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DeLille Chaleur Estate Blanc 2009

Bordeaux White Blends from Columbia Valley, Washington
  • WE95
  • WS92
14.1% ABV
  • JS93
  • RP92
  • WE92
  • V93
  • RP91
  • V93
  • RP91
  • WE90
  • RP94
  • TP92
  • RP92
  • WE91
  • WE92
  • RP92
  • WE91
  • WS90
  • WE92
  • WE91
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14.1% ABV

Winemaker Notes

This year's Chaleur Estate Blanc reflects the warmth and size of the 2009 vintage. A rich and expressive wine featuring a complex nose of dried apricots, figs, grapefruit, flint, toasted straw and grilled bread. The mouthfeel is rich, silky and voluminous with notes of grapefruit, gooseberries, hazelnuts and toast on the finish. Although tasting great now, this vintage will develop even more character with short to mid-term cellaring.

67% Sauvignon Blanc, 33% Semillon

Critical Acclaim

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WE 95
Wine Enthusiast
Consistent year after year, this blend of 67% Sauvignon Blanc and 33% Sémillon is modeled after top-flight white Bordeaux. Deep gold, toasty and scented with olive oil, walnuts and loam, it hits the palate full-on with a rainbow of flavors: citrus, stone and tropical fruits, all accented with toast, oil and nuts from barrel aging. Riveting, delicious and unique.
WS 92
Wine Spectator
This barrel-fermented style has rich, silky texture and layers of pear, orange peel, pineapple and fig flavor. This isn't weighty, but is wrapped in spicy oak on the finish. In the end, this keeps its balance. Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon. Drink now through 2013. 1,700 cases made.
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DeLille

DeLille Cellars

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DeLille Cellars, Columbia Valley, Washington
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DeLille Cellars is a boutique artisan winery located in Woodinville, Washington. Founded in 1992 by Charles and Greg Lill, Jay Soloff, and winemaker Chris Upchurch, DeLille Cellars pioneered Bordeaux-style blends in Washington State (both red and white) - inspiring Robert Parker, in a visit to the original Chateau in Woodinville, to proclaim DeLille Cellars “the Lafite Rothschild of Washington State.”

DeLille Cellars is considered a principal influence in establishing Washington as a premier viticultural region with a strong tradition of quality and excellence over its 25-year history. Today, the winery has a portfolio of over a dozen Bordeaux and Rhône style blends true to the terroir of Washington State.  

Columbia Valley

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A large and geographically diverse AVA capable of producing a wide variety of wine styles, the Columbia Valley AVA is home to 99% of Washington state’s total vineyard area. A small section of the AVA even extends into northern Oregon!

Because of its size, it is necessarily divided into several distinctive sub-AVAs, including Walla Walla Valley and Yakima Valley—which are both further split into smaller, noteworthy appellations. A region this size will of course have varied microclimates, but on the whole it experiences extreme winters and long, hot, dry summers. Frost is a common risk during winter and spring. The towering Cascade mountain range creates a rain shadow, keeping the valley relatively rain-free throughout the entire year, necessitating irrigation from the Columbia River. The lack of humidity combined with sandy soils allows for vines to be grown on their own rootstock, as phylloxera is not a serious concern.

Red wines make up the majority of production in the Columbia Valley. Cabernet Sauvignon is the dominant variety here, where it produces wines with a pleasant balance of dark fruit and herbs. Wines made from Merlot are typically supple, with sweet red fruit and sometimes a hint of chocolate or mint. Syrah tends to be savory and Old-World-leaning, with a wide range of possible fruit flavors and plenty of spice. The most planted white varieties are Chardonnay and Riesling. These range in style from citrus and green apple dominant in cooler sites, to riper, fleshier wines with stone fruit flavors coming from the warmer vineyards.

Bordeaux White Blends

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Sometimes light and crisp, other times rich and creamy, Bordeaux white blends typically consist of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. Often, a small amount of Muscadelle or Sauvignon Gris is included for added intrigue. This blend was popularized in the Bordeaux region of France (where it also comprises outstanding sweet wines like Sauternes and Barsac), but is often mimicked throughout the New World, particularly in California, Washington and Australia.

In the Glass

Sémillon provides the background to this blend, with a relatively full body and an oily texture. Sauvignon Blanc adds acidity and lots of bright fruit flavor, particularly white grapefruit, lime and freshly cut grass. Used in smaller proportions, Muscadelle can contribute fresh floral notes, while Sauvignon Gris is less aromatic but offers ripe, juicy fruit on the palate. These wines run the gamut from unoaked, refreshing, and easy to drink to serious, complex and barrel-aged. The latter style, usually with a higher percentage of Sémillon, can develop aromas of ginger, chamomile and dried orange peel. The dessert wines produced by these blends, often with the help of "noble rot" called botrytis, can have lush stone fruit and honey characteristics.

Perfect Pairings

Crisp, dry Bordeaux white blends are the perfect accompaniment for raw or lightly cooked seafood, especially shellfish. A more structured, Sémillon-based bottling can stand up to richer fish, chicken, or pork dishes in white sauces. These blends also work well with a variety of vegetables and fresh herbs, like asparagus, peas, basil and tarragon. Sweet dessert wines are traditionally enjoyed with strong blue cheeses, foie gras or fruit-based desserts.

Sommelier Secret

Sauternes and Barsac are usually reserved for dessert, but astute sommeliers know that they can be served at any time—before, during or after the meal. Try these sweet wines as an aperitif with jamón ibérico, oysters with a spicy mignonette or during dinner alongside hearty Alsatian sausage, poached lobster in beurre blanc sauce or even fried chicken.

PIN164780_2009 Item# 113235