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DeLille Cellars
 
May 23, 2022 | DeLille Cellars

2022 Wine Enthusiast Advance Buying Guide Scores

Wine Enthusiast’s Advance Buying Guide provides early access to reviews for over 1,800 wines, 20 spirits, and 10 beers. DeLille Cellars is proud to share excellent scores for its Washington wine throughout Columbia Valley, Yakima Valley, and Red Mountain AVAs.

2019 Signature Syrah2019 Signature Syrah - 94 pts

Yakima Valley

Co-fermented with 2% Viognier, fruit for this wine comes from Red Mountain and Boushey Vineyard. The aromas start out brooding, with notes of boysenberry, violet and spice. Full bodied, rich, intense, luscious, seamless fruit flavors follow. It’s hedonism in a glass, with no shortage of grace. Buckle up and enjoy the ride. Editors’ Choice. —S.S. 

 

2019 Red Willow2019 Red Willow - 94 pts

Yakima Valley

Fruit and barrel intertwine on the aromas and flavors, with notes of vanilla, coffee, dried tobacco, char and cherry. It has a creamy feel that ups the appeal. Barrel notes linger on the finish. Give it time in bottle to see it at its best. Enjoy after 2027" - S.S

 

 

2019 Minuit2019 Minuit - 93 pts

Yakima Valley

This is a blend of 70% Malbec and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon. The aromas intrigue, with notes of whole tangerine, cumin, cedar, black pepper and plum. Plump palate-coating purple and blue-fruit flavors follow. It’s got a big-time yum factor. Editors’ Choice. —S.S.

 

 

2019 Discovery Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

2019 Discovery Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon - 93 pts

Horse Heaven Hills

Located on Phinny Ridge, Discovery Vineyard has quickly established itself as one of this appellation’s top sites. Aromas of bittersweet chocolate, dried herb, black currant and plum lead to bright, rich, tightly packed fruit flavors. It shows a lot of hedonism, polish and class. —S.S. 

 

2019 Le Colosse2019 Le Colosse Merlot - 93 pts

Yakima Valley

This is a blend of fruit from top sites Boushey, Harrison Hill and DuBrul. The aromas enchant, with notes of fresh and dried herb, orange rind, sage, cedar, plum and bing cherry. The flavors and plush and palate coating while bringing a lot of grace. It’s delicious. Editors’ Choice. —S.S.

 

2018 Grand Ciel Syrah2018 Grand Ciel Syrah - 92 pts

Red Mountain

The aromas aren’t fully ready to reveal themselves, with notes of dark fruit, spice and herb. Full feeling, seamless flavors follow. There’s intensity but a hand firmly on the throttle. —S.S. 

 

 

2019 Marguerite2019 Marguerite Sauvignon Blanc - 92 pts

Columbia Valley 

The aromas intrigue, with notes of clover honey, toast, bright herb, lime peel and assorted spices. Full-bodied flavors follow, showing pleasing complexities and a warm finish.

It’s terrific now but will only expand with time in the cellar. Best after 2025. —S.S.

 

2019 Klipsun Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon2019 Klipsun Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon - 92 pts

Red Mountain

Coming from one of Red Mountain’s top sites, this is a charm offensive. The aromas bring notes of savory herb, black plum and dark raspberry. There’s plenty of intensity to the flavors, along with midpalate density. The finish hangs. It’s tasty. —S.S. 

 

2019 Shaw Vineyard Cabernet2019 Shaw Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon - 92 pts

Red Mountain

This wine is a complete delight. The aromas bring notes of cigar box, vanilla extract, boysenberry, black cherry, cedar and fresh herb. Full feeling but still fleet-of-foot flavors follow. It’s a restrained look at this often burly appellation, with a great yum factor. —S.S.

 

2019 D22019 D2 - 91 pts

Columbia Valley

Merlot comprises 60% of this wine and Cabernet Sauvignon 34%, with the rest bits of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. The aromas pull you into the glass, with notes of plum, raspberry, chocolate, vanilla and spice. The flavors are reserved and creamy feeling, delivering on all that promise. —S.S. 

 

2019 Doyenne

2019 Doyenne - 91 pts

Red Mountain

This is a blend of 60% Syrah and 40% Cabernet Sauvignon. Aromas of barrel spice, cherry, herb and plum lead to flavors that show intensity and also the svelteness of the vintage. 

 

 

 

Shop Washington Wine from Red Mountain

DeLille Cellars is a boutique artisan winery that has been producing high-quality wines since 1992. The winery is known for pioneering Bordeaux-style blends from Washington State and has maintained a tradition of quality and excellence with over 200 wines rated 90+ from leading publications. Visit our Woodinville winery or shop Washington wines online. 

Time Posted: May 23, 2022 at 2:36 PM Permalink to 2022 Wine Enthusiast Advance Buying Guide Scores Permalink
DeLille Cellars
 
May 17, 2022 | DeLille Cellars

DeLille Cellars Celebrates 30 Years of Winemaking in Washington State & Releases Mini Documentary

DeLille Cellars 30th Anniversary Mini Documentary

DeLille's Founders: Chris Upchurch, Jay A. Soloff, Greg Lill, and Charles Lill

DeLille Cellars, a pioneering Washington State winery, is celebrating its 30th Anniversary with the release of a short documentary capturing the story of the winery’s beginning. Founded in 1992 by Jay Soloff, Chris Upchurch, and Charles and Greg Lill, DeLille was the first winery in the state to focus distinctly on both red and white Bordeaux-style blends. 

The video highlights how DeLille’s founders met and created the idea to start one of Washington’s early wineries, now the third oldest in Woodinville. Through stories of French heritage, home winemaking, trips to Bordeaux and late-night punch-downs, the foundation for excellence and passion to unearth and showcase Washington’s world-class wine region is reflected in the interviews of DeLille’s founders and present-day team. DeLille Cellars invites you to pour a glass of Washington wine and watch and share the story. Visit DeLille's website to learn more about the winery's history.

