2014 Chaleur Estate
Gold - San Francisco Chronicle
There is a great youthful intensity in this dark-fruited, powerhouse wine. It has aromas of black plums, blueberries and cocoa, with hints of tarragon and black pepper. With flavors of blueberries and black currants, along with vanilla bean, pie dough and pie spices like anise and cinnamon, it is a vibrant and hedonistic wine with a lengthy finish. It is a classic example of Red Mountain’s combination of ripeness and structure, and will age beautifully for many years.
Chaleur Estate is DeLille Cellars’ proudest effort, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (65%), Merlot (25%), Cabernet Franc (8%) and Petite Verdot (2%) from the most respected vineyards in Washington State. Vineyard lots are kept separate and aged in multiple types of new French oak, providing us the blending options to handcraft Chaleur Estate. The result is a wine of depth, complexity, focus and elegance that personifies the French word for warmth, chaleur.
To preserve the distinctive quality of Chaleur Estate, we handpick all our grapes and sort by hand during crushing, selecting only the very best berry clusters. The wine is barrel-aged for 20 months. Five months before bottling, Chaleur Estate is blended and the flavors are allowed to integrate in the barrel. Lastly, a minimum of nine months of bottle aging puts the final touch on this artisanal wine.
Review by Jeb Dunnuck for Robert Parker, June 2017 #231:
DeLille's 2014 Chaleur Estate comes all from Red Mountain and is a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc and the balance Petit Verdot. Aged 20 months in new French oak, this beauty offers a gorgeous bouquet of creme de cassis, lead pencil shavings, chocolate and espresso roast. Reminding me of a first or second growth Pauillac from a warm year, with more mineral, tobacco and earth coming through with air, this full-bodied, impeccably balanced 2014 has sweet tannin, nicely integrated acidity and a good finish. Drink it anytime over the coming two decades.