57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot
14% Syrah, 5% Malbec, 4% Cabernet Franc
Winemaking: Pirouette is a wine made in the vineyards. Philippe works with growers to keep yields below three tons per acres. At harvest, grapes are picked at perfect ripeness, and then sorted by hand at the winery. Only the highest quality clusters are retained for fermentation on the skins for up to 40 days, producing optimal color and tannin extraction. This wine was aged 22 months in 75% new oak with a selection of barrels from Taransaud, St. Martin and Ermitage.
Vintage: The 2005 Pirouette is a wine that reflects the power and structure of an exceptional vintage. While spring temperatures were mild, growing conditions were nearly perfect throughout the summer and fall. Mid-June temperatures were warm, and the heat persisted throughout July and August. Temperatures cooled just enough in September to ripen the grapes completely without rushing physiological maturity resulting in a finished wine with great intensity and ripe, focused flavor.
Tasting Notes: This rich, deeply colored wine offers a broad spectrum of complex aromas including leather and black cherry interwoven with hints of spice, earth and a subtle note of licorice. Supple yet firm tannins on the entry turn rich on the mid-palate to provide a lush mouthfeel across a lengthy finish.
"This is substantial, textural and complex. The toasty new oak flavors are more than matched by rich layers of berries, cassis and black cherries. It glides into a seductive midpalate, adding flavors of dusty cocoa, espresso liquer and toasted grain. It would show quite well against California Meritage-style wines costing twice as much."
- Wine Enthusiast (March 2009), 92 pts
"The 2005 Pirouette features winemakers Agustin Huneeus and Philippe Melka. It is composed of 57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 14% Syrah, 5% Malbec, and 4% Cabernet Franc aged for 22 months in 75% new French oak. Saturated purple in color, it offers aromas of wood smoke, earth notes, spice box, plum, black currant, and blueberry."
- Wine Advocate (Issue 177, July 2008), 91 pts
"(a joint project of Agustin Huneeus, Sr. and Philippe Melka; a Bordeaux blend based on 57% cabernet sauvignon) Good bright ruby. Sappy aromas of medicinal black cherry, licorice, espresso and earth. Sweet on entry, then dense and bright in the middle, with lovely purity to its dark fruit flavors. In its fruit component, this one reminded me of a Napa Valley wine. Finishes with powerful, youthfully tough tannins and noteworthy freshness."
- International Wine Cellar (Nov 08), 91+ pts
Founded by Washington wine pioneer Allen Shoup, Long Shadows Vintners is a collection of ultra-premium wineries comprised of internationally acclaimed winemakers from the major wine regions of the world. Each winemaker is a partner in a unique winery dedicated to producing a single Columbia Valley wine representing a 'best of type' that reflects the winemaker's signature style and the viticultural excellence of Washington State's Columbia Valley.
They construct wines in their own style, and with their own complexity, while striving to improve upon their singular benchmarks. Beginning with the 2003 crush, they are crafting signature wines that carry great promise for years to come.
They have devoted hundreds of hours sampling the many wines originating from the most important vineyards, and chose those particular vineyards that fit the desired style and type of wines each hopes to create. Grapes from every sub-appellation of the Columbia Valley were selected to take the fullest advantage of the region's individual microclimates and terroirs.
"Long Shadows is the brainchild of Alan Shoup, longtime CEO of Chateau Ste-Michelle. It is a consortium of seven different labels, each with its own star winemaker who has a 25% share in the brand. The concept is that each is dedicated to producing a single Columbia Valley wine representing a best of type that reflects the winemaker's signature style. For the second straight year, every wine in this portfolio has achieved an outstanding rating. For this, the credit goes to Alan Shoup who put it all together."
- Wine Advocate (Issue 177, July 2008)