DeLille Cellars Blog
Rosé Vertical Tasting | Owen Bargreen
In May, Wine Critic Owen Bargreen sat down with DeLille’s Director of Winemaking Jason Gorski for a vertical tasting of rosé.
True to DeLille’s old-world approach, Rosé is crafted in the traditional Bandol style of Southern France. The fruit is specifically selected to be a part of this blend long before harvest, & our methods are intentional - making it what we call an “honest” Rosé. This is a balanced style of Rosé that retains crisp acidity & begs to be served al fresco. DeLille Cellars Rosé is known for standing ‘the test of time’ with its long aging potential.
"A blend of 53% Grenache with 34% Mouvedre and the remainder Cinsault, this shows off wild mushroom and bergamot with melon fruits and strawberry on the nose. The palate is soft and inviting with surprisingly good acidity and wonderfully earthy tones. This is mature Washington Rose that is shockingly good considering the heat of the vintage. Drink 2022-2025- 91"
"Presenting with slightly less damp earth, and wonderfully bright, the 2017 DeLille Cellars Rose is a sensational wine by Jason Gorski. The palate is ultra-bright with vibrant minerality. Guava puree, white grapefruit and shades of cremini mushroom all come together magically on the palate, with stony minerals. The combination of weight and finesse deftly walks the tightrope here. Drink 2022-2028- 93"
"A blend of 47% Grenache, 45% Mouvedre and just a touch of Cinsault. This vintage was the first to have included Red Heaven Vineyard Mourvedre and no Mourvedre from Stone Tree Vineyard. The wine is considerably more bright than the 2017 or 2015. The texture is outstanding here and bright with very pretty red cherry, red raspberry and shades of thyme. Complex and utterly delicious, warm this up a bit for more mouthfeel and serious length. Drink 2022-2028- 93"
"The 2020 DeLille Cellars Rose is really hitting its stride now one year in the bottle. This blends 52% Mourvedre with 43% Grenache and a touch of Cinsault. This is already beautifully evolved, with serious weight and rocking earthy tones. Wild mushroom and forest floor flavor combine with ripe Yakima cherry and honeydew melon flavors. The weight is outstanding here as this beautifully evolved wine is best consumed over the next few years. Drink 2022-2026- 92"
"Showing off a more orange hue, the 2021 DeLille Cellars is a silky blend of 49% Grenache with 46% Mourvedre and the remainder Cinsault. Aromatically very vibrant this reveals salmonberry and ripe melon tones that combine with shades of nectarine skin. The palate displays dazzling finesse with a soft mouthfeel. The pretty red fruits from the Grenache is really shining through here. Dazzling at this juncture, this has a long way to go in the cellar. Drink 2022-2030- 93"
Read Owen Bargreen's full blog post here.
Shop DeLille Cellars Rosé
DeLille Cellars is regarded as a top producer of Washington wine, 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. Shop the newest vintage of Rosé wine here.
DeLille Cellars Métier Renamed Le Dessein
Métier to Become a New Label and Brand in the DeLille Cellars Portfolio
With the 2020 vintage, DeLille Cellars will rename its Métier wine, a Columbia Valley blend of Grenache, Mourvèdre, Syrah, and Cinsaut. The cuvée will be renamed Le Dessein, meaning “the purpose”, a fitting tribute for a wine that has been made with great intention since its first vintage in 2005.
Le Dessein is mirrored after traditional Southern Rhône-style blends and combines old-world characteristics with the ripe terroir of Washington’s Columbia Valley.
Listen to the pronunciation here
2020 Le Dessein
In its youth, 2020 Le Dessein (formerly Métier) is showing dark, brambly fruits that are offered up by the Mourvèdre (44%) and Syrah (20%), with Grenache (36%) adding Bing Cherry and strawberry leaf. There is a serious meaty, bacon fat component to this wine that is accentuated by notes of black pepper, violets and cranberry. The silky structure is lifted by wonderful acidity, bringing a sense of freshness to the palate. This wine always drinks well on release and can be cellared for 12+ years.
Whether appreciating a glass on its own or pairing it with food, Le Dessein is delicious no matter how you choose to enjoy it.
Red meats and game, especially with mushroom and pepper sauces, pair particularly well with Le Dessein. Wild boar and pork chops are also great for lighter selections. Roasted, spice-driven dishes like Moroccan chicken or smoked cauliflower steaks bring out nuances of secondary flavors within the wine. We recommend avoiding seafood pairings, however, tuna and even salmon with rich, flavorful sauces complement the blend nicely.
2020 Métier Cabernet Sauvignon
With the renaming of our Columbia Valley Southern Rhône-style blend to Le Dessein, we are excited to announce the launch of a new Métier brand and Cabernet Sauvignon. Métier means craft, trade, or forte, and embodies the many hands involved throughout the winemaking process: from planting and pruning, to harvest, crush, fermentation, and bottling. We acknowledge the expertise required to create a Cabernet Sauvignon that honors Columbia Valley as a unique growing region.