DeLille’s founders believed blends transcended the sum of their individual parts, and sought to showcase the powerful, concentrated, and structured fruit of Washington State through the European art of blending, whether different varietals or vineyard sites. This founding principle along with the company philosophy of “always seeking” guides the winery’s commitment to exceptional wine quality and winery experiences and its dedication to constant improvement and continuous discovery in the cellar.

"Thirty years is short in the overall history of wine, but it’s a significant milestone for DeLille and the Washington State wine industry," said CEO Tom Dugan. “Our founders set out to showcase the world-class wine quality of Washington State. Despite the tremendous opportunity that still exists to grow awareness nationally and abroad, we’re proud to have helped establish the exceptional quality of wine that can be grown and made here and to have contributed to the remarkable growth of the Washington State wine industry. As we continue to build on the strong foundation of focusing on celebrated vineyard sites, quality in the cellar, and distinctive and memorable wine experiences, we’re extremely excited about the next 30 years."

DeLille Cellars Director of Winemaking & Viticulture Jason Gorski and CEO Tom Dugan

Director of Winemaking Jason Gorski and CEO Tom Dugan in front of DELille's Tasting Room at the Old Redhook Brewery (Credit: Richard Duval)

In 2019, DeLille Cellars moved all winery production and operations to the Old Redhook Brewery in Woodinville, Washington, where it built a tasting room and opened a restaurant, The Lounge at DeLille Cellars. While DeLille started with just two wines, the current portfolio includes over two dozen wines with a focus on Bordeaux and Rhone-inspired blends as well as highly limited Cabernets and single vineyard and varietal expressions. DeLille celebrated its anniversary over the weekend of April 29th at its Woodinville location with a dinner in its Grand Ciel Hall, a new event space above its restaurant, and a Taste & Tour experience throughout its three-story tasting room.

DeLille's Founding Wines

DeLille Cellars founding wines, Chaleur Estate and D2, 1992 vintage

About DeLille Cellars

Bordeaux Inspired – Distinctly Washington – Uniquely DeLille

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 as one of the top producers in the state.

Time Posted: May 17, 2022 at 1:00 PM Permalink to DeLille Cellars Celebrates 30 Years of Winemaking in Washington State & Releases Mini Documentary Permalink
DeLille Cellars
 
May 16, 2022 | DeLille Cellars

DeLille Cellars Receives 20 91+ Scores in Jame Suckling’s 2022 Washington Wine Report

Washington State: A Cascade of Choice, Untapped Potential, and an Apex Syrah

DeLille Cellars is excited to announce 20 Washington State wines received 91 points or above from James Suckling’s recent Washington Wine Report. Tastings were focused mainly on the 2019 vintage, which was noted as a cooler season resulting in delayed bud break. The following summer months, however, reached 100 degrees in certain areas. August and September were generally moderate and the season ended with a cold snap in October.

2019 Metier2019 Métier - 94 pts

Columbia Valley

Lovely aromas of ripe red fruit, cocoa powder and fresh thyme. Full-bodied with really vivid and vibrant fruit. Great purity and definition. The silky tannins are soaked in juicy fruit. Balanced with good depth and intensity. 42% grenache, 36% mourvedre, 20% syrah and 2% cinsault. Drink or hold.

 

2019 Four Flags2019 Four Flags Cabernet Sauvignon - 93 pts

Red Mountain

Blackberry, blackcurrant and black licorice on the nose. Full-bodied with very good depth and intensity. Firm tannins. Well structured with ripe fruit and crushed herbs coming in layers. A surprisingly fresh finish. Best after 2024.

 

 

2018 Grand Ciel Cabernet Sauvignon2018 Grand Ciel Cabernet Sauvignon - 93 pts

Red Mountain

A lovely nose of blackberry, blackcurrant, dried thyme and suede. Full-bodied with fine, slightly chewy tannins. Vivid on the palate with plush, ripe fruit. There is lift and clarity, with wet-mineral character. Dark chocolate at the finish. Best after 2023.

 

2020 Chaleur Blanc2020 Chaleur Blanc - 93 pts

Columbia Valley

Aromas of sherbet lemon, peach and thyme. Medium-to full-bodied with lovely stone fruit on the palate. White-tea aromatics, such as jasmine, hibiscus and chamomile come through. Very tasty. Drink now.

Sold out - 2021 vintage releasing this summer!

 

2019 Doyenne2019 Doyenne - 93 pts

Columbia Valley

Aromas of bramble, blackberry, rosemary and leather. Medium-to full-bodied with fine, taught tannins. Ripe fruit is at the core of the palate, accented by fresh floral notes and hints of vanilla and almond. Well balanced and light on its feet. Best in 2024.

Sold out! New vintage coming soon

 

2019 Chaleur Estate2019 Chaleur Estate - 93 pts

Red Mountain

Aromas of sweet red fruit, tobacco leaf and vanilla. Full-bodied with silky tannins. Vanilla and cream drive the palate, with notes of leather and sage. A bit of orange peel, too. Good focus and length. 64% cabernet sauvignon, 24% merlot, 10% cabernet franc and 2% petit verdot. Best from 2024

 

2018 Grand Ciel Syrah2018 Grand Ciel Syrah - 93 pts

Red Mountain

Aromas of leather, blackberry and earth. Full-bodied with slightly chewy tannins. Rich and opulent palate. Very well balanced and sleek. Will be better after another year. Best after 2023.

 

 

2019 Signature Syrah2019 Signature Syrah - 93 pts

Yakima Valley 

Aromas of ripe red cherry, rosemary and dried rose. Full-bodied with fine tannins. Sleek and supple with ripe dark fruit and subtle, ground baking spice. There is a lovely floral character to the palate as well. Dry finish. Drink now.

 

 

2019 Discovery Cabernet Sauvignon2019 Discovery Cabernet Sauvignon - 92 pts

Horse Heaven Hills

Aromas of crushed black fruit and berries, cooking spice and cocoa powder. Full-bodied with quite a lot of woody spice character. Nutmeg and allspice come through. Slightly chewy tannins. Give this some time to integrate. Best after 2024.

 

 

2019 Klipsun Cabernet Sauvignon2019 Klipsun Cabernet Sauvignon - 92 pts

Red Mountain

Dense aromas of ripe red and black fruit, leather and dried herbs. Full-bodied with very good depth and intensity. Silky tannins. Very steady and rich. Drink or hold.

