2010 Pirouette 1.5L

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2010 Pirouette 1.5L
2010 Pirouette 1.5L

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.

The 2010 growing season was cooler than recent preceding vintages, resulting in comparisons to 1999, a vintage remembered for the excellent color, flavor and varietal character of its wines.  In 2010, a cool spring delayed flowering and reduced fruit set, then temperatures remained moderate throughout the summer.  As a result, we worked with growers to drop grape clusters and open up the canopies early in the season so that when the warm weather finally arrived in late September, the vines were well-positioned to finish off ripening and yield beautifully concentrated fruit.

Deep and inky, the 2010 Pirouette offers a well integrated concentration of flavors and silky tannins.  Black cherry, dark chocolate, graphite, sweet plum and black licorice aromas and flavors deliver layers of complexity, while the wine’s lush mouth feel provides a rich mid-palate and pleasant crème brulee finish.


Download Wine Notes
VarietalRed Blend
Varietal Composition59% Cabernet Sauvignon
31% Merlot
10% Petit Verdot
AppellationColumbia Valley
Volume1.5 liter



"Scents of violets and raspberries lead on the bouquet, with plenty of rich, new oak aromas. It's bright and spicy in the mouth, youthful and balanced, with terrific aging potential. Cellar Selection."




"Offering ripe, toasty notes of smoked earth, herbs, chocolate, and assorted black fruits, it is medium-bodied, firm and focused on the palate, with great acidity and edgy tannin. It's a classy, elegant, and age-worthy Bordeaux blend that should evolve positively for 3-4 years and have 10-12 years of ultimate longevity."


Red Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon gives Pirouette its backbone and structure; Sagemoor Vineyard Cabernet, planted in the heart of the Columbia Valley in 1972, adds a sophisticated hint of minerality.  From the Pasco area, Dionysus Vineyard Merlot contributes dark fruit character.  Petit Verdot, also from Dionysus, adds vibrancy and floral nuances. 

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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