The concept of Métier is also evident in the label, designed by local Seattle artist Becca Fuhrman. Two hands hold the sun and moon, representing the hot days and cool nights that make Washington’s sun-soaked Columbia Valley an ideal growing region for Cabernet Sauvignon. This natural phenomenon, known as diurnal shift, offers cool nights that conserve acidity, and intense sunny days that infuse bold, ripe fruit flavors. It is from this foundation of distinctive fruit that we meticulously craft our Métier, acknowledging the very best of the hands that diligently work the vineyards and the cellar.
Métier Cabernet Sauvignon is an inviting, smooth wine, with black cherry and plum aromas pouring from the glass. Flavors of bold dark fruits and charming notes of baking spice combine, with a juicy midpalate and pleasantly firm, dry finish. Best paired in the company of family and friends, Métier offers a balance of structure and approachability that can accompany a wide variety of foods.
More details will be available soon regarding the release of the new Métier Cabernet Sauvignon.
About DeLille Cellars
DeLille Cellars is the third oldest operating winery in Woodinville, WA, founded in 1992. Known for pioneering Bordeaux-style blends from Washington State, the winery has maintained a tradition of quality and excellence with over 700 individual 90+ ratings from leading publications. DeLille Cellars focuses on the Red Mountain AVA and sources grapes from Washington's most acclaimed vineyards. The winery is recognized by notable wine critics and influencers, including Robert Parker, as one of the top producers in the state. To learn more about DeLille Cellars and shop Washington wine, visit www.delillecellars.com.
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.
Taste Marguerite alongside Jason Gorski
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.
2022 Vinous Scores
We are honored to share the latest scores from Owen Bargreen, the new Washington Wine editor at Vinous. Wine Critic Owen Bargreen is a certified sommelier and has reviewed thousands of wines from around the world. He has traveled extensively throughout the wine regions of Washington, Oregon, and California, as well as Bordeaux and the Rhône Valley in France, Spain, Italy and Germany.
DeLille Cellars Chaleur Blanc, 2020 - 94 pts
"The utterly fabulous 2020 Blanc Chaleur Estate white wine is a sensational blend of 73% Sauvignon Blanc with the remainder Sémillon. The Sémillon really seems to be showing a lot here, contributing banana and melon alongside wet stone and lemon blossom that all mingle in the glass. The palate shows good freshness and weight as well as a great sense of elegance and minerality. The length adds to the enjoyment. This is up there with the best editions of this wine that I have tasted over the past 20 years." (Owen Bargreen, 94)
DeLille Cellars Roussanne, 2020 - 93 pts
"The 2020 Roussanne is a beautiful new wine by the talented DeLille winemaking team and director of winemaking Jason Gorski. The nose evokes fantastic range, from banana and honeydew melon to starfruit and damp earth underpinnings. The palate is fresh, vibrant and beautifully textured. The weight really entices as layers of melon and Yakima cherry mingle with minerals and earthy tones on the palate. Gorgeous now, this has a long way to go." (Owen Bargreen, 93)
DeLille Cellars Rosé, 2020 - 93 pts
"The 2020 Rosé from DeLille Cellars blends 52% Mourvèdre and 43% Grenache with a splash of Cinsault. The nose is wonderfully earthy and rounded out with melon, citrus blossom and watermelon tones, and the mouthfeel of the wine is seriously good. This is refreshing rosé with bright red fruits that shows a great sense of weight and length. Gratifying to drink now, it also has some cellaring potential." (Owen Bargreen, 93)
DeLille Cellars Sagemoor Dionysus Riesling, 2020 - 92 pts
"Sourced from an old block in the Bacchus vineyard that has since been removed, the 2020 Riesling Sagemoor Dionysus is a one-of-a-kind, Trocken-style wine that shows petrol and yellow florals on the nose along with shades of Japanese pear. The palate has great tension, a wonderful sense of minerality and just a kiss of sweetness." (Owen Bargreen, 92)
DeLille Cellars Métier, 2019 - 93 pts
"The 2019 Métier is a gorgeous blend of 42% Grenache and Mourvèdre (36%) with smaller parts Syrah and Cinsault. The garrigue notes are gorgeous, and bright red cherry and cigar box tones mingle with black olive on the nose. The palate shows good freshness, a soft mouthfeel and a light dusting of salinity. Layers of ripe red and dark fruits parade with stony and earthy tones, sagebrush and creosote. This just fantastic Rhône-inspired wine for the price." (Owen Bargreen, 93)
DeLille Cellars De Ponte Vineyard Pinot Noir, 2019 - 92 pts