 

 

2019 Shaw Cabernet Sauvignon2019 Shaw Cabernet Sauvignon - 92 pts

Red Mountain

Ripe red cherry, raspberry, blackcurrant and a lifted note of white pepper on the nose. Full-bodied with velvety tannins. There is a through-line of vanilla cream to the dried herbs and ripe fruit. Best after 2024.

 

 

2020 Rose2020 Rosé - 92 pts

Columbia Valley

Aromas of red cherries, fresh flowers and rosemary. Full-bodied with good weight and texture. Fairly concentrated and driving for a rosé. Dry and refreshing finish. Drink now.

Purchase the 2021 vintage

 

 

2020 Riesling2020 Sagemoor Dionysus Riesling - 92 pts

Columbia Valley

Honeyed aromas of nutmeg, peach and apricot. Medium-to full-bodied with lovely yuzu acidity. A little peppery and a little citrusy with a flavorful finish. A charmer. Drink now.

Sold out - new vintage coming soon!

 

2020 Roussanne2020 Roussanne - 92 pts

Red Mountain

Aromas of grapefruit, white peach, wet stone and dried herbs. Medium-to full-bodied. The palate starts off as fresh ripe stone-fruit notes and quickly changes into notes of walnuts and almonds. I like the complexity and structure. Drink now.

Sold out - new vintage coming soon!

 

2019 Le Colosse2019 Le Colosse - 92 pts

Yakima Valley

Aromas of ripe plum and red cherry mix with notes of rosemary and milk chocolate. Full-bodied with silky tannins. Well structured and long-lasting with very clear red fruit. Savory finish. 100% merlot. Drink or hold.

 

 

2019 Red Willow

2019 Red Willow Blend - 92 pts

Yakima Valley

Aromas of baked cherry, blackberry and roasted rosemary. Full-bodied with firm tannins. Wet-mineral character adds freshness to the rich dark fruit. Subtle cinnamon spice. 56% cabernet franc, 35% merlot and 9% cabernet sauvignon. Best after 2023.

 

2019 D22019 D2 - 91 pts

Columbia Valley

Aromas of ripe red cherry, red licorice, dried sage and suede. Full-bodied with firm tannins. Wet-mineral character mixes with bright red fruit. Ripe raspberries, cherries and sweet paprika. Toasted finish. 67% merlot, 28% cabernet sauvignon, 3% cabernet franc and 2% petit verdot. Best after 2023.

 

 

2019 Marguerite Sauvignon Blanc2019 Marguerite Sauvignon Blanc - 91 pts

Columbia Valley

Inviting aromas of lemon, white peach and wet stone. Medium-to full-bodied with a bright and fresh start, but turns rather savory in the finish. Good sur-lie complexity with nice balance. 100% sauvignon blanc. Drink now.

 

 

2019 Harrison Hill2019 Harrison Hill - 91 pts

Snipes Mountain

Inviting aromas of sour cherry, cedar and red licorice. Medium-bodied with fine tannins. Juicy and fresh on the palate with good balance. 63% cabernet sauvignon, 25% merlot and 12% cabernet franc. Drink now.

 

 

2019 Minuit2019 Minuit - 91 pts

Yakima Valley

Aromas of plum, fig and fresh thyme. Full-bodied with bright berry acidity. Silky tannins. Red cherry and redcurrant. Pleasantly tart. Boysenberry, too. Fresh finish. 70% malbec and 30% cabernet sauvignon. Drink now.

 

 

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.

Time Posted: May 16, 2022 at 1:23 PM Permalink to DeLille Cellars Receives 20 91+ Scores in Jame Suckling’s 2022 Washington Wine Report Permalink
DeLille Cellars
 
April 26, 2022 | DeLille Cellars

DeLille Cellars Métier Renamed Le Dessein

Métier to Become a New Label and Brand in the DeLille Cellars Portfolio

2020 Le Dessein Label

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

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.

Recommended Pairings

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

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.

Time Posted: Apr 26, 2022 at 9:00 AM Permalink to DeLille Cellars Métier Renamed Le Dessein Permalink
DeLille Cellars
 
April 16, 2022 | DeLille Cellars

DeLille Cellars Named 2022 Pacific Northwest Winery of the Year

Jason Gorski and Tom Dugan of DeLille Cellars

DeLille Cellars Director of Winemaking and Viticulture Jason Gorski & CEO Tom Dugan in front of the Woodinville Tasting Room (Richard Duval Images)

DeLille Cellars is honored to be named the 2022 Pacific Northwest Winery of the Year by Great Northwest Wine Magazine. Five years ago, our Woodinville winery was named 2017 Washington Winery of the Year and in 2018, DeLille Cellars Harrison Hill Cabernet Sauvignon wine was voted Best Red Wine for the Great Northwest Invitational Wine Competition. The winery has earned many other accolades over its 30-year history, including multiple platinum medals and the 2019 Chaleur Blanc voted as Seattle Times' Top Northwest Wine.

DeLille attributes its success to the solid foundation laid by its four founders: Greg Lill, Jay A. Soloff, Chris Upchurch, and the late Charles Lill. Although DeLille Cellars was officially formed in 1992, two of our founders, Chris Upchurch and Jay Soloff, began making wine together back in 1980. 

A Solid Foundation in Washington Wine

In 1979, Jay Soloff was working as Wine Director for El Gaucho in Seattle and hired Chris Upchurch to act as Wine Buyer for the 13 Coins restaurant at SeaTac. Chris was hired because he stated on his application that his home winemaking skills would help him make better decisions as a buyer. It wasn't long before Chris and Jay started making wine together and acquired "The Grapeline," a wine grower contract with Sagemoor Vineyards, and began selling grapes as well.

Business License

Jay A. Soloff and Chris Upchurch's business license for The Grape Line 

In 1987, Jay Soloff joined the Emerald City Rotary and happened to sit next to Greg Lill, where they unearthed a mutual interest in wine. For years, the two friends would converse and enjoy wine at Cedar Ponds Farm (which would in time become the founding site of the winery) and in 1992, DeLille Cellars was founded. 

