DeLille Chaleur Estate Blanc 2010
Bordeaux White Blends from Columbia Valley, Washington
Sauvignon Blanc leads the way with aromas of toasted almonds, sweet straw, cardamom and other baking spices. Reminiscent of vanilla cream, guava, Meyer's lemon, pears and toasty oak tones, this wine delivers a supple, mouthwatering texture lingering on the palate long after the final sip. Superb balance, elegance, and length all contribute to a wine of timeless grace.
Blend: 77% Sauvignon Blanc, 23% Semillon
International Wine Cellar - "Bright full yellow. Knockout nose combines musky curry powder and cumin notes with pineapple oil, ginger and chlorophyll; today it's the sauvignon blanc that dominates. Then supple and intense in the mouth, with excellent acidity serving to frame and intensify the peach, citrus, chlorophyll and basil flavors. Finishes very long, serious and suave, leaving an impression of fairly low alcohol. A beauty."
The Wine Advocate - "DeLille's 2010 Chaleur Estate Blanc – a blend of Sauvignon with 23% Semillon from four manifestly superbly well-managed sites – is dominated by lime peel-laced fig and honeydew melon, to which honeysuckle and heliotrope perfume add allure, and an aura of smokiness and high-toned suggestion of almond extract and peppermint add further pungent intrigue. The palate impression here manages adroitly to balance waxy texture, zesty piquancy, and infectious juiciness. "If you made the quantity of Semillon equal, it would take over the blend," notes Upchurch, channeling precisely the hypothesis I was myself entertaining at that moment. Everybody's giving up on Semillon," he adds with (what I at least hope is) hyperbole, "Californians, South Americans, even Australians; but I love working with it." Upchurch is proud of the particular assortment of barrels he has assembled to suit his Chaleur white, and it came as a big surprise to me after tasting this installment to learn that 70% of them were new; but the trick is that the wine spends only four months in them, based on what Upchurch, by analogy with baking, calls the "TODD" principle: take it out when it's done, dummy! This is likely to reward and morph significantly over a decade of cellaring. "
Wine Enthusiast - "This new vintage of Chaleur Estate Blanc is still quite young and tight. It shows the toasty scents of pretty new oak, set in an elegant frame of mixed fruits. Cucumber, apple, citrus and melon flavors emerge, suggesting an overall lighter style from a cooler vintage. Graceful and polished."
Wine Spectator - "A fresh and citrusy white, this is juicy, delivering lemon and verbena aromas and flavors. A touch of tobacco and hint of butter mark the finish. Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon."
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DeLille Cellars Winery
DeLille Cellars produces a portfolio embracing the classic styles of Bordeaux, the Rhone and Provence. Since its creation, the goat to make the best handcrafted old world-style red and white wine in the state of Washington has been unwavering during their 20-year history. Through their commitment to varietal integrity, terroir expression and elegance in the glass, they continue to maintain an impeccable reputation and a unique artisinal perspective. Both colleagues and critics agree that DeLille Cellars creates wine where power and grace co-exist; no single element overshadows the beauty of the whole, complete wine. View all DeLille Cellars Wines
About Columbia ValleyView a map of Columbia Valley wineries
Columbia Valley is the largest of Washington State's wine growing regions, with almost 11 million acres. It encompasses a number of smaller regions, including Yakima Valley, Walla Walla Valley, Red Mountain and more. The vast area consists of a range of climates, allowing viticulturists to plant a diverse selection of grape varieties. Most wineries plant rows sparsely, which helps the vines survive the harsh winters.
Notable FactsMerlot is the most popular and most planted grape of the area, followed by Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. Syrah and Riesling are also popular and continue to grow in acreage.
About WashingtonRelated Links:Now the number two producer in the United States, Washington State has also grown in quality.
So how does a state known for rain and coffee produce high quality wines? They plant their grapes on the east side of the Cascade mountains, away from that ever-present rain cloud that sits along the coast. Perhaps wine grapes do well since the sandy loam soils east of the Cascade range give way to an almost desert-like land, saved from drought only by the helpful rivers that run through the area – and the good irrigation systems.
Thinking that the state would do best with typical northern growing grapes like Riesling and Gewurtztraminer, turns out the apple state is well-suited for reds, namely Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and, more recently, Syrah. Of course, whites have not been forgotten - Washington State Rieslings range from bone-dry to sweet, are well-structured and high quality, and Chardonnay dominates most of the other white plantings, making a range of wines. But the reds of the region, Merlot in particular, have made Washington State a quality force to be reckoned with.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.