"Sourced from one of the great sites in the Dundee Hills, the 2019 Pinot Noir De Ponte Vineyard exudes class with its soft mouthfeel and layers of pretty red fruits, red rose petals and citrus rind accents. Medium-bodied, showing good length, this is best enjoyed over the next 8-10 years." (Owen Bargreen, 92)
DeLille Cellars Lonesome Rock Ranch Pinot Noir, 2019 - 92 pts
"Presenting a pretty guava and red fruit profile, the 2019 Pinot Noir Lonesome Rock Ranch shows lighter viscosity and a silky mouthfeel once on the palate. Minerals and light damp earthy tones add to the enjoyment. This excellent cool-vintage effort is best consumed over the next eight years." (Owen Bargreen, 92)
DeLille Cellars Shaw Vineyard, 2018 - 96 pts
"The 2018 Shaw Vineyard is beautifully evolved even at the three-year mark. Aromatically quite complex, it displays really good range, from sagebrush and sandalwood tones to blackberry and huckleberry tones. The soft texture grabs your attention as the wine effortlessly glides across the midpalate, delivering plenty of espresso bean, blueberry compote, tar and black licorice flavors. Complex and delicious to savor now, this has another 20 years ahead of it." (Owen Bargreen, 96)
DeLille Cellars Lot 3, 2018 - 96 pts
"Silky, elegant and very well-balanced, the 2018 Lot 3 is a sensational Cabernet Sauvignon that is only starting to hit its stride. On the nose, it takes on layers of iodine alongside blackberry, tar, mocha and baking spices that all evolve in the glass. The palate is silky, plush and seamless with gratifying freshness and viscosity. Black and blue fruits collide with minerals and scorched earth tones on the palate. Enjoy this scintillating bottling over the next 15 years." (Owen Bargreen, 96)
DeLille Cellars Grand Ciel Cabernet Sauvignon, 2018 - 95 pts
"The classy 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Grand Ciel is a deep, hedonistic bottling by DeLille Cellars. Creosote and baking spices mingle with a rich core of dark fruits and salty undertones on the palate. The veil of tension, the rich mouthfeel and the impressive length all make this beautiful wine sing. Try to give it an hour of air if consuming in its vibrant youth." (Owen Bargreen, 95)
DeLille Cellars Harrison Hill, 2018 - 95 pts
"The 2018 Harrison Hill is a gorgeous effort by Jason Gorski and his DeLille Cellars winemaking team. Black florals combine with red cherry, black berry cobbler and suggestions of Asian spices on the nose. The palate is rich, viscous and elegant, with refined tannins holding everything in place. Enjoy this outstanding new wine over the next 15-plus years." (Owen Bargreen, 95)
DeLille Cellars Chaleur Estate, 2018 - 95 pts
"Showing more tar and scorched earth tones than the Harrison Hill, the 2018 Chaleur Estate presents an exotic bouquet of Arabica bean mingled with blue and black fruits and loamy soil undertones. The palate is elegant and silky, as refined tannins caress the layers of boysenberry, black cherry cordial and spice box. Gorgeous now, but this has a long way to go." (Owen Bargreen, 95)
DeLille Cellars Four Flags, 2018 - 94 pts
Sold out! View the 2019 vintage here
"Already quite nicely evolved, the 2018 Four Flags evokes black tea, exotic spice and chocolate aromas alongside a great wall of dark fruits. Full-bodied and intense, with sagebrush and scorched earth undertones, this is drinking beautifully right now and will continue to cellar well for another 15 years - or more!" (Owen Bargreen, 94)
DeLille Cellars Marguerite, 2018 - 94 pts
"Fresh and vibrant, the 2018 Marguerite is a special barrel-selection Sauvignon Blanc sourced from Block 5 in the Sagemoor vineyard, with vines dating back to 1972, and crafted from wine stored in cigar barrels. It’s quite rich and intense, providing smoky and stony undertones alongside a silky texture, wonderful orchard fruits and serious viscosity." (Owen Bargreen, 94)
DeLille Cellars Red Willow, 2018 - 94 pts
"The 2018 Red Wine Red Willow is a silky, elegant wine that blends 57% Cabernet Franc, 26% Merlot and 17% Cabernet Sauvignon. On the nose, it offers florals combined with sagebrush, blackberry compote and black licorice underpinnings. Fresh, vibrant and silky-smooth on the attack, this seamlessly glides throughout the drinking experience. Highly refined yet showing good weight, this outstanding Left Bank-inspired red blend will satisfy for at least another decade to come." (Owen Bargreen, 94)
DeLille Cellars Grand Ciel Syrah, 2018 - 94 pts
"The 2018 Syrah Grand Ciel is a beautifully textured wine that is already wonderfully evolved. Rich anise, espresso bean, blueberry pie and smoky minerals all combine on the palate, along with shades of smoked brisket. Fantastic now in its fresh, rich youth, this has another decade of life in front of it." (Owen Bargreen, 94)
DeLille Cellars Signature Syrah, 2018 - 94 pts
Sold out! View the 2019 vintage