The Early Years of DeLille Cellars

The founders hired David Lake, a luminary in the Washington wine industry, to consult for the winery’s first decade. He guided DeLille in the early years, advising on everything from equipment and winemaking techniques to vineyards and varietals. David facilitated making introductions to key vineyard sources, including Red Mountain sites and Red Willow in Yakima Valley. David encouraged DeLille to acquire the rights to Harrison Hill vineyard and guided them in the production of Washington's first white Bordeaux-style blend, Chaleur Blanc. 

David’s advice and support were essential contributors to the exceptional quality and critical acclaim achieved in those early years. “Chris was an amateur winemaker, and Dad basically funded us to start with,” Greg Lill said. “In 1992, there was Columbia, of course, the Château (Ste. Michelle), French Creek Cellars and I think Facelli started the same year as us. What’s happened in Woodinville and what Washington has grown up to become is pretty remarkable, and a lot of industry people say that we’ve helped with that.”

DeLille Founders

The four founders of DeLille: Chris Upchurch, Jay A. Soloff, Greg Lill, and Charles Lill

CEO Tom Dugan & Director of Winemaking Jason Gorski Guide the Future of DeLille

Today, the winery is led by CEO Tom Dugan, although the founders remain involved shareholders. “All of the founders have been very active as owners, but most recently, less so in day-to-day operations with our move to Redhook,” Dugan said. “I think they’ve all enjoyed the growth and success, and I’ve always felt pretty honored that they felt comfortable to step back and hand the reins over to us.”

CEO Tom Dugan

CEO Tom Dugan at the old Redhook Forecaster Pub, now The Lounge at DeLille Cellars

Back in 2014, Tom Dugan was planning to leave his career in investment banking and private equity for business school, but his plans changed when his former colleague, Sam Bronfman of Bacchus Capital Management, reached out. At the time, DeLille was also looking for a vice-president of operations. “When I spoke to Sam about business school, he along with Chris, Jay, and Greg, convinced me to move out to Seattle for a year to help them at the winery. That one year turned into what will be eight this August, and included becoming GM and COO before Greg stepped down,” reflected Dugan. 

While CEO Tom Dugan spearheads the operations of the winery, Director of Winemaking Jason Gorski guides the winemaking team in producing acclaimed Bordeaux-style blends. 

DeLille Cellars Winemaking Team

The DeLille Cellars winemaking team: Cellar Lead Page Kafonek, Cellar Lead Sarah Jackson, Director of Winemaking and Viticulture Jason Gorski, Winemaker Nick Bernstein, Cellar Hand Sophie Louaillier, Assistant Winemaker Mari Rossi

Gorski's Winemaking Journey

At the age of 19, Jason Gorski was in charge of choosing the dinner wine on the family-owned farm he worked on. “It was part of their family ritual,” he said. “I started to learn as much as I could about wine and thought about it as a career because I’ve always enjoyed making things with my hands.”

Gorski reflected, “I was fortunate to realize at a very young age that wine was my passion. During my education at Duke University, my academic advisor/mentor introduced me to a respected sommelier. That conversation became a pivotal moment when he told me to jump in headfirst. His words, “Life may get in the way, so don’t wait – just leap,” is what has guided me toward many professional and personal life choices. In hindsight, it was that encounter that influenced my career path and brought me to where I am today.”

After graduating in 2002, Gorski applied his biology degree to a winemaking position at Four Sisters Winery in New Jersey. After a few years, he landed a position at Château Ste. Michelle. In 2011, Gorski was hired to replace Chris Peterson at DeLille, who went on to pursue his own winemaking efforts at Woodinville’s Avennia Winery. 

“(Upchurch) always said, ‘When you join the winemaking team, you are here to contribute, not just perform work orders,’ ” Gorski says. “Everybody brings something to the table. I think that’s the most important characteristic at DeLille — the culture of craftsmanship, working together, treating the wines as if they are your own, and honoring the legacy of people who have come through here.”

Guiding the winery's daily operations, Director of Winemaking and Viticulture Jason Gorski has been key to the winery's growth and continued lineup of accolades since 2011. Gorski now leads a team of five - Winemaker Nick Bernstein, Assistant Winemaker Mari Rossi, Cellar Lead Page Kafonek, Cellar Lead Sarah Jackson, and Cellar Hand Sophie Louallier.

“When I started here, we made 8,000 cases and eight wines,” Gorski reflected. “We have many more wines and many more cases now. I’m not an owner, but I think of these wines as if they are mine and our incredibly talented winemaking team.”

The words of Founding Winemaker Chris Upchurch still reign true at the winery: “At DeLille, we believe that Washington State is a Grand Cru wine-growing region, created 10,000 years ago.  The challenge for us has always been and remains: to create special wines from the uniquely expressive terroir that Mother Nature gave us a long time ago." 

The Lounge at DeLille Cellars

The Lounge at DeLille Cellars, a new wine-centric Woodinville restaurant

Looking Ahead

In 2021, DeLille opened its newest venture, The Lounge at DeLille Cellars, a wine-centric dining experience next door to its three-story Tasting Room at the Old Redhook Brewery. Here, guests can enjoy wine by the glass and bottle alongside hand-crafted cuisine from Executive Chef Michael C. Toni

The founding principle of “always seeking” guides the winery’s steadfast commitment to constant improvement, continuous discovery in the cellar, and the creation of exceptional wines and experiences. Always seeking to build on the strong foundation of its founders, DeLille Cellars is celebrating its 30th anniversary this spring, and we toast to what the upcoming years will bring. 

Read the full article on Great Northwest Wine here

 

Time Posted: Apr 16, 2022 at 1:00 PM Permalink to DeLille Cellars Named 2022 Pacific Northwest Winery of the Year Permalink
DeLille Cellars
 
April 11, 2022 | DeLille Cellars

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.

The Process

“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.

2018 Marguerite

The Label

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 Marguerite

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

2019 Marguerite

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.  

