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2017 CHALEUR BLANC

The wine's aromas are arresting in notes of lemon pith, herb, stone fruit, fig, spice, mineral and citrus. Full-bodied, layered and exquisitely balanced fruit flavors follow with a zing of electric, lemony acidity stitching it all together. The fig- and tropical fruit-filled finish seems near endless. It's showing beautifully now, but should only get better with some time in the cellar. Best 2020–2025.

SEAN P. SULLIVAN | MAr 2019 | WINE ENTHUSIAST

2017 CHALEUR BLANC

(90% barrel-fermented, 60% new, then aged entirely in barrels for six months with batonnage): Full, bright yellow. Aromas of nectarine, white peach, coconut, fig and spices, plus a whiff of pine forest. Concentrated, layered wine with stone fruit flavors complicated by a savory element. Really maintains its thickness and verve through the subtle, palate-staining finish. A wonderfully food-friendly, complex wine. (13.8% alcohol)

Stephen Tanzer | Nov 2018 | vinous.com

2017 CHALEUR BLANC

Always one of the best whites in the vintage, the 2017 Chaleur Blanc delivers the goods and is a beautiful, Bordeaux Blanc look-alike that has classy lemon curd, citrus, mint, and green herb aromas and flavors. Medium-bodied and beautifully textured, it will keep for 4-5 years. The 2017 is primarily Sauvignon Blanc but includes 30% Semillon and was brought up in 60% new French oak.

JEB DUNNUCK | APR 2019 | JEBDUNNUCK.COM

2017 CHALEUR BLANC

Expressive and dynamic, with lively pear and figs flavors, accented by a delicate, creamy and toasty note. Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon. Drink now. 4,800 cases made.

TIM FISH | Jul 2019 | WINE Spectator

2017 CHALEUR BLANC

A blend of sauvignon blanc with semillon, this makes a Graves-like initial impression in its aromas of wheat, apple and toasty oak. It’s chewy and light at once, the golden oak notes lending the wine depth and succulence. And it causes hunger pangs, for something like poached river whitefish. (4,800 cases)

APR 2019 | WINE & SPIRITS

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2016 CHALEUR BLANC

(60% new oak; made with a lot of lees contact): Bright, light yellow-gold. Multidimensional nose melds aromas of stone fruits, pineapple and pear with notes of savory spices, honey and lemon grass and a Riesling-like piney quality. Compellingly fine-grained, concentrated and harmonious from the start, with a suggestion of figgy sweetness (the wine is technically bone-dry) perfectly countered by strong acidity. Finishes tactile and very long, with a suggestion of eucalyptus. Most recent vintages of this consistently superb wine have been considerably tighter early on, but this is a knockout nonetheless and has the balance for mid-term aging.

STEPHEN TANZER | Oct 2017 | VINOUS.COM

2016 CHALEUR BLANC

A blend of 68% Sauvignon Blanc and 32% Sémillon, the 2016 Chaleur Blanc offers up notes of citrus pith, subtle gooseberry, paraffin wax and botanicals. On the palate, it's medium-bodied, textural and bright, with good concentration and racy, mouthwatering acids, concluding with a youthfully chalky finish. I suspect that this 5,000-case cuvée would be an interesting candidate for cellaring, as it has the balance and cut to develop for a decade.

William Kelley | Jun 2018 | 237, The Wine Advocate

2016 CHALEUR BLANC

This blend of 68% Sauvignon Blanc and 32% Sémillon pops on the nose, with white grapefruit, guava, toast, fig, pineapple and herb notes. The flavors are rich and fruit-filled yet exquisitely balanced, with a knee-buckling texture and a warm finish. It's a standout.

SEAN P. SULLIVAN | Sep 2018 | WINE ENTHUSIAST

2016 CHALEUR BLANC

Looking first at the whites, the 2016 Chaleur Blanc is 85% Semillon and 15% Sauvignon Blanc, and this cuvée is unquestionably one of the top Bordeaux white blends coming out of the United States. Pineapple, tart peach, honeysuckle, and white flower characteristics all emerge from the glass. It has beautiful purity and sweetness of fruit, good acidity, and a clean, dry finish. Drink it anytime over the coming 4-5 years (or longer if you’re so inclined).

