In April of 2000, along with our vineyard partner, Jim Holmes, who also owns the famous Ciel du Cheval Vineyard on Red Mountain in the Yakima Valley, we planted our new DeLILLE CELLARS vineyard at Grand Ciel, on Red Mountain.
In early October 2004, we hand-picked the first fruit from this exceptional vineyard. Grand Ciel is planted to a higher density and has over 2,000 vines per acre. This vineyard is planted to a much different row orientation than most all other Washington vineyards. The Southwest to Northeast, diagonal and GPS-coordinated angle, along with single Guyot trellising, combined with selected French ENTAV clones, has produced outstanding grapes.
The inaugural vintage of DeLILLE CELLARS 2004 Grand Ciel, Estate produced and bottled, Red Mountain Red wine was released in September 2007. We had only 800, three-bottle, wood-boxed sets offered at $125.00 per bottle, or $375.00 for the set.
In the June 2008 Issue of Robert Parker, our DeLILLE CELLARS 2005 Grand Ciel Cabernet Sauvignon was given a score of 95 by Jay Miller. The tasting notes describe this amazing vintage as follows:
The 2005 Grand Ciel is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon sourced from a new 18 acre estate vineyard in the Red Mountain AVA planted in 2001 adjacent to the renowned Ciel du Ceval vineyard. Purple-colored, it offers a superb aromatic array of cedar, mineral, scorched earth, black cherry, and blackberrry. Layered, intense, and long, this opulent wine should be approaching its peak by 2015 and drink well through 2030. J.M.
Most winemakers seem to agree that 2005 is one of the best vintages for Washington State in recent history. The combination of very low yields, tiny berry size and a flawless warm and sunny season produced wines with a natural concentration and structure with which all wineries have been impressed. It is nowhere more evident than in our own Grand Ciel Vineyard.
Grand Ciel Vineyard was designed from the very ground up to produce great vintages, like 2005. Vintages with low yields and warm weather can ripen grapes too fast. Often they lose natural acidity and the great "hang-time" complexity for which Washington State is famous. However, with the French grape clones we chose, along with high density planting and traditional Guyot-trellising, this vineyard slows everything down. The idea is to have the best of both worlds, namely concentration and hang-time complexity. The tastings we have experienced from 2005 are simply brilliant. These wines seem to have an abundance of ripeness, spice, concentration and style that will last a long time.
94 Pts. 2006 vintage, Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
94 Pts. 2006 vintage, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Our 4th vintage, the 20007 Grand Ciel Cabernet Sauvignon, is now available for pre-purchase. This wine will release on September 19, 2010 [purchase]