 

Time Posted: Apr 11, 2022 at 10:00 AM Permalink to Marguerite Sauvignon Blanc: A Tribute to Devotion & Patience Permalink
DeLille Cellars
 
March 28, 2022 | DeLille Cellars

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. 

Chaleur BlancDeLille 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)

 

RoussanneDeLille 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)

 

RoseDeLille 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)

 

Sagemoor Dionysus RieslingDeLille 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)

 

MetierDeLille 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)

 

De Ponte Vineyard Pinot NoirDeLille 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)

 

Lonesome Rock Ranch Pinot NoirDeLille 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)

 

Shaw Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

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)

 

Lot 3 Cabernet SauvignonDeLille 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)

 

Grand Ciel Cabernet SauvignonDeLille 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)

 

2018 Harrison Hill Red WineDeLille 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)

 

Chaleur EstateDeLille 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 FlagsDeLille 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)

 

2018 Marguerite Sauvignon BlancDeLille 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 WillowDeLille 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)

 

2018 Grand Ciel Red Mountain Syrah

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)

 

Signature SyrahDeLille 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)

 

Le ColosseDeLille 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)

 

MinuitDeLille 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 Columbia Valley D2 Red WineDeLille 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 Syrah Cabernet Sauvignon BlendDeLille 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)

Time Posted: Mar 28, 2022 at 12:00 PM Permalink to 2022 Vinous Scores Permalink
DeLille Cellars
 
March 8, 2022 | DeLille Cellars

A Toast to Our Women Winemakers

March 8th is International Women’s Day, and we're raising a glass to all the women in the wine industry who are making their mark and shaping the field for future generations.

This year’s theme is ‘Break the Bias’ - a call for gender equity and challenging biases, stereotypes, and discrimination. Like many other industries, women face multiple barriers to gender equality. However, despite these challenges, the number of women in the wine industry is growing. This year, we interviewed DeLille’s winemaking women about their experience and how we can uplift future women in the industry.

Assistant Winemaker Mari Rossi

Mari Rossi, Assistant Winemaker

How did you get into the wine industry?

My love for math and science initially drew me to enology & viticulture, but the combination of science, creativity, and physically handcrafting a product that brings people joy is what keeps me loving my job. 

What are some of your goals? 

It is important to honor and acknowledge many of the traditions set before us in this industry; however, there is always room to improve, and as an industry, we need to evolve and start uplifting and including more voices in the wine conversation. I want to be a part of that change, and it is a priority to continue to actively make space for new voices. It is time to change the landscape.

What would you say to women considering a career in wine?

Come work harvest with us! I would say don’t be afraid to reach out to women already in the industry for guidance, support, and advice. We have a strong community within the industry, and it is important to feel heard and seen in whatever space you are entering. It is the best job in the world! 

How do you think women can uplift each other in the winemaking community?

Women are great at building community, so continuing to bring everyone together is important. Seeking out new resources, stepping outside of the box, and making more room for other women…when you get a seat at the table, bring someone up with you! 

Who are three inspirational women you look up to and why?

Erica Orr is definitely holding it down for the women here in Woodinville and in the industry as a whole. She is not only an incredible winemaker and owner of her own lab, but she also brings together the other women winemakers in Woodinville, creating a community and support system for us all. 

Ikimi Dubose and Tahiirah Habibi both helped found The Roots Fund, which was created to empower communities of color by providing resources and financial support through educational scholarships, wine education, mentorship, and job placement. They are constantly working towards making a much-needed change in the wine industry. 

Of course, the women who raised me to be who I am today: my mother, my sister, and my two grandmas. They are the strongest women I know, and they constantly make me want to be the best version of myself. 

What is your favorite DeLille Cellars wine?

Harrison Hill and Chaleur Blanc are probably my two favorite DeLille wines to make.

Cellar Lead Sarah Jackson

Sarah Jackson, Cellar Lead

How did you get into the wine industry?

Like so many before me, I completely stumbled into the industry. My husband landed an internship with DeLille and started coming home from work happy and excited about his job, something I had never experienced before. Immediately jealous, I asked to tag along and luckily DeLille still needed help and hired me for the 2019 vintage. I haven't looked back since.

What are some of your goals?

The industry is so expansive and full of opportunity. Right now, my goal is to learn and try new things every day, so that one day I could be as good of a mentor to others as the winemaking team at DeLille has been for me.

What would you say to women considering a career in wine?

Absolutely go for it. I'm blessed to work with several incredible, tough, smart women who inspire me every day. Women belong in this industry and have so much to offer both in and out of the cellar. Girls rock.

How do you think women can uplift each other in the winemaking community?

Sharing knowledge is everything. I'm lucky to call Mari Rossi, our assistant winemaker, a mentor. As more of us make it into positions of influence in the industry, it's important to not just be visible representation, but also actively bring the next generation of women into the cellar and empower them to follow their winemaking dreams.

Who are three inspirational women you look up to and why?

Only three? I work with three women in the cellar at DeLille, Mari Rossi who has always advocated for me and is a well of knowledge, as well as Page Kafonek and Sophie Louallier who both impress me and give me strength daily through their grit, knowledge, and humor. But I can't name women I look up to without mentioning my mother, a self-described "laborer" who worked in environmental education for young children and was the first person who made me realize that women are just as tough and capable as our male counterparts.

What is your favorite DeLille Cellars wine?

Only one?? The 2019 Riesling rocked my world. The bouquet on that beauty is intoxicating. I'm also a huge fan of our Métier.

Do you have a favorite memory at DeLille you would like to share?

Anyone who has worked a harvest will tell you it's less the romantic ideal of sweeping vineyard vistas and thoughtful swirls and sips of wine, and longer, intense days spent scrubbing tanks, punching down caps, and getting generally filthy. However, for me, that first harvest I worked alongside my husband was as romantic as it gets. Tackling such an intense undertaking together was one of the greatest experiences I've ever had and showed me our strength both as individuals and a couple. I will forever be grateful that I got to share that transformative first harvest with my best friend.

Cellar Lead Page Kafonek

Page Kafonek, Cellar Lead

How did you get into the wine industry?