Jeb Dunnuck | APR 2018 | Jebdunnuck.com

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2015 CHALEUR BLANC

(60% new oak; 5,600 cases produced): Bright lemon-yellow. Fully ripe but exhilaratingly sappy aromas of tropical fruits, lemon oil, fig and honeysuckle. Very sexy, complex and smooth on the palate, with expressive flavors of citrus fruits, honey, wild herbs and flowers (Upchurch described the wine as "more Smith-Haut-Lafitte than Domaine de Chevalier in style," which isn't much of a stretch considering its high quality in recent years). Finishes with outstanding subtle length and thrust. The Sauvignon Blanc from Sagemoor, reportedly the oldest planting of this variety in the state, makes up a good percentage of this wine. Incidentally, this is DeLille Cellars' 22nd year of making a white Bordeaux blend in Washington.

STEPHEN TANZER | NOV 2016 | VINOUS.COM

2015 CHALEUR BLANC

I've always loved this cuvee, and the 2015 Chaleur Estate Blanc is no exception. Made from 73% Sauvignon Blanc and 27% Semillon, fermented sur lie in barrel, it has the classic minerality found in Bordeaux whites as well as lots of buttered citrus, mango, lychee and honeyed nuances. It has a supple, forward texture, racy acidity and a great finish. It's an impeccably made, versatile white to drink over the coming 2-3 years, or cellar for a decade if you're so inclined.

Jeb Dunnuck | Jun 2017 | 231, The Wine Advocate

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2014 CHALEUR BLANC

(13.2% alcohol; 90% barrel-fermented; full malolactic fermentation): Bright, light yellow. Alluring aromas of stone fruits, pineapple, honey, smoked meat and lees, with complicating notes of pine needles and forest floor. Fat, layered and sweet, boasting terrific fruit concentration and a hint of dried fig from the Semillon. Less than two grams per liter residual sugar. A wonderfully rich, fine-grained white wine with sexy leesy complexity.

STEPHEN TANZER | NOV 2015 | VINOUS.COM

2014 CHALEUR BLANC

The 2014 Chaleur Estate Blanc is another terrific white from this estate that readers need to seek out. Bitter citrus, white flowers, mint and leafy herbs all give way to a rich, textured, medium-bodied white that has solid mid-palate concentration, nicely integrated acidity and a great finish. I like it today, but it should drink beautifully for at least 3-4 years, if not longer.

JEB DUNNUCK | Jun 2016 | 225, The Wine Advocate

2014 CHALEUR BLANC

Bright and tangy, with passion fruit and fig flavors on a lively frame, lingering nicely. Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon. Drink now. 3,500 cases made.

Harvey Steiman | Web Only - 2016 | WINE SPECTATOR

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2013 CHALEUR BLANC

(a 65/35 blend of Sauvignon Blanc and semillon): Full, bright green-gold color. Noble aromas of citrus oil, apple, brioche and curry powder. Wonderfully sappy and concentrated, with guava, lime and mineral flavors complemented but not overwhelmed by sexy oak. Most impressive today on the extremely long, rising finish. I’d love to pour this incredible Washington State white wine next to a young Domaine de Chevalier blanc. Stunning quality for the price.

STEPHEN TANZER | DEC 2014 | VINOUS.COM

2013 CHALEUR BLANC

Another stunning white from this team is the 2013 Chaleur Estate Blanc. A blend of 65% Sauvignon Blanc and 35% Semillon that barrel fermented, it sports a light gold color to go with a sweet bouquet of buttered citrus, crushed rock, white flowers and toasted almond. One of the few serious white Bordeaux blends being made in the US, this medium to full-bodied beauty has a core of sweet fruit, integrated acidity, sensational purity and dry, clean finish. While I suspect it will age just fine, I see no reason to delay gratification and would drink bottles over the coming couple of years.

JEB DUNNUCK | Jun 2015 | 219, The Wine Advocate

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2012 CHALEUR BLANC

(a 65/35 blend of sauvignon blanc and semillon; fermented and aged on its lees, with weekly lees stirring, in 70% new oak for three months): Aromas of pear, peach, melon and honeysuckle are complicated by a mineral element. Dense and creamy, offering terrific depth to its pear and honeysuckle flavors. Displays a terrific balance of semillon richness and energy. Finishes with strong fruit and excellent cut. A beauty.

