DeLille Chaleur Estate Blanc 2010
Blend: 77% Sauvignon Blanc, 23% Semillon
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
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.
The winery's passion lies in showcasing the powerful, concentrated and structured fruit of
Washington State through the European art of blending - not only through various combinations
of Bordeaux and Rhone grape varieties, but also via combining fruit from acclaimed vineyards to
express the unique terroir of the region. DeLille Cellars focuses on the Red Mountain AVA and
grape sourcing from Washington's leading Grand Cru vineyards, including Ciel du Cheval, Grand
Ciel, Upchurch, Red Willow, Sagemoor, Klipsun, Boushey, DuBrul and Harrison Hill.
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.
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. Popularized in Bordeaux, the blend is often mimicked throughout the New World. Somm Secret—Sauternes and Barsac are usually reserved for dessert, but they can be served before, during or after a meal. Try these sweet wines as an aperitif with jamón ibérico, oysters with a spicy mignonette or during dinner alongside hearty Alsatian sausage.