I was establishing myself in the hospitality industry and what makes every situation more hospitable? Wine! I began my studies as a Sommelier and my mentor suggested I try a harvest.  It was such a great experience that I shifted my course to production.

What are some of your goals? 

I’m still trying to find my footing. There are a few gaps between the wine industry and the hospitality industry that I’m filling in. For now, I’m just trying to learn as much from the winemakers at Delille as I can, there’s a lot of great talent here and I’m excited to see where both myself and the business go. 

What would you say to women considering a career in wine?

Try a harvest! One of the best parts of harvest is working with a diverse team of career backgrounds, goals, personal interests, and skillsets.  There is no “right” way to get into this career. 

How do you think women can uplift each other in the winemaking community?

Continue to help create a sense of community.  Promote outreach programs, hold events, and get your name out there. The more exposure we can shine on the women in wine the better!

Who are three inspirational women you look up to and why?

Prior to Delille, I had only worked with two other female interns.  They were both so headstrong and with a little ingenuity, never let a task outweigh them.  Seeing them continue to thrive in this industry has given me confidence in my own abilities.  

What is your favorite DeLille Cellars wine?

Chaleur Blanc is the most hands-on white I’ve worked with.  Tasting that wine reminds me of stirring the lees in every barrel once a week and that's what I love about being in production.  I love being able to taste the effort everyone puts into a great product. 

Do you have a favorite memory at DeLille you would like to share?

The first day we used the new crush equipment this past harvest - Everyone was learning the equipment that day and it really showed where different experiences and backgrounds can come into play in the cellar. There is no “right” way to get there.

Cellar Hand Sophie Louaillier

Sophie Louaillier, Cellar Hand

How did you get into the wine industry?

I first got into the wine industry when I worked Harvest 2020 here at DeLille! Prior to that, I didn't even know the wine industry was even an option for me, or that I would love it so much that I wanted to return. My second harvest was where things really cemented for me; not only did I feel more knowledgeable and at ease, but also I liked that I was consistently learning new things every day. 

What are some of your goals? 

I think one of the amazing things about working in wine is that there are so many different ways to grow and move around the industry. As I enter my first year of officially being in the wine world, my goals right now are focused on learning as much as I can, and really understanding DeLille's winemaking process throughout the year (not just during harvest). 

What would you say to women considering a career in wine?

As someone who is still fresh on the scene, I would say the best way to consider a career in wine is to try a harvest! Harvest is really where you decide if you love making wine or not because it is so intense, fast-paced, and physical. You learn so much about the winemaking process during harvest, and it's a great opportunity to see if you can envision yourself in the industry more long-term. 

How do you think women can uplift each other in the winemaking community?

I feel there are so many ways women can support other women in the wine community! I think for women who are more established in wine, education and collaboration can be a great way to include and uplift women who want a future in wine. It is amazing to be working on a team that is majority women, and I think that is a direct result of intentional hiring - really allowing women to show up and prove that there needs to be more women in wine. It is also why I find myself looking up to Mari, our assistant winemaker, and oenologist. Her dedication to diversity both in and out of the wine community and her commitment to holding space for other women to join her in her successes is incredible. 

Although she is not in the industry, I also look up immensely to my older sister Chloe. Her compassion, caring nature, and generosity challenges me to be a better person on the daily, and also makes her one of my favorite people. She is fun, adventurous, and fiercely loving. It makes me proud to be her sister and friend! 

What is your favorite DeLille Cellars wine?

As we move into spring and summer, one of my favorite DeLille wines to drink is our Riesling! It's been on my mind as of late and I can't wait to catch those summer vibes. 

Do you have a favorite memory at DeLille you would like to share?

I've had so many great memories over my short time here it's hard to pick one! One from harvest '21: we were adjusting to using all new crush equipment this year, as well as working in a new space, which also had new electrical wiring... We were in for quite a shock when we plugged in the crush line, dumped a bin of grapes, and realized the sorting table had the audacity to start shooting grapes backwards! Very intense and concerning in the moment, but kind of funny looking back on it! 

Looking Forward: Women in Washington Wine

Although the percentage of women in winemaking is still relatively small, organizations such as The Alliance of Women in Washington Wine advocate for and inspire women in wine. DeLille Cellars is honored to be a founding donor of the Woodinville Wine Country Scholarship, supporting minority and under-represented students within the program who demonstrate a passion for and dedication to the wine-growing and winemaking craft, as well as a love of higher learning and continued wine education.

Time Posted: Mar 8, 2022 at 10:00 AM Permalink to A Toast to Our Women Winemakers Permalink
DeLille Cellars
 
March 1, 2022 | DeLille Cellars

Events at The Lounge Restaurant: Woodinville’s Place to Gather

Whether you are traveling from out of state or from nearby Seattle, Woodinville offers some of the best restaurants, wineries, distilleries, and breweries in the region. With a myriad of restaurants to try, it can be difficult to make a decision where to dine after a day of wine tasting and meandering around Woodinville Wine Country. If you’re looking to combine fine Washington wine alongside local cuisine, head to The Lounge at DeLille Cellars, DeLille’s wine-centric Woodinville restaurant. 

The Lounge at DeLille Cellars specializes in New American cuisine, crafted by Executive Chef Michael C. Toni. Chef Toni has partnered with DeLille Cellars for over 20 years and possesses both the experience and knowledge to craft spectacular pairings. 

"Over 25 years ago, I started my career in California restaurants at a time that ‘New American Cuisine’ was thriving,” said Executive Chef Toni. “I am excited to come full circle after building relationships and friendships in this amazing community through A Platinum Event Catering. I look forward to continuing the legacy of this space with DeLille Cellars, who has been by my side from day one, by providing the same style of food that I began my career with, but also incorporating all that working in Woodinville Wine Country has taught me."

"Great wine belongs with great food, and we’re excited to partner with our long-time friend and chef, Michael Toni.  After nearly 20 years working together perfecting pairings for wine dinners and release events, we’re thrilled to open a restaurant to offer our customers some magical food and wine experiences and create a hub at the Old Redhook Brewery,” said CEO Tom Dugan.