STEPHEN TANZER | NOV 2013 | VINOUS.COM

2012 CHALEUR BLANC

One of the top white Bordeaux blends coming out of the US today, the 2012 Chaleur Estate Blanc is a 100% barrel-fermented blend of 65% Sauvignon Blanc and 35% Semillon. It gives up exotic lychee nut, citrus blossom, melon and honeycomb to go with a medium to full-bodied, textured and rich style on the palate that keeps you coming back to the glass. Loaded with sweet fruit and showing fantastic length, as well as a clean, dry finish, enjoy this beauty over the coming 4 - 5 years.  

JEB DUNNUCK | Jun 2014 | 213, The Wine Advocate

2012 CHALEUR BLANC

Modeled on a white Bordeaux, this is a lovely, lightly toasty blend of two-thirds Sauvignon Blanc and one-third Sémillon. The pretty fruit mixes candied lemon, peach and pear with streaks of butterscotch and a suggestion of hazelnuts.

PAUL GREGUTT | Jul 2014 | WINE ENTHUSIAST

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2011 CHALEUR BLANC

(62% sauvignon blanc and 38% semillon; aged in 65% new oak): Bright yellow-gold. Knockout nose combines lemon drop, mirabelle, underbrush and botanical herbs, with some honey and guava notes from the semillon. Silky and suave yet gripping too, conveying an impression of outstanding intensity without weight. Captivating flavors of lemon zest, honey and dried herbs are lifted by a sexy floral quality. Finishes firm, classically dry and very long. A great vintage for this bottling. Winemaker Upchurch noted that he's using a bit more CO2 these days but less SO2. This wine could do major damage in a blind flight with some high-end Bordeaux whites.

STEPHEN TANZER | Nov 2012 | VINOUS.COM

2011 CHALEUR BLANC

Starting off the Bordeaux blends, the 2011 Chaleur Estate Blanc is comprised of 62% Sauvignon Blanc and 38% Semillon (from Boushey, Klipsun and Sagemoor Vineyards) aged in 70% new oak. Gorgeously rich and mineral-laced on the nose, with hints of lime peel, green herbs and honeycomb, it flows onto the palate with a medium to full-bodied texture, beautiful mid-palate depth, lively acidity and rock-solid length on the finish. Classy all around, it’s a serious effort that can be consumed now and over the coming 5-7 years or more. Drink now-2018. 

JEB DUNNUCK | Jun 2013 | 207, The Wine Advocate

2011 CHALEUR BLANC

Styled after the great white wines of Bordeaux, this is fresh and clean, with luscious mixed fruit flavors that emphasize apple and melon. A cooler vintage has produced a wine of low alcohol and real finesse, with a light dusting of toasty oak. Given its impeccable balance, it could be cellared for another 6–8 years.

PAUL GREGUTT | Dec 2012 | WINE ENTHUSIAST

2011 CHALEUR BLANC

This blend of sauvignon blanc and semillon gives off a powerful message of lees and oak, inviting comparisons to a well-made white Bordeaux. Its flavors are more tropical than that, high-toned peach notes adorned by toffee and caramel, a scent of biscuit on the finish and enough acidity to keep the whole thing moving. A good performance; for poached whitefish. (1,600 cases)

OCT 2013 | WINE & Spirits

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2010 CHALEUR BLANC

(an 80/20 blend of sauvignon blanc and semillon; the winery cut back on the percentage of semillon in 2010): Bright full yellow. Knockout nose combines musky curry powder and cumin notes with pineapple oil, ginger and chlorophyll; today it's the sauvignon blanc that dominates. Then supple and intense in the mouth, with excellent acidity serving to frame and intensify the peach, citrus, chlorophyll and basil flavors. Finishes very long, serious and suave, leaving an impression of fairly low alcohol. A beauty. 

