2017 Pirouette - 1.5L

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2017 Pirouette - 1.5L
2017 Pirouette - 1.5L

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 cool, wet spring delayed budbreak by a few weeks, but temperatures warmed nicely for bloom. Conditions moderated in early summer before warming again in July to drive total heat accumulation a bit above average for the season. Harvest began toward the end of August, then temperatures cooled considerably in mid-September to extend hang time and allow the grapes to reach full physiological maturity without spiking sugars. The resulting wines are rich and expressive, displaying excellent acidity and structure that is reflective of the quality of the vintage.

As with previous vintages, hand-harvested grapes underwent a variety of fermentation techniques to build layers of complexity and richness in the final blend. Cabernet Sauvignon was fermented in 400L French oak barrels that were gently rolled throughout fermentation to integrate the oak and dark fruit flavors while developing 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. The finished wine was aged 22 months in French oak barrels (85% new) before bottling, unfiltered and unfined.

The 2017 Pirouette has an expressive nose with a firm core of dark fruit and mocha flavors, displaying a layered concentration of black cherry and well-integrated oak spices. Vibrant and full-bodied across the mid-palate, this is a texturally pleasing wine with a broad and lengthy finish.

96 POINTS - JEB DUNNUCK

Download Wine Notes
Vintage2017
VarietalRed Blend
Varietal Composition85% Cabernet Sauvignon
20% Merlot
13% Malbec
9% Petit Verdot
AppellationColumbia Valley
Acid.59 grams / 100ml
PH3.86
Alcohol14.90%
Wine StyleBordeaux Style Blend
Volume1.5 liter

2017 PIROUETTE - 96 POINTS

The 2017 Pirouette checks in as 58% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 13% Malbec, and the rest Petit Verdot. Gorgeous crème de cassis, crushed flowers, white chocolate, and espresso notes all give way to a full-bodied, thrillingly textured, layered red that has terrific tannins, no hard edges, and a great, great finish. It can be drunk today but will develop additional complexity with 3-4 years of bottle age and keep for two decades or more.

Cabernet Sauvignon, primarily sourced from a collection of Red Mountain’s best vineyards, gives Pirouette the structure and textured richness that has come to characterize this acclaimed growing region. A small percentage of old vine Cabernet from Sagemoor Vineyard, planted in 1972, adds complexity. Merlot brings juicy richness to the finished wine. Malbec from Sonnet Vineyard in the Horse Heaven Hills adds spice. Finally, Dionysus Vineyard’s Petit Verdot enhances the wine’s color and contributes to the wine’s layers of intense 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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Price $140.00 / Bottle
  
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