The Lounge at DeLille Cellars

In addition to standard table seating, The Lounge restaurant also functions as a wine bar, where guests can relax in comfortable chairs and enjoy wine. Guests can be seated by the fireplace for a more intimate gathering in a comfortable sofa setting; in the middle of the action of our Main Dining Room at one of our Lounge Chair tables; or fireside on our raised platform in large wing-backed chairs. Two private dining rooms are also available for private events at The Lounge - the Alchemy Room and D2 Room. 

Private Events at The Alchemy Room, The Lounge Woodinville Restaurant

The Alchemy Room at The Lounge

Our Woodinville restaurant is open Wednesday through Sunday and offers specials and events throughout the week. Check out our weekly offers such as Happy Hour, a special Date Night menu on Wednesdays, and live music from local musicians on Thursdays. The Lounge at DeLille Cellars will also feature special prix-fixe pairing menus in March to celebrate Taste Washington Wine Month

Select Dates in March: Taste WA Wine Month Prix-Fixe Menus

Throughout March, The Lounge restaurant will feature prix-fixe pairing menus every Thursday through Sunday to celebrate Taste Washington Wine Month. These menus feature DeLille wines poured alongside other celebrated Washington wines that have a legacy tie to DeLille’s history, where winemakers have worked at DeLille in their early years and then went on to other wineries or to start their own. The Prix-Fixe menus are available on select days, along with the standard menu offerings.  

Calendar of Events

March 10-13: Avennia and DeLille Prix-Fixe Menu 

March 17-20:  Mark Ryan and DeLille Prix-Fixe Menu

March 24-27: Baer and DeLille Prix-Fixe Menu 

March 31-April 3: Betz and DeLille Prix-Fixe Menu

Wednesday: Date Night Menu

A take on DeLille Cellar’s Date Night pick-up meals throughout the course of 2020, Wednesday night Date Nights at The Lounge are the perfect opportunity to enjoy local cuisine paired with DeLille Cellars wine. The date night menu changes weekly, and New American style dishes are crafted by Executive Chef Michael C. Toni. Main courses can range from Pan-Seared Black Cod to Grilled Pork Tenderloin to Fresh Gnochetti Sardi Pasta. 

The Date Night menu includes a three-course dinner for two (starter, entree, and dessert) and a bottle of wine. Choose from four bottle choices including Chaleur Blanc, D2, Panther Creek Pinot Noir, and Panther Creek Chardonnay. Follow our Facebook page for menu updates and Date Night information at The Lounge.

Date Night Menu

The Lounge Date Night Menu, March 2nd

Thursdays: Live Music

Join The Lounge at DeLille Cellars Thursday evenings from 5:30 pm - 8:30 pm for live music at our Woodinville restaurant. We feature local artists whose styles range from acoustic folk and indie to soft rock and pop. Check out who’s playing at The Lounge here and their details below.

Jessie Siren

Seattle-based singer Jessie Siren has been writing music since she was nine years old. She focuses on acoustic, folk-pop tunes. 

Tyler Edwards

Beginning his career in 2008, Tyler Edwards wrote songs and fronted South Carolina rock band, I Anthem. After releasing two EPs and an LP, the band had multiple songs breaking the Top 10 on Billboard's Rock Charts and music featured on MTV and NASCAR. In 2017, Edwards independently released his first solo LP, A Few Good Hearts. The album was completely crowd funded and showcased a collection of songs about traveling, love, and faith. Since releasing his record, Tyler has sold out multiple Seattle venues and shared the stage with national acts such as Will Hoge, Nicki Bluhm, and The Steel Wheels.

Alex Britton

Alex Britton is a lead guitarist and singer from the UK. He performs a wide range of covers from old to new including the likes of The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Lynyrd Skynyrd through to Mumford & Sons, The Lumineers, and Ed Sheeran. 

Gina Belliveau

Originally from Baltimore, Gina Belliveau plays one-man-band, looped, percussive, acoustic soul-folk with an Achilles heel for ridiculous pop cover tunes in an ever-expanding repertoire running the gamut from Billie Holiday to Billie Jean, in addition to an arsenal of original songs.

Jaeden Luke

Seattle singer-songwriter Jaeden Luke writes acoustic pop music with hook-driven melodies and lyrics that guarantee to resonate with every listener. Thanks to his admiration of The Beatles, he learned guitar at age 9 and has pursued music ever since; now he is often vocally and musically compared to Ed Sheeran and John Mayer.

Live Music at The Lounge

Live Music on The Deck

Currently, live music is held inside The Lounge. In the summer (weather permitting), live music will be held on The Deck, where guests can enjoy a glass of wine alongside bites and a lighter-fare deck menu.

Wednesday - Friday: Happy Hour at The Lounge

Enjoy Happy Hour specials at The Lounge Wednesday through Friday from 3 pm to 5 pm. Guests can enjoy $10 glass pours on select wine including D2, Triennes Rose, Panther Creek Chardonnay, Jean Baptiste Roussanne, and Panther Creek Pinot Noir. Looking for a different beverage? No problem! Our Woodinville restaurant features a wide selection of beer and cider on tap, including ales from Fair Isle Brewing, Black Raven, and Sumerian Brewing. 

Please note: menu is subject to availability

Happy Hour at The Lounge Woodinville Restaurant

In addition to specials on beer and wine, the Happy Hour menu also features small bites and shareables such as Smoked Brisket Sliders (Red Cabbage Slaw, House Made Sweet BBQ Sauce, Horseradish Crema) and Truffle Parmesan Pomme Frites. Please note: Menus are subject to seasonality and availability. 


Happy Hour at The Lounge

Happy Hour at The Lounge: D2, Smoked Brisket Sliders, and Truffle Pomme Frites

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.

 

Time Posted: Mar 1, 2022 at 1:00 PM Permalink to Events at The Lounge Restaurant: Woodinville’s Place to Gather Permalink
DeLille Cellars
 
February 24, 2022 | DeLille Cellars

The Journey of a Barrel

DeLIlle Cellars Barrels

Oak barrels play an essential role in winemaking, from renowned Cabernet Sauvignon of Napa Valley to acclaimed Bordeaux-style blends of Washington State. Oak adds flavor compounds, slows oxygen intake (helping the wine taste smoother), and provides an ideal environment for malolactic fermentation (contributing “creaminess” to the wine). But what happens to barrels when they reach the end of their useful life at the winery? 