"The beautiful 2018 Syrah Signature includes a touch of Viognier (2%). It’s very fresh and somewhat hedonistic with its massive dark fruit profile, and layers of dark chocolate shavings, black tea and exotic spices all add to the intrigue. This has the stuffing and finesse to last at least another decade." (Owen Bargreen, 94)
DeLille Cellars Le Colosse, 2018 - 93 pts
"The Merlot-dominant (88%) 2018 Le Colosse is an outstanding Yakima Valley bottling. Sagebrush, black cherry compote and shades of Earl Grey tea all dominate the nose. Fresh and beautifully textured, the wine delivers a great core of dark fruits with coffee ground and menthol undertones." (Owen Bargreen, 93)
DeLille Cellars Minuit, 2018 - 93 pts
"The 2018 Minuit blends 70% Malbec with the reminder Cabernet Sauvignon. It exudes class, offering blackberry and black tea tones that meld with the serious combination of tension and weight, and finishes exceedingly long. While highly gratifying to enjoy now, this has at least a decade of life ahead of it." (Owen Bargreen, 93)
DeLille Cellars D2, 2018 - 93 pts
Sold out! View the 2019 vintage here
"The 2018 D2 exudes class with dense layers of toasty oak that connect with black cherry cough syrup, blackberry compote, mocha and tar, all marching in unison in the glass. The palate is dense, chewy and full of life. Downright delicious flavors of black tea and blackberry pie and shades of menthol and coffee grounds combine with a great sense of tension and light tannins. Enjoy this fantastic new wine over the next decade or more." (Owen Bargreen, 93)
DeLille Cellars Doyenne, 2018 - 93 pts
"The 2018 Doyenne is already beautifully evolved at the three-year-mark. A Provençale-style blend of 61% Syrah and 39% Cabernet Sauvignon, it delivers plenty of viscosity and weight on the palate. Fresh and beautifully textured, with black cherry, black olive tapenade, boysenberry and loamy soil notes, this is an outstanding effort that will continue to impress over the next decade." (Owen Bargreen, 93)
A Peek Behind the Label: Chaleur Estate & Harrison Hill
With the 2019 vintage release, DeLille will be showcasing a new label design for two of our founding wines, Chaleur Estate and Harrison Hill, as well as our new old-vine Sauvignon Blanc, Marguerite. Chaleur Estate and Harrison Hill are both left bank Bordeaux-style blends, essentially have the same varietal breakdown of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc, but from two very distinct AVAs: Red Mountain and Snipes Mountain. Marguerite was first crafted in 2018 after extensive barrel and bottle aging, and the 2019 vintage will be available later this spring. The new label design gives credence to these rare and limited offerings.
Old Legacy Lineup New Legacy Lineup
At the top of the label is Delille’s new crest.
The Lion: a tribute to Bordeaux.
The lion is moving forward but also looking back, symbolizing DeLille’s “always seeking” and moving to the future while paying tribute to the path and people that got us to where we are today. This Lion is also on the second floor of DeLille’s new tasting room, and is aptly named Charlemagne, or “Charles the Great” after founder Charles Lill.
The Cinquefoil: Joy, Community, Plenty.
The cinquefoil highlights what the team at DeLille believes to be the ultimate end or result desire of our winemaking efforts – the joy of sharing it together. This symbol is seen in multiple places throughout DeLille’s 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 Charlemagne’s cloak on the second floor.
The Book: Learning, Seeking and Discovery.
The book highlights the winery’s endless desire for exploration, discovery and seeking new things – from vineyard sites to new blends or rare lots.
On the crest on the Marguerite label, the lower icons are reversed. The flower (cinquefoil) is white instead of gold. This small detail of distinction was added for fun and symbolism, with the Marguerite meaning tied to a white daisy.
On Chaleur Estate and Harrison Hill, the original Chateau (the winery’s founding site that used to be at the top of the label), is watermarked behind the name. On the Marguerite label, daisies adorn the background in a similar silhouette to the Chateau. While Marguerite is a newer wine, it is symbolic of some of the oldest Sauvignon Blanc vines in Washington State and also the foundation upon which Chaleur Blanc was crafted. All three of these wines are founding elements of DeLille’s focus to create world-class wines from some of the oldest vineyard sites in the state.
Learn more about these acclaimed wines:
DeLille Cellars’ inaugural wine first crafted in 1992, Chaleur Estate marks the foundation on which the winery has built its craft of blending Washington State fruit in the traditional style. This wine is a Cabernet Sauvignon-dominant blend of Bordeaux varietals, with a focus on Red Mountain vineyards. The result is a wine of depth, complexity, focus and elegance that personifies the French word for warmth, chaleur. The 2019 vintage is now available.