STEPHEN TANZER | DEC 2011 | VINOUS.COM

2010 CHALEUR BLANC

DeLille’s 2010 Chaleur Estate Blanc – a blend of Sauvignon with 23% Semillon from four manifestly superbly well-managed sites – is dominated by lime peel-laced fig and honeydew melon, to which honeysuckle and heliotrope perfume add allure, and an aura of smokiness and high-toned suggestion of almond extract and peppermint add further pungent intrigue. The palate impression here manages adroitly to balance waxy texture, zesty piquancy, and infectious juiciness. “If you made the quantity of Semillon equal, it would take over the blend,” notes Upchurch, channeling precisely the hypothesis I was myself entertaining at that moment. Everybody’s giving up on Semillon,” he adds with (what I at least hope is) hyperbole, “Californians, South Americans, even Australians; but I love working with it.” Upchurch is proud of the particular assortment of barrels he has assembled to suit his Chaleur white, and it came as a big surprise to me after tasting this installment to learn that 70% of them were new; but the trick is that the wine spends only four months in them, based on what Upchurch, by analogy with baking, calls the “TODD” principle: take it out when it’s done, dummy! This is likely to reward and morph significantly over a decade of cellaring.  

David Schildknecht | Dec 2012 | 204, The Wine Advocate

2010 CHALEUR BLANC

This new vintage of Chaleur Estate Blanc is still quite young and tight. It shows the toasty scents of pretty new oak, set in an elegant frame of mixed fruits. Cucumber, apple, citrus and melon flavors emerge, suggesting an overall lighter style from a cooler vintage. Graceful and polished.

PAUL GREGUTT | Feb 2012 | WINE ENTHUSIAST

2010 CHALEUR BLANC

A fresh and citrusy white, this is juicy, delivering lemon and verbena aromas and flavors. A touch of tobacco and hint of butter mark the finish. Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon. Drink now through 2014. 1,250 cases made.

Harvey Steiman | Web Only - 2012 | wine Spectator

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2009 CHALEUR BLANC

Consistent year after year, this blend of 67% Sauvignon Blanc and 33% Sémillon is modeled after top-flight white Bordeaux. Deep gold, toasty and scented with olive oil, walnuts and loam, it hits the palate full-on with a rainbow of flavors: citrus, stone and tropical fruits, all accented with toast, oil and nuts from barrel aging. Riveting, delicious and unique.

PAUL GREGUTT | JUL 2011 | WINE ENTHUSIAST

2009 CHALEUR BLANC

(a 68/32 blend of sauvignon blanc and semillon; aged in 75% new oak for six months) Complex nose melds ginger, lemon drop, mirabelle, honey and spicy oak. Then dense, sappy and highly concentrated, with a strong spice quality and a distinctly tactile impression of structure. This very rich wine benefits from the piquant citrus zest and gooseberry notes contributed by the sauvignon component. The yields in 2009 were lower than usual, noted winemaker Peterson, and some of the sauvignon blanc was fermented with wild yeasts. This bottling has consistently been one of Washington's finest whites in recent vintages, and is a serious outperformer in 2009, a tricky vintage for white wines in Washington.

STEPHEN TANZER | NOV 2010 | VINOUS.COM

2009 CHALEUR BLANC

This barrel-fermented style has rich, silky texture and layers of pear, orange peel, pineapple and fig flavor. This isn't weighty, but is wrapped in spicy oak on the finish. In the end, this keeps its balance. Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon. Drink now through 2013. 1,700 cases made.

HARVEY STEIMAN | Oct 2011 | WINE SPECTATOR

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2008 CHALEUR BLANC

DeLille's take on a first-growth Bordeaux Blanc really shines in this excellent vintage. Toasty and firm, it captures the lushness of the Sémillon fruit while mixing in bright citrus. The barrel aging adds warm brioche, toasted almond and caramel. There is just a tiny suggestion of honey in the finish, a rush of tropical fruits.

PAUL GREGUTT | AUG 2010 | WINE ENTHUSIAST

2008 CHALEUR BLANC

(a 62/38 blend of sauvignon blanc and semillon) Sexy aromas of orange blossom and almond, plus a whiff of Rainier cherry. Sweet, concentrated and fat, with a subtle honeyed quality to the sexy fruit and smoke flavors. A leesy complexity adds to the wine's appeal. This boasts terrific intensity for Washington State white wine and finishes with superb persistence. The percentage of new oak used for this cuvee has declined steadily from 100% in 2005 to 60% in this 2008, and I applaud this strategy.

