2017 Long Shadows Winery Red Blend Pirouette

Year: 2017
Appellation: Columbia Valley
Country: USA - Washington
Wine Advocate: 94
Vinous Media: 93
James Suckling: 93
Jeb Dunnuck: 96
Red Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 14.9%
Price :
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58% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 13% Malbec, 9% Petit Verdot

"Deep ruby in color, the 2017 Pirouette is an instant success on the nose with scents of juicy plums, cassis, dark cherry compote and blackberry essence. The nose continues with seamless oak tones of vanilla and cinnamon that compound with elements of juicy tobacco and fresh violets. Full-bodied, the wine explodes on the palate with a kaleidoscope of red and black fruit flavors, a spicy undercurrent and a firm tannic structure that will lend to its longevity. The wine concludes with bitter dark chocolate flavors, dark cherry skin essence and elevated alcohol. This wine is smoking at this price. I want more!" (WA)

"Bright ruby-red. Pure, dark scents of cassis, black cherry, licorice and bitter chocolate are complicated by violet and loam notes. Very suave, smooth and juicy on entry, then perfumes the mouth with red and darker berries, spices, menthol, dark chocolate and flowers. At once savory and sweet, this Bordeaux blend boasts excellent definition and lift but also attractive pliancy in the middle palate. An energetic midweight with superb concentration and a firm structure but no hard edges. Finishes very long and alive, with dusty but refined tannins reaching the front teeth. A touch of Petit Verdot inkiness is supported by the wine's depth of material. A worthy successor to the 2016 bottling, this may drink a bit earlier but should last well. " (VM)

"This is a solid, dusty blend with chewy tannins, tight and focused, ripe fruit and a long, flavorful finish. This shows cool richness and intensity with dried-herb and tar undertones to the fruit. Give this time to come together and soften. 58% cabernet sauvignon, 20% merlot, 13% malbec and 9% petit verdot. Better after 2021." (JS)

"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." (JD)

Winery Notes:
2017 Pirouette, Red Wine Columbia Valley Philippe Melka & Agustin Huneeus, Sr. 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.

Tasting Notes:
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.

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.

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.