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DeLille Chaleur Estate Red 2008

Bordeaux Red Blends from Columbia Valley, Washington
  • RP93
  • WE92
14.1% ABV
  • RP95
  • WE92
  • RP95
  • WS92
  • RP94
  • WE93
  • RP90
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14.1% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The 2008 Chaleur Estate Red has a restrained nose of black cherry, plum, graphite, vanilla, fresh sage, thyme and white pepper. The palate is complete from front to back, boasting the high pedigree of its venerable vineyard sources along with the balance of the 2008 vintage. In the mouth, the black cherry and plum carry through from the nose augmented with rich notes of vanilla, bittersweet chocolate and espresso powder. This vintage shows the elegant side of Chaleur Estate and it's stunning, for sure. As usual, cellaring will improve this wine for years to come, though it can be hard to resist drinking now.

Blend: 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot

Critical Acclaim

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RP 93
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2008 Chaleur Estate Red is made up of 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, with the balance Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot predominantly from Red Mountain vineyards. A restrained nose of balsam wood, pencil lead, thyme, sage, black currant, and blackberry leads to a round, rich, succulent offering that has the balance and structure to achieve its 20th birthday in peak form. As good as the wine is, if the nose becomes more expressive with time in the bottle, my score will appear to be stingy.
WE 92
Wine Enthusiast
Sharp and wound up tight, with a laser focus, this excellent young wine pinpoints raspberry, cherry and red plum fruit flavors, with good penetration and length. The fruit is backed with substantial oak and firm, fine tannins. The alcohol has come down a bit, though there is still a hint of burn and whiskey barrel in the finish.
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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 Blends

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington, and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and/or Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde river, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux can be bold and fruit-forward or restrained and earthy, while New World facsimiles tend to emulate the former style. In general, Bordeaux red blends can have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful, and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb, or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include Syrah, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or virtually any other grape deemed worthy by the winemaker. In Australia, Shiraz is a common component.

SWS308080_2008 Item# 120695