STEPHEN TANZER | NOV 2009 | VINOUS.COM

2008 CHALEUR BLANC

The 2008 Chaleur Estate Blanc is a barrel-fermented and aged blend of 62% Sauvignon Blanc and 38% Semillon sourced from 4 of eastern Washington’s finest terroirs. Medium gold-colored, it reveals an outstanding perfume of mineral, grilled brioche, citrus, gooseberry, honey, and fig. Creamy-textured, round, and already complex with all components nicely integrated, it should drink nicely for at least 5-6 years.  

Jay S Miller | Aug 2010 | 190, The Wine Advocate

2008 CHALEUR BLANC

Polished in texture, with a smoky barrel-fermented feel to the pineapple and pear flavors, lingering enticingly on the citrusy finish. Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon. Drink now through 2012. 2,400 cases made.

HARVEY STEIMAN | Jun 2010 | WINE SPECTATOR

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2007 CHALEUR BLANC

(68% sauvignon blanc and 32% semillon) Bright, full yellow with a green tinge. Pure aromas of pineapple, pear, chlorophyll and high-toned spicy oak. Bright, pure and penetrating in the mouth, with terrific density and nuance to the flavors of lime zest, minerals and coconut. For all its depth, this conveys a rare light touch. This belongs on the same table as a top-tier white Bordeaux; I was reminded of Domaine de Chevalier! One of the most exciting white wines I've tasted to date from Washington.

STEPHEN TANZER | NOV 2008 | VINOUS.COM

2007 CHALEUR BLANC

Make no mistake—the model for this wine can be found among the classified growth white wines of Bordeaux. The barrel influences are many and varied, layering in a mix of smoke, caramel and cracker; and the fruit is supple and beautifully blended. White raisins, Asian pears, pineapple and peaches blend together gracefully, and the alcohol remains at a moderate 13.8%.

PAUL GREGUTT | MAR 2009 | WINE ENTHUSIAST

2007 CHALEUR BLANC

The 2007 Chaleur Estate Blanc is composed of 68% Sauvignon Blanc and 32% Semillon sourced from Boushey, Sagemoor, and Klipsun Vineyards, some of the finest sites in the Columbia Valley. Medium straw-colored, it offers up a superb aromatic array of spring flowers, fresh herbs, citrus, toasted almonds, and candle wax. Medium-bodied and creamy-textured, on the palate citrus, pear, and baking spice notes emerge leading to a lengthy, fruit-filled finish. Like a top-class Pessac-Leognan from Bordeaux, it should take on additional complexity with several more years of bottle age although it can be enjoyed now.

Jay S Miller | Oct 2009 | 185, The Wine Advocate

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2006 CHALEUR BLANC

Rich and smoky, this Sauvignon Blanc-Sémillon blend delivers a nose suggesting golden raisins, ripe figs, white peaches and light streaks of butter, honey and caramel. The fruit and wood are balanced and the alcohol is a moderate 13.5%. Everything here is in proportion, layered, smooth and seductive. More than past vintages, this is a Chaleur blanc that seems destined to age and develop over the next decade or more.

PAUL GREGUTT | MAY 2008 | WINE ENTHUSIAST

2006 CHALEUR BLANC

One white wine is produced under the DeLille label. The 2006 Chaleur Estate Blanc is a blend of 61% Sauvignon Blanc and 39% Semillon. The wine goes through full malolactic fermentation with lees stirring. Medium straw-colored, it has an enticing bouquet of spring flowers, melon, and fresh herbs. Toasty, complex, and mouth-coating, this full-flavored wine could easily pass for a top Pessac-Leognan like Fieuzal. It can be enjoyed now and over the next several years.

Jay S Miller | Jun 2008 | 177, The Wine Advocate

2006 CHALEUR BLANC

(a 69/31 blend of sauvignon blanc and semillon) Pale yellow. Aromas of lemon, toast and straw; very much in a white Bordeaux style. Ripe, dense and quite dry but with an intriguingly saline, tactile quality and a honeyed nuance giving it a subtle sweetness. Finishes ripe and persistent, with late hints of honey and herbs. Winemaker Peterson has cut back on the percentage of new oak (it's now 80% rather than 100%), and this is all to the good.