In 1994, DeLille Cellars was fortunate to acquire the rights to Harrison Hill vineyard in the Snipes Mountain AVA, a 4.9 acres site which has the second oldest Cabernet Sauvignon vines in the state. A Bordeaux-style blend that mirrors the Chaleur Estate Red Mountain blend in varietal breakdown, this wine is labeled after the vineyard’s namesake – Harrison Hill. Over the past five decades, the state’s second-oldest Cabernet vines have matured gracefully while producing progressively limited yields. This slow, elegant maturation is a compelling expression of what it means to be a terroir-driven wine. The 2019 vintage is now available.
Jason Gorski, DeLille’s Director of Winemaking and Viticulture, had a vision to craft an exceptional Sauvignon Blanc from some of Washington’s oldest vines. DeLille Cellars has crafted Sauvignon Blanc for over a quarter-century, traditionally aging the wines for six months in barrel. For Marguerite, the very best wines are selected to remain in barrel for an additional, then rested in bottle another year before release. The Marguerite daisy, a flower symbolizing devotion and patience, lends its name to this cuvée. The 2018 vintage is currently available, and the 2019 vintage will release this spring.
From Quintessence to Minuit: Our Malbec Cabernet Sauvignon Blend
Situated in the heart of Red Mountain lies a block of Quintessence Vineyard planted with two noble varietals, Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec. In 2014, the team at DeLille Cellars sought to blend these lots, finding that when Malbec is reinforced with the additional structure and life of Cabernet Sauvignon, it creates a wine with a style all its own. The end result showed ripe mouth-watering acidity and tannins, with flavors of assorted berries, violets, earth, and black pepper spices. At 70% Malbec and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, we were inspired to offer this deeply flavored blend as a single vineyard Red Mountain wine.
To say it stirred up new levels of passion in the winery is an understatement, and the reception it received through our wine club inspired us to seek out other vineyard sources to complement the blend from Quintessence. Red Willow vineyard, one of Washington State’s pioneering vineyards, grows exceptional Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon. Through our blending trials, our winemaking team created a blend of Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon from both Quintessence (52%) and Red Willow (48%). Finding an exceptional new wine with the combination of these two noble varietals and vineyard sites, the next task was to name this blend. Minuit, or Midnight, is the time of day that delineates one day from the next, at once the beginning of something new and the end of a defined and fundamental cycle. This wine, black as night, embodies this notion: the conclusion of our journey in the vineyard and the cellar, and the beginning of discovering the wine’s potential in the bottle and in the glass.
DeLille’s philosophy of seeking and discovery via blending trials in the cellar often lends way to the creation of new wines. Some of this evolution comes as smaller lots garner such a following that they evolve into something even greater. Our team’s dedication to quality and honoring the vineyard sites and varietals is always paramount. Our seeking never stops, and as one wine might evolve and grow, there will always be another new wine, new lot, or new vineyard site ready to be explored and shared with our members.
Shop the newly released 2019 vintage of Minuit here.
The Lot System
In 2010, DeLille Cellars started the “Lot” system to highlight small production, highly exclusive 100% Cabernets that were so exceptional they deserved to be bottled as their own lot versus being blended into other wines. The first “Lot” was a blend of four vineyards on Red Mountain: Ciel du Cheval, Klipsun, Upchurch, and our estate vineyard, Grand Ciel.
Original Lot 1 Label
The Lot system began DeLille’s expansion into Wine Club-exclusive wines, highlighting the winery’s “always seeking” philosophy of crafting the most exceptional wines possible and highlighting select barrels and lots that deserve individual distinction. Lot 1 would go on to become Four Flags, which the following year was the Seattle Times Wine of the Year and is now an integral piece in DeLille’s portfolio. Lot 2 was a limited production from Upchurch Vineyard, produced in 2010 and 2011. In 2015 DeLille revitalized the Lot system with a rare offering from Klipsun Vineyard, Lot 3. Lot 4 from Discovery vineyard was produced in 2016.
Lot 1 Cabernet Sauvignon & Four Flags Cabernet Sauvignon
In 2022, DeLille will retire its lot system and highlight the vineyard sites in script on the labels. Cabernet Sauvignon from Klipsun and Discovery will be available under their vineyard namesakes with the release of the 2019 vintage, joining our longstanding Shaw Cabernet Sauvignon offering and the second vintage of our Cabernet Franc-dominant Red Willow blend, which is sourced from 100% Red Willow Vineyard fruit and highlights the site of the first commercial planting of Cabernet Franc in Washington State. Much like Harrison Hill, this new designation and labeling system will pay homage to the unique vineyard locations and site terroir of these limited and passionate productions.
