2021 Wine Enthusiast Scores
The October 2021 Wine Enthusiast Buying Guide highlighted Washington’s finest wines and increasing Syrah production. Critics praised DeLille Cellars’ Bordeaux and Rhône-style blends sourced from Red Mountain, Yakima Valley, and the Columbia Valley AVA.
The pillars of this wine are top sites Ciel du Cheval (39%), Grand Ciel (30%), Upchurch (21%) and Klipsun (10%). Aromas of black currant, licorice, cocoa and spice are followed by action-packed dark-fruit flavors. This appellation's intensity, structure and freshness are there in abundance. Yum. Editors’ Choice. —S.S. abv: 14.4% Price: $75
The vineyard-designated wine is always a unique expression of the appellation. Aromas of red raspberry rise from the glass, along with notes of cocoa, dried herb and whiffs of tangerine peel. There’s a lot of restraint to the red fruit flavors, which ramp up in intensity over time. The acidity of the vintage enlivens it, with the appellation’s structure in abundance. Best after 2030. Cellar Selection. —S.S. abv: 14.2% Price: $160
This is the first vintage of this wine, which saw 18 months in cigar-shaped barrels. With fruit coming from Sagemoor Block 5, it was aged sur lie. Appealing aromas of beeswax, tropical fruit, herbs and pink grapefruit are followed by a rounded palate, full of kiwi and pine-apple flavors. It’s ripe, but with well-balanced acidity, with the texture only adding to the appeal. The finish is endless. —S.S. abv: 14% Price: $75
Blue fruit aromas erupt from the glass, followed by notes of huckleberry, spice, coffee and herb. It saturates the palate, covering it from end to end with blue and purple fruit flavors that sail on the finish. It has a big-time yum factor, nearly irresistible, with fruit and barrel both playing big parts in the show. Editors’ Choice. —S.S. abv: 14.9% Price: $56
An homage to Merlot, which makes up 88% of the blend. Cabernet Sauvignon follows with the rest equal parts Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. With DuBrul (24%) and Ciel du Cheval (24%) comprising nearly half the wine, the aromas are brooding, with notes of red fruit, spice and dried herbs. The flavors are soft and sumptuous, showing the brightness of the vintage, with plentiful structure around it all. Editors’ Choice - S.S abv: 14.6% Price: $60
A blend of 67% Merlot, 28% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot, this wine is full of polish and class. The aromas are charming, with notes of black cherry, dark raspberry, flowers and bittersweet chocolate. There’s impressive structure and balance to the red and black fruit flavors. Editors’ Choice. —S.S. abv: 14.5% Price: $45
Grenache makes up 42% of this wine, with the rest Mourvèdre (36%), Syrah (20%) and a pinch of Cinsault. The aromas rise up from the glass, with notes of blueberry, huckleberry, fresh herbs, raspberry, black pepper and moist earth. The palate is light on its feet, showing elegance and dexterity. —S.S. abv: 14.6% Price: $45
Cabernet Sauvignon comprises 61% of this wine, with the balance Merlot (27%), Cabernet Franc (10%) and Petit Verdot (2%). Locked up aromas of black cherry, scorched earth, coffee and spice are followed by sophisticated coffee and chocolate flavors. It shows surprising restraint given the warmth of the vintage and appellation. Best after 2026. Cellar Selection. —S.S. abv: 14.8% Price: $90
Syrah makes up 61% of this wine, with the rest Cabernet Sauvignon. Aromas of coffee, cherry, berry and spice are followed by creamy feeling coffee flavors. Fruit and barrel play equal parts. —S.S. abv: 14.7% Price: $45
Aromas of coffee bean, spice and dark chocolate are followed by light fruit flavors. On the one hand, the fruit seems quite ripe. On the other, the concentration light. Grainy tannins back it up. —S.S. abv: 14.6% Price: $75
Hailing from one of the state’s oldest and most highly regarded sites, this wine is a blend of Cabernet Franc (57%), Merlot (26%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (17%). Aromas of tea leaves, herbs, tar, sweet spice and raspberry are followed by elegant fruit flavors. It doesn’t seem to have emerged from its shell, though the sophistication intrigues. —S.S. abv: 14.4% Price: $75
90 DeLille 2020 Roussanne (Red Mountain). This wine is still settling into the bottle, with notes of seashell and wet rock. The palate brings texture, balance and persistence. There are lots of interesting things happening, though they all haven’t come together yet. Give it additional time in the bottle to see it at its best. —S.S. abv: 14% Price: $35
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