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Flat front label of wine

DeLille Chaleur Estate Blanc 2012

Bordeaux White Blends from Columbia Valley, Washington
  • RP92
  • WE91
0% ABV
  • JS93
  • WE92
  • RP92
  • V93
  • RP91
  • V93
  • RP91
  • WE90
  • RP94
  • TP92
  • WE92
  • RP92
  • WE91
  • WS90
  • WE95
  • WS92
  • WE92
  • WE91
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Winemaker Notes

The 2012 vintage has complex aromas of sweet grasses, Bosch pears, lime citrus, pine needle sous bois (i.e. forest floor), honey suckle and fleur blanche. Accompanying these layers in the nose, there's a developing stony minerality as well. On the palate, the structure builds to rich and unctuous flavors with vibrancy. Exotic notes of star fruit, melon, kiwi, herbs, honeycomb, toast and cream are readily apparent in the mouth. A riper Chaleur Estate Blanc, this vintage finishes with power and length.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
One of the top white Bordeaux blends coming out of the US today, the 2012 Chaleur Estate Blanc is a 100% barrel-fermented blend of 65% Sauvignon Blanc and 35% Semillon. It gives up exotic lychee nut, citrus blossom, melon and honeycomb to go with a medium to full-bodied, textured and rich style on the palate that keeps you coming back to the glass. Loaded with sweet fruit and showing fantastic length, as well as a clean, dry finish...
WE 91
Wine Enthusiast
Modeled on a white Bordeaux, this is a lovely, lightly toasty blend of two-thirds Sauvignon Blanc and one-third Sémillon. The pretty fruit mixes candied lemon, peach and pear with streaks of butterscotch and a suggestion of hazelnuts.
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DeLille

DeLille Cellars

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DeLille Cellars, Columbia Valley, Washington
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DeLille Cellars produces a portfolio embracing the classic styles of Bordeaux, the Rhone and Provence. Since its creation, the goal is 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.

Columbia Valley

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A large and geographically diverse AVA responsible for 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 extends into northern Oregon as well. Because of its vast size, it is necessarily divided into several distinctive sub-AVAs, including Walla Walla Valley and Yakima Valley—which is further split into three more even smaller AVAs. A region this size will of course have varied microclimates, but on the whole it experiences cold winters and long, dry growing seasons. 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 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, the styles of which depend on the warmth of the site. Citrus and green apple are common to both in cooler sites, while warmer vineyards will produce riper, fleshier stone fruit flavors.

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 interest. 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, can have lush stone fruit and honey character.

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 smart 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 or oysters with a spicy mignonette, or during dinner alongside hearty Alsatian sausage, poached lobster in beurre blanc sauce, or even fried chicken.

RRM37220_2012 Item# 127628