented in 400L French oak barrels that were gently rolled throughout fermentation to add structure and showcase the grapes’ rich, supple tannins.  All other varieties were fermented in traditional stainless-steel tanks, with select lots enjoying longer skin contact to enhance the wine’s dark color and mid-palate.  Aged 22 months in all French oak barrels, 75% new, and bottled unfiltered and unfined.

The deeply colored 2015 Pirouette is a vibrant, expressive wine offering intense aromatics and focused flavors of blackberry, dark chocolate, ripe cherry and hints of toasted spice.  Its generous richness, volume and broad, dusty tannins are woven together with a refined backbone that provides layers of delicious complexity across an extended finish.

95 POINTS - JEB DUNNUCK

Download Wine Notes
Vintage2015
VarietalRed Blend
Varietal Composition65% Cabernet Sauvignon
21% Merlot
11% Petit Verdot
3% Malbec
AppellationColumbia Valley
Acid.58 grams / 100ml
PH3.83
Alcohol15.10%
Wine StyleBordeaux Style Blend
Volume750 ml

2015 PIROUETTE - 95 POINTS

"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. Black currants, 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."

This gorgeous Bordeaux blend relies on Red Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon for its structure and richness with top-quality grapes from Sagemoor Farms rounding out the blend.  Weinbau Vineyard (Wahluke Slope) Merlot offers bright red and black fruit intensity.  Dionysus Vineyard Petit Verdot provides layers of complex aromas and flavors.

 
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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