2022 New Labels
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Owen Bargreen Reviews 10 Years of D2 | D2 Vertical Tasting
D2 takes its name from the grand route du vin, or great wine road that travels through the historic chateau region of Bordeaux, France. Always leading with Merlot, D2 is a traditional Bordeaux-style blend sourced from over a dozen of Washington's most prestigious vineyards.
Since 1992, D2 has become a beloved blend for wine enthusiasts across the nation. In 2020, D2 captured national attention when named a Wine Spectator Top 100 Wine.
In December, Director of Winemaking Jason Gorski and Wine Critic Owen Bargreen sat down for a D2 vertical tasting in hopes to evaluate a decade of this acclaimed wine.
2009 D2 - 92 pts
"This 2009 ’D2’ blends 55% Merlot with 34% Cabernet Sauvignon and the remainder Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Nutty undertones combine with macerated red cherry and tobacco leaf on the nose. The palate is very fresh and lithe with a polished texture and a light dusting of salinity. This reveals plenty of mouth-watering acidity with pretty red fruits. Considering the warmth of the vintage this has aged really well, as this has at least another five years to go."
Drink 2021 - 2027
2010 D2 - 90 pts
"The 2010 ‘D2’ is a beautiful blend that exactly mirrors the 2009 version with 55% Merlot with 34% Cabernet Sauvignon with the remainder Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Herbal undertones dominate the nose with fresh sage and thyme tones alongside black raspberry compote. The mouthfeel is soft and approachable with medium-bodied red cherry and red raspberry flavors alongside copious herbs and firm tannins on the palate. This is best consumed over the next few years."
Drink 2021 - 2024
2011 D2 - 91 pts
"A blend of 56% Merlot with the remainder 35% Cabernet Sauvignon and small parts Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, this is the first vintage utilizing Upchurch Vineyard fruit in this wine. The sense of balance here is really good with pretty red fruits that combine with salty loam soils, wild mushroom and sagebrush tones on the palate. Firm tannins hold things brilliantly in place. While great to consume now, this easily has another five years to go."
Drink 2021 - 2028
2012 D2 - 93 pts
"The 2012 DeLille Cellars ‘D2’ blends 50% Merlot with 42% Cabernet Sauvignon with smaller parts Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. This is the first vintage utilizing Discovery Vineyard fruit. Ripe red cherry notes alongside underbrush and scorched earthy tones all fill the nose. There are many moving pieces aromatically. This is very seamless upon entry, finishing very long. The fruit quality here is considerably more pretty than the 2009-2011 wines, as this is extremely stable wine that has at least another decade to go."
Drink 2021 - 2031
2013 D2 - 93 pts
"The 2013 ‘D2’ Red Wine is a compelling blend of 57% Merlot with 33% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. This shows considerably more non-fruit aromas with tar and tobacco leaf, as well as mocha tones that combine with rich dark fruit tones. Dense and heady with good viscosity and tension, this dark-fruit driven wine is showing beautifully right now and has another decade of life in front of it. This is the most hedonistic of the tasting from 2009-2013."
Drink 2021 - 2031
2014 D2 - 93 pts
"The 2014 blends 58% Merlot with 36% Cabernet Sauvignon with the remainder Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. This shows a gorgeous bouquet with dried herbs alongside tar, blackberry compote and shades of espresso bean. The palate is fresh and viscous with a good combination of black fruits and herbal undertones with freshly tilled soils and dark chocolate shavings. Finishing long, this is very youthful now and has at least another decade to go in the cellar."
Drink 2021 - 2033
2015 D2 - 91 pts
"A blend of 58% Merlot with 35% Cabernet Sauvignon with 6% Cabernet Franc and a splash of Petit Verdot. This was the last vintage they utilized Stillwater Creek Merlot. This is a touch leaner and more linear than vintages 2012-14. Herbal undertones combine with bright Bing cherry, salty soils and shades of scorched earth on the palate. Enjoy over the next five years."
Drink 2021 - 2026
2016 D2 - 93 pts
"This 2016 vintage utilizes 59% Merlot with 34% Cabernet Sauvignon and small parts Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. This shows heady aromatics of espresso bean, tilled soils and black currants that all take shape in the glass. The palate is plush with a soft mouthfeel and great feeling of length. Very black fruit driven, shades of creosote and coffee grounds with sagebrush all come together seamlessly with velvety tannins holding things in place. Gorgeous to consume now, this is really nicely balance stuff that has at least another twelve years in front of it."
Drink 2021 - 2033
2017 D2 - 92 pts
"Really good already, the 2017 ‘D2’ red wine shows the highest percentage of Merlot that they have done to this point (66%). The nose shows very pretty high tones from the Merlot with red florals with cocoa powder and bright red fruits. The palate shows similarly to the nose with similar notes alongside brisk acidity and a soft mouthfeel with lighter refined tannins. The earthy components work well, as this beautiful wine still has a long way to go in the cellar."
