Marguerite Sauvignon Blanc: A Tribute to Devotion & Patience
The daisy, known as marguerite in French, is a symbol of devotion and patience. It is only fitting the flower lends its name to our 100% Sauvignon Blanc, loyally tended in barrel for three times longer than our norm.
Since 1995, DeLille Cellars has crafted Sauvignon Blanc as part of our esteemed Chaleur Blanc blend (Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon). For years, Jason Gorski, DeLille Cellars’ Director of Winemaking and Viticulture, had the vision to craft an exceptional 100% Sauvignon Blanc from some of Washington State’s finest vines. This long-standing goal came to fruition in 2018 when the Sauvignon Blanc was set apart to age separately from other wines. These grapes are sourced from Sagemoor Bacchus Block 5, planted in 1972, and are one of the oldest of the variety in Washington State. A single large-format “cigar” barrel was selected to over vintage, aging 18 months (versus 6 months for Chaleur Blanc). The wine was then bottled “sur lie”, unfined and unfiltered. We released the inaugural vintage of Marguerite spring of 2021.
Behind the Name
Three years ago, Jason Gorski sat in his kitchen pondering a name for the old vine Sauvignon Blanc. His daughter, four years old, asked what he was doing. Jason explained he was trying to think of a name for the wine - something like a white flower. “A daisy is a white flower,” his daughter replied. DeLille is a French-inspired winery and marguerite, meaning daisy, was perfect. Daisies also symbolize patience, an essential component in the winemaking process as Marguerite is aged three times longer than Chaleur Blanc.
“Overvintaging,” or resting the wine in barrel longer than usual, allows for the barrel to impart additional flavors to the wine. If the winemaking team finds a particular barrel of exceptional quality, they will hold it to over vintage Sauvignon Blanc, rather than adding it to the Chaleur Blanc blend, composed of Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon.
Daisies are featured behind the script on the Marguerite label. The DeLille crest is also featured, as Marguerite is one of three wines in our legacy series (alongside Chaleur Estate and Harrison Hill). Looking closely, there is a subtle change on the label: the lower icons of the crest are reversed. The flower (cinquefoil) is white instead of gold to represent the white daisy.
The cinquefoil highlights what the team at DeLille believes to be the ultimate end of our winemaking efforts – the joy of sharing a bottle of wine together. This symbol is seen in multiple places throughout the Woodinville Tasting Room, including in the center of the dancers at the end of the “Alchemy Wall” on the first floor that highlights the journey of wine from soil to celebration, as well as on the Bordeaux Lion, Charlemagne’s, cloak on the second floor.
The book represents the winery’s endless desire for exploration, discovery, and seeking new things – from vineyard sites to new blends or rare lots.
2018 marks the inaugural vintage of this old-vine Sauvignon Blanc. Fresh and vibrant, the wine is a special barrel-selection Sauvignon Blanc sourced from Block 5 in the Sagemoor vineyard with vines dating back to 1972.
In his tasting, Jason Gorski noted lots of lees impact on the wine, as the wine was in contact with the yeast that fermented it for 18 months (usually the wine is rested on lees for six months). The wine shows notes of woodsmoke, underbrush, pine needle, eucalyptus, and bakery spices that the yeast imparts. “Mission accomplished,” reported Jason Gorski. “After three to four years worth of envisioning what this vineyard site could do, with the barrel, and a completely different winemaking technique than what we have ever done”. 2018 Marguerite is delicious, distinctive, and unique.
At the top of the crest, the lion is moving forward but also looking back, symbolizing DeLille’s “always seeking” philosophy and moving to the future while paying tribute to the path and people that got us to where we are today.
Bob Betz, Master of Wine and Winemaker at Betz Family Winery described the wine as “maybe the best white wine yet to come from Washington”. He added, “The streak of fabulous DeLille white wines continues but reaches new heights with this wine. One of the great Sauvignon Blancs produced in America, and I think this is Pessac-Leognan Grand Cru level quality; it’s terrific wine. Specific fruit selection, unique barrel aging, judicious blending by Jason and his team has created a real masterpiece here. It’s got extraordinary dimension, expression, and harmony; generous yellow fig, fragrant lemon, grass, pear, spiced apple, a little tropical nuance. Long litany of descriptors here. It’s dry, yet weighty; unctuous, yet bright. A complete wine, this thing has it all.”
Owen Bargreen described the wine as “fresh and vibrant” in his 2022 Vinous scores. “It’s quite rich and intense, providing smoky and stony undertones alongside a silky texture, wonderful orchard fruits and serious viscosity.” Bargreen rated the 2018 vintage 94 points. Marguerite was also labeled in Robb Report as an “outstanding Sauvignon Blanc you’ll want to sip all Spring
The newly released 2019 Marguerite offers aromas of grapefruit, lemon rind, chamomile, and jasmine that effortlessly explode from the glass. There is a power and focus to this wine that is not easily attained by this aromatic varietal; credit is due to the complexity contributed by the older vines at Sagemoor Bacchus, planted in 1972. The texture is quite creamy and lush mid-palate with barrel influence and extended lees contact, yet balanced with austere minerality on the finish. Lay this stunner down for several years to optimize its full potential.
The Sauvignon Blanc grapes used for Marguerite were hand sorted, whole-cluster pressed, then cold settled for 48 hours and fermented in a mix of 320L and 225L French oak barrels. Each of the 30 barrels is stirred weekly for the first seven months. A mix of coopers, toast levels, yeast strains, and natural ferment gives each barrel a unique profile. We then select our favorite 10 barrels to keep on lees for an additional 12 months. The 2019 vintage is lightly filtered.
About DeLille Cellars
DeLille Cellars is regarded as a top American producer of Bordeaux-style blends, showcasing a tradition of quality and excellence over its 30-year history. DeLille remains a principal influence in establishing Washington State as a premier viticultural region, with a focus on the Red Mountain AVA and other prestigious vineyard sites throughout the Columbia Valley.
Founded on the concept of crafting world-class wine from Washington State, DeLille was one of the first five wineries in Washington to receive Robert Parker's 5-star excellence rating. The winery’s legacy of consistent quality and acclaim includes over 700 individual 90+ ratings from top international critics, numerous placements on Top 100 lists, and four consecutive Wine & Spirits Top 100 Wineries of the World accolades (2017-2020).
DeLille was the first winery in the state to focus on both red and white Bordeaux-style blends. Seeking to create the best blends through combinations of different grapes varietals and vineyard sites, the founders of DeLille Cellars believed that all good blends transcend the sum of their individual parts. This founding principle and a company philosophy of “always seeking” guides the winery’s commitment to constant improvement, continuous discovery in the cellar, and ultimately the creation of exceptional wines and experiences.
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