STEPHEN TANZER | NOV 2008 | VINOUS.COM

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2005 CHALEUR BLANC

A rich, golden, toasty, hedonistic wine. Ripe and loaded with gorgeous fruit: sweet citrus, pineapple, grapefruit, peach and stone fruit. As it moves through the palate it's laced with smoke and toast, while the fruit core expands into marmalade and tupelo honey, and the wine grows unctuous and creamy. Doesn't taste like a young wine, but it certainly will continue to round out and develop further in the bottle.

PAUL GREGUTT | MAR 2007 | WINE ENTHUSIAST

2005 CHALEUR BLANC

(Sauvignon Blanc with 21% Semillon) Good pale color. Pungent aromas of peach, apricot, honeysuckle and sexy oak spices. Wonderfully concentrated and dense, with enticing early sweetness for this bottling. Expressive, fruit-driven flavors of apricot, peach, spices, herbs and flowers. Offers a sneakily rich mouth feel but lovely balance keeps this fruit bomb light on its feet. I love the way the citric, herbal sauvignon combines with the richer dried fruit quality and plush texture of the semillon. Finishes very long and sweet. This bottling has been far more pliant in recent vintages, and is now one of a handful of elite Washington whites.

STEPHEN TANZER | NOV 2007 | VINOUS.COM

2005 CHALEUR BLANC

One white wine was offered for tasting, the 2005 Chaleur Estate Blanc. It is composed of 79% Sauvignon Blanc and 21% Semillon, was raised in 100% new French oak, went through full malolactic, and aging sur-lie with batonnage. The result is a wine that could easily pass for a top Pessac-Leognan such as Fieuzal or Smith-Haut-Lafitte. Light gold-colored with a superb perfume of fresh herbs, melon, butterscotch, and spring flowers, this is followed by a plush wine with palate-coating flavors, excellent depth, and a long finish. This wine may evolve in the manner of a top white Bordeaux but it is difficult to resist now.

Jay S Miller | Aug 2007 | 172, The Wine Advocate

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2004 CHALEUR BLANC

DeLille Cellars' Bordeaux white is consistently among the best in the country. Rich and buttery, just this side of unctuous, it is smoothly styled with lingering layers of citrus oils, stone fruits, melon and nuts. Big but not blowsy, broad yet still focused, it weaves together seamlessly, layering in flavors right through the finish.

PAUL GREGUTT | Dec 2005 | Wine Enthusiast

2004 CHALEUR BLANC

(a 58/42 blend of sauvignon blanc and semillon) Pale gold color. Highly complex nose offers honey, lemon, pineapple, lanolin, mint and a hint of oak spice; very much in a Bordeaux style. Then juicy and intense, with nuanced flavors of sweet pineapple, star fruit and spices. Finishes with excellent grip, impressive length and a lingering suggestion of pine nuts. Very impressive Washington State white wine.

STEPHEN TANZER | NOV 2006 | VINOUS.COM

2004 CHALEUR BLANC

Ordering DeLille Cellars’s white Chaleur Estate in restaurants has become habit for me over the past couple of years, particularly when the sommelier is willing to decant it. The 2003 (consistently rated in the 90-91 range) has been my workhorse of late but I’m looking forward to the equally delicious 2004 Chaleur Estate (white). A blend of 58% Sauvignon Blanc and 42% Semillon, it has rich aromatics that offer notes of vanilla bean and melon balls. On the palate, this broad, medium-bodied effort displays outstanding depth of fruit and a silky texture. (Note: It should be served warmer than most whites). Dried honey, pears, apples, and honeydew melon flavors are intermingled with spices in its complex personality. Drink it over the next 3-4 years. 

Pierre Rovani | Apr 2006 | 164, The Wine Advocate

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2003 CHALEUR BLANC

(a 67/33 blend of sauvignon blanc and semillon, fermented in all new oak) Aromas of citrus skin and spicy, resiny, charry oak, with a waxy lanolin quality from the semillon. Rich, broad and ripe, with unusual generosity of texture for this wine. Complex, fruit-driven flavors of lemon, orange, kiwi and spices. Very pliant and very long. Already attractive but capable of several years of development in bottle.

STEPHEN TANZER | NOV 2005 | VINOUS.COM

 

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