Drink 2021 - 2033
2018 D2 - 93 pts
"The highest percentage of Merlot in this tasting (67%), the 2018 ‘D2’ is showing beautifully now at the three year mark. This is gorgeous wine even to consume right now with its gorgeous core of dark fruits with bitter chocolate and espresso grounds notes. Herbal undertones add to the enjoyment, as this shows beautiful length, verve and weight. This will easily cellar for twelve years."
Drink 2021 - 2033
2019 D2 - 91 pts
"The 2019 ‘D2’ is a blend of 60% Merlot with smaller portions Cabernet Sauvignon (34%), Cabernet Franc (4%) and Petit Verdot (2%). Sagebrush with milk chocolate and wild blackberry tones all fill the nose. This is done in the fresher style with medium-bodied red currant and red cherry flavors alongside tobacco leaf, and leather on the palate.The sense of balance here is really good. Enjoy this beautiful wine over the next decade."
Drink 2021 - 2031
Shop DeLille Cellars D2
Looking to sip and savor your own bottle of D2? Visit our Woodinville winery, tasting room, and Lounge restaurant in Woodinville, Washington or shop our wine online. Read the full review of the D2 vertical tasting on Owen Bargreen's blog here.
From Two Grand Crus to Washington State – Crafting the Most Acclaimed White Bordeaux-Style Blend in America
For many years, Chaleur Blanc has been a favorite among wine enthusiasts, connoisseurs, and collectors. The white Bordeaux-style blend is a world-class Washington wine that showcases traditional French blending techniques with the unique terroir of Washington state. Wine critic Stephen Tanzer exclaimed, “it is no exaggeration to compare this Sauvignon Blanc/Sémillon blend to the finest white Bordeaux bottlings made in oak”. He described the blend as an “utterly distinctive wine for Washington in terms of its texture, purity, complexity, savory character and ageability”.
Since its first vintage in 1995, Chaleur Blanc was served at the White House over three administrations and has become one of DeLille’s most beloved and influential blends.
Pioneering Washington State’s First White Bordeaux-style Blend
DeLille Cellars was founded in 1992 and pioneered two red Bordeaux-style blends, Chaleur Estate and D2. These wines were produced with a focus on Red Mountain and showcasing the premier fruit of acclaimed vineyards in the Columbia Valley. In 1994, DeLille crafted another Bordeaux blend, Harrison Hill, from a historic vineyard located in the Snipes Mountain AVA, a sub-appellation of Yakima Valley, which itself is a sub-appellation of the larger Columbia Valley.
With three red blends gaining international notoriety from key critics, including Robert Parker Jr., the winery sought its next feat of French inspiration via white wine. California Chardonnay was already saturating the market, and Chris Upchurch, Founding Winemaker at DeLille, knew the winery had a calling to produce the first white Bordeaux-style blend in Washington State.
Seeking Inspiration from the Source: A Journey to Bordeaux
Chris Upchurch had previously interned with David Lake, Master of Wine at Columbia Winery in Woodinville, Washington. Lake served as DeLille’s consultant in the winery’s formative years and made remarkable connections at some of Washington’s most renowned vineyards, including Ciel du Cheval, Red Willow, and Harrison Hill.
In 1995, Lake contacted prominent old-world wineries Château Haut-Brion and Château Margaux for Chris Upchurch and Founding Partner Jay A. Soloff to visit, creating a foundation for one of DeLille’s most esteemed wines to come to fruition. Jay also had many relationships in Bordeaux from his prior years as a wine broker.
With a notepad and a list of contacts in France, Chris and Jay set off on a pilgrimage to find DeLille Cellar’s next wine: the first white Bordeaux-style blend to be produced in Washington State.
First, Chris and Jay visited Château Bellegrave in Pauillac. They sought the expertise of a small Entre-deux-Mers wine producer who revealed the basics of crafting white Bordeauxs. The founders of DeLille were told, “cold soak, don’t ferment on the solids.” Here they learned a secret to the Bordeaux-Blanc recipe which this small winemaker called interfacing. The only way to perfectly interface is to cold soak the grapes and then ferment them in a barrel. After racking off solids into barrels, the wine barrel ferments, allowing for a creamy, refined wine.
Chris Upchurch with a Bordeaux Barrel Maker
The following days were filled with adventures that most winemakers can only dream of. Chris and Jay spent the day with Jean Philippe Delmas at Château Haut-Brion, one of the most famous wineries in the world. It is the only Bordeaux winery with Grand Cru classification for a white blend, crafted before 1855 when the classification was established.
