2011 Pirouette - 1.5L

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2011 Pirouette - 1.5L
2011 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 2011 vintage produced wines that offer the best of both worlds: intense, vibrant and immediately enjoyable in their youth with firm structure and ripe tannins that make them excellent candidates for the cellar. Credit a cool spring, moderate summer and warm September. The temperate spring and summer conditions that defined most of the season developed fresh, intense black fruit character in the grapes. September’s warm days allowed the grapes to reach physiological maturity and finish ripening perfectly. Cool fall evenings offset the warm days to preserve the grapes’ acidity and ripe tannins, resulting in wines with great structure and backbone.

Opaque in color with intense aromas and flavors of ripe plum, black licorice and cedar that shine through from start to finish. Distinctive nuances of cassis, oak spice and mocha on the mid-palate carry the long, supple finish. A bold yet balanced wine with an impressive backbone providing both firm structure and richness.  


Download Wine Notes
VarietalRed Blend
Varietal Composition53% Cabernet Sauvignon
23% Merlot
15% Petit Verdot
5% Cabernet Franc
4% Malbec
AppellationColumbia Valley
Acid.53 grams / 100ml
Wine StyleBordeaux Style Blend
Volume1.5 liter



"The 2011 Pirouette has a deep, rich and full-bodied personality to go with solid aromas and flavors of black cherry, cassis, crushed rock, licorice and hints of white pepper. I love the overall purity here and it has ample, finely polished tannin on the lengthy finish."










"Bright red-ruby. Aromas of black fruits, licorice pastille, bitter chocolate and violet. At once juicey and powerful, with ripe acidity giving sharp definition and thrust to the dark berry, violet and coffee flavors. Finishes very long and firmly tannic."

Red Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon gives this wine its backbone and structure; Merlot from Candy Mountain and Dionysus Vineyards adds a soft, rich mouth-feel. Dionysus and Stone Tree Vineyard Petit Verdot contributes to the wine’s vibrant acidity. Columbia Valley Malbec and Cabernet Franc add extra layers of complexity and elegance.

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.

Click on the links below to get information about our
other vintages.
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