For the barrels used at our Woodinville winery, DeLille Cellars is just a stop along the way. Let’s explore the journey of a barrel - from soil to cooperage to local artisans in the Pacific Northwest. 

From Forest to Barrel

The journey of the barrel begins in the forest. Terroir plays an important factor here, just as it does in the vineyards. The location of the tree, how slowly it grew, and age are all factors taken into consideration. Slow growth oak trees contain tighter grain, thus providing better quality oak for barrels. 

The specific barrel we’ll be following is sourced from Seguin Moreau, a French cooperage headquartered in Merpins, France. With nearly two centuries of experience, the cooperage has been pioneering oenological research and producing top-quality barrels since 1838.

Harvesting

Once selected, the wood is cut into staves that are slightly angled. The staves will “season” outside for 2-3 years, allowing the wood to lose verdancy and leech out raw and recognizably ‘woody’ flavors. 

Cooperage

After the wood is harvested, the barrel maker, or cooper, gets to work. The barrel must be watertight without glue, thus requiring adroit work from skilled coopers. The staves are fit tightly together with a metal hoop as the barrel begins to take its shape. 

Jason Gorski Testing Red Wine from a Barrel

DeLille Cellars

With over 20 Rhône and Bordeaux-style wines in our portfolio, our winemaking team utilizes different styles of barrels depending on the style and varietal. DeLille purchased these specific barrels in 2018 and filled them with Cabernet Sauvignon Clone 8 from Upchurch Vineyard located on Red Mountain.

Clone 8 originates from Château Margaux in Bordeaux, France, and was introduced to California vineyards in 1893. It is the most widely planted Cabernet Sauvignon clone in Washington State and is known for reflecting the unique terroir of the vineyard site. 

Dark fruit notes dominate Grand Ciel Clone 8, while Clone 8 from Upchurch Vineyard offers flavors of red fruit with dark highlights. In 2021, the barrels had served their purpose at DeLille and the Cabernet Sauvignon was emptied for blending into Four Flags, Doyenne, and D2. 

Fast Penny Spirits Founders Holly Robinson and Jamie HuntFast Penny Spirits Founders Holly Robinson and Jamie Hunt; Photo by Kristopher Shinn

The Journey Continues: Fast Penny Spirits

The barrels were then passed onto Fast Penny Spirits, a locally woman-owned and operated amaro distillery. Blended with a combination of the highest-quality, organic, and consciously sourced botanicals, Fast Penny utilized the DeLille Cellars’ barrels to rest a limited release amaro which will be available first to the Veloce Society club. 

Italian for bitter, amaro is an herbal liqueur made from infusing a base spirit with herbs, roots, flowers, bark, and citrus. For Fast Penny, that spirit is grape-based, which follows Italian tradition. After macerating, the amaro rests in a combination of stainless and wood. For the limited release, Fast Penny Spirit’s Amaricano was rested in DeLille Cellars' barrel for four months, allowing for the oak to impart on the amaro, highlighting notes of wood, cocoa nibs, tar, and adding depth.

DeLille Cellars barrels at Fast Penny SpiritsDeLille Cellars barrels at Fast Penny Spirits; Photo by Kristopher Shinn

The Final Destination: Fair Isle Brewing

Finally, the barrels are passed on to Fair Isle Brewing in Ballard. Fair Isle is a brewery rooted in intention and focuses on creating purposeful farmhouse ales that reflect the Pacific Northwest. Here, the oak barrels will contribute subtle oak flavor to Fair Isles’s hand-crafted farmhouse ales. 

Oak is an integral part of brewing at Fair Isle. In fact, the team views oak as an ingredient of the beer rather than just a vessel. Like yeast, oak barrels are a living environment of bacteria and microorganisms and allow the brewers to achieve levels of complexity in beer otherwise unattainable in stainless steel tanks. When selecting a barrel, the team looks for ideal characteristics of the microflora and oak that will impart specific flavors to the beer.

After acquiring the barrels of freshly emptied Amaro from Fast Penny Spirits, the team at Fair Isle filled them with beer. Since October, the beer has been maturing in the oak, soaking up herbal notes and remnants of the Amaro the barrel previously held. The team recently sampled the contents and is excited about the results thus far. A Flemish-style Saison is aging in the Amaricano barrels and a more traditional, pale Saison is aging in the Amaricano Bianca barrels. “We are excited to see these beers continue to develop as we get ready to package them next month for our bottle membership,” said Matt Rowe, Brewer at Fair Isle.

Geoffrey Barker testing beer from a barrelGeoffrey Barker, Co-Founder at Fair Isle Brewing “pulling a nail” on the barrel that had previously housed DeLille Cabernet Clone 8 and Fast Penny Amaricano

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.

About Fast Penny Spirits

Fast Penny Spirits is a woman-owned and operated award-winning amaro distillery. Based in Seattle and inspired by the founder’s Italian heritage, the company is committed to stirring up change. Blended with a combination of the highest-quality, wild-crafted, organic, and consciously sourced botanicals, Fast Penny’s spirits are rich, herbaceous, and captivating. Luxurious and refined, their Italian-style amari - Amaricano and Amaricano Bianca - are beautifully complex to sip on their own or swirl into a cocktail. With a constant eye on environmental impact and a 3% Pretty Penny give-back program, Fast Penny Spirits is dedicated to supporting and empowering women, local communities, and the hospitality industry.

About Fair Isle Brewing

Fair Isle is a brewery in the Ballard Neighborhood of Seattle creating farmhouse beers rooted in the Pacific Northwest. Today, farmhouse beer doesn't have to be brewed on a farm; its more about a mindset and respect for its origins.  It’s about embracing variation rather than avoiding it. We like to think of ourselves as shepherds rather than controllers - giving our fermentation cultures the time they need to make great beer.

Time Posted: Feb 24, 2022 at 1:00 PM Permalink to The Journey of a Barrel Permalink

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