Delmas confirmed everything Chris and Jay had learned so far on their journey. The renowned Bordeaux winemaker walked the DeLille founders through winemaking techniques of Bordeaux whites and explained how the conditions of climates such as Bordeaux, France, and the Columbia Valley in Washington State favor Sauvignon and Sémillon grapes. Cooler, dry vintages tend to pick up characteristics from gravelly clay soils, while still maintaining crisp “nectarine-like” qualities of the Sauvignon and honeysuckle and creme brulée of Sémillon.
Chris and Jay then traveled to Château Margaux where they met with Paul Pontellier, a prominent winemaker in the region. Here, they also learned of Bordeaux white techniques and tasted reds that were in the process of barrel aging.
Chris Upchurch with Paul Pontallier at Château Margaux
While visiting the chateau, the winemakers tasted Château Margaux Pavillon Blanc, a blend that received the winery’s “deuxieme,” or second wine classification, because production began after the 1855 classification. They also visited Domaine de Chevalier and Chateau Oliver.
Creating DeLille’s Fourth Wine: Chaleur Blanc
Upon returning to Washington State, Jay and Chris immediately ordered a proper winemaking tank. Lake helped them source an old milk tank, and then the winemakers began the process of “interfacing”, with cold soaking followed by barrel fermentation. Jay told Chris, “If it’s good enough for Château Haut-Brion, it’s good enough for DeLille.” Jay A. Soloff recalls, “We were that innocent to believe that we could make a world-class white Bordeaux-style blend in Washington”.
Chaleur Estate Blanc, now renamed Chaleur Blanc, is a product of the time Delmas and Pontellier spent with two young winemakers from Washington State. The esteemed wine lends its name from the shortened version of “chaleureux,” meaning warm and hearty, which is how co-founder Greg Lill described the grounds that would soon become DeLille Cellars’ winery and offices. In 2019, DeLille Cellars moved to the Old Redhook Brewery in the Hollywood District of Woodinville.
Crafting a white Bordeaux-style blend was unheard of in Washington State until 1995 when the first vintage of Chaleur Blanc was released. The wine is fermented sur-lie on the spent lees and also battonage, imparting a memorable “crème brulee” finish”. The lees are also stirred in the barrel each week. Chaleur Blanc is both a remarkable accomplishment to new world Bordeaux-style blends and Washington State wine, the second-largest wine-producing state in the US.
The Story of Four Flags
A VISIT TO HERMITAGE AND FOUR OF RED MOUNTAIN'S MOST PRESTIGIOUS VINEYARDS...
My time at Chave in Hermitage in 1997 showed me that you could blend plots of the same varietal to create a seamless wine, rather than blending different varietals as we do in many of our other wines. I spent a day with Jean-Louis Chave. He has seven plots on Hermitage Hill and all seven have different soils and exposures. Each plot created a different wine even though they were the same varietal, Syrah. We took samples of all seven plots from one vintage and started blending them together.
We carried this principle for blending plots of the same varietal with the crafting of our Four Flags Cabernet Sauvignon from the Red Mountain AVA. One day in the cellar, we explored the idea of blending Cabernet from four of the best vineyards in Red Mountain. Could we put together a blend that would showcase the nuances of each vineyard in a seamless wine? The challenge was to build a wine where we could still distinguish the characteristics of each vineyard; where one doesn’t overrun the other. It isn’t always achievable, but we found with Four Flags, it was, and our first vintage was in 2010.
MASTERFULLY BLENDED, FOUR FLAGS IS A HARMONIOUS AND COMPLEX REPRESENTATION
OF THE INCOMPARABLE TERROIR OF RED MOUNTAIN AND A TRIBUTE TO OUR STEADFAST COMMITMENT TO THIS RESPECTED VITICULTURAL AREA.
SINCE OUR FIRST VINTAGE IN 2010, FOUR FLAGS HAS RECEIVED AN AVERAGE SCORE OF 95 POINTS FROM ROBERT PARKER, HAS BEEN NAMED THE SEATTLE TIMES "WINE OF THE YEAR," AND HAS RECEIVED THE WINE ENTHUSIAST'S EDITORS' CHOICE AWARD.
THE FOUR VINEYARDS OF FOUR FLAGS:
Grand Ciel: Our Estate Vineyard: Grand Ciel demonstrates a seamless purity of Cabernet fruit with cassis and Herbes de Provence – what I like to call a “Cabernet popsicle.” If you love Cabernet you will love this vineyard.
Ciel du Cheval: Ciel du Cheval has much shallower soils and gives us minerality and “Pauillac” graphite flavors along with blueberry flavors.
Klipsun: Klipsun is at the bottom of the Red Mountain AVA and has deeper soils. Klipsun fruit is very rich and ripe, creating concentrated wines with plum brandy nuances.
Upchurch: Upchurch Vineyard has a definite floral aspect to it, coming from clone 2 Cabernet Sauvignon, offering violets and faded roses along with rich fruit.
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