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This month, wine reviewer and critic Jeb Dunnuck took the time to taste and score DeLille Cellars’ cellar-stocking worthy wines. We thank Jeb for his reviews, and continue reading on to inspire your next shopping trip.
The 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Grand Ciel Vineyard showed brilliantly and is up with the finest vintages of this cuvée. All varietal aged in new barrels, this ruby/purple-hued beauty offers a gorgeous perfume of red cherries, blueberries, candied violets, sandalwood, and smoked tobacco. Medium to full-bodied on the palate, it’s not massive but shines for its flawless balance, has ultra-fine tannins, and a great finish. This complex, layered, incredibly complete Cabernet Sauvignon will evolve for 20-25 years in cold cellars.
All varietal from a single vineyard on Red Mountain, the 2020 Cabernet Sauvignon Shaw Vineyard is a darker, more herbal effort offering lots of blackcurrant, tobacco, espresso, and chocolate aromatics. These carry to a rich, full-bodied, opulent Cabernet with a great mid-palate, ripe tannins, and a great finish.
All Cabernet Sauvignon from four sites (the Grand Ciel, Klipsun, Ciel du Cheval, and Upchurch vineyards), the 2020 Cabernet Sauvignon Four Flags reveals a deeper plum hue to go with a blacker fruited, concentrated, powerful Cabernet offering full-bodied richness, plenty of chocolaty oak, ripe tannins, and a great finish. It’s another seriously good wine from this estate.
All Syrah from a great vineyard on Red Mountain, the 2019 Syrah Grand Ciel Vineyard reveals a deep ruby/plum hue (it’s not opaque) to go with a great perfume of mulberries, meaty blue fruits, pepper herbs, leather, and hints of iron. Rich, medium to full-bodied, balanced, and elegant on the palate, it has fine tannins, a silky, layered mouthfeel, and a great finish. It’s going to evolve for 15-20 years as well.
The 2020 Red Willow checks in as 47% Cabernet Franc, 40% Merlot, and the rest Cabernet Sauvignon, all from the Red Willow Vineyard on the western side of the Yakima Valley. Ripe black cherries, smoked tobacco, sandalwood, plums, and graphite all emerge from the glass, and this beauty is medium to full-bodied and has a seamless, elegant mouthfeel, ripe, polished tannins, and a great finish. It’s a brilliant 2020 with tons to love, and it certainly ranks with the crème de la crème of the vintage.
I always love this cuvée from Delille, and their 2020 Harrison Hill is another beautiful wine as well as one of my favorites in the lineup. Revealing a transparent ruby/plum hue, it’s medium to full-bodied and silky on the palate, with fine-grained tannins, a layered, elegant mouthfeel, and already complex notes of red and black berries, leafy herbs, black tea, sandalwood, and flowery incense. This balanced, nuanced, layered red isn’t the biggest or richest in the vintage, yet it shines for its incredible complexity and balance. The blend is 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, and the rest Cabernet Franc. Currently Unavailable
Plenty of ripe blackcurrants, tobacco leaf, graphite, and lead pencil notes emerge from the 2020 Chaleur Estate, an ultra-classic, medium to full-bodied, beautifully balanced blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot, 11% Cabernet Franc, and a splash of Petit Verdot. With good concentration, terrific purity, and building tannins, it should benefit from 2-4 years of bottle age and have two decades of longevity.
A blend of 67% Sauvignon and 33% Semillon, the 2021 Chaleur Blanc will give a top Bordeaux Blanc a run for its money. Bright lemon curd, honeyed minerality, acacia flowers, and hints of brioche all define the aromatics, and it’s medium to full-bodied, with a pure, layered, seamless mouthfeel, integrated acidity, and a great finish. It’s beautifully done and will evolve for at least a decade (although I like it today).
The more Merlot-dominated 2020 D2 offers a vivid purple/ruby hue as well as beautiful notes of ripe black cherries, tobacco leaf, sandalwood, and spring flowers. I love its purity, and it has terrific mid-palate depth, ripe tannins, and a great finish. The blend is 61% Merlot, 27% Cabernet Sauvignon, and the rest Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, brought up in 60% new oak.
Including 20% Syrah, the 2020 Mourvedre StoneTree Vineyard has an up-front, expressive, complex style in its red and blue fruits as well as peppery herbs, sandalwood, spicy wood, and violet-driven aromas and flavors. Medium to full-bodied, pure, balanced, and elegant on the palate, it has wonderful tannins and outstanding length.
The 2021 Pinot Noir Kalita Vineyard is slightly more rounded and softer, with medium-bodied aromas and flavors of wild strawberries, raspberries, spice, and spring flowers. Medium-bodied, supple, and seamless on the palate, it’s another beautiful wine from this team that will evolve for 7-8 years.
Wine Club Special
Coming from the White Bluffs region, the 2021 Riesling Sagemoor Vineyard is terrific and offers gorgeous varietal notes of minty herbs, lychee, crushed stone, and exotic citrus. Nicely balanced, medium-bodied, and balanced, it brings bright acidity, good sweetness of fruit, and a great finish. It’s going to be incredibly versatile on the dinner table and is an impeccably made Riesling that will evolve for 10-12 years.
Red plums, candied violets, tobacco, and sandalwood notes all emerge from the 2020 Cabernet Sauvignon Klipsun Vineyard, a medium to full-bodied, pretty, elegant Red Mountain Cabernet that has plenty of tannins, good overall balance, and outstanding. It shows the more streamlined, focused style of the vintage, with a touch of smoke on the tannins, but it’s clearly an outstanding wine.
All Merlot from the Yakima Valley, the 2020 Merlot Le Colosse reveals a medium ruby/plum hue to go with solid aromatics of spiced black cherries, scorched earth, graphite, and spicy wood. Beautifully balanced, medium to full-bodied, and elegant, it has clean, fine-grained tannins, notable purity, and a great finish. It’s a beautiful wine.
Blueberries, ripe black cherries, peppery herbs, sappy flowers, and hints of game all emerge from the 2020 Syrah Red Willow Vineyard, a medium to full-bodied Syrah with good mid-palate concentration, ripe tannins, and a great finish. It shows the more streamlined, focused style of the vintage yet is clean, balanced, and a terrific wine.
The 2022 Metier Sauvignon Blanc is beautiful, with honeyed lime, white peach, and floral notes in its medium-bodied, balanced, elegant profile.
Just bottled, the 2022 Riesling Sagemoor Vineyards has a terrific, medium-bodied, vibrant profile as well as textbook aromatics of lychees, tart quince, and honeyed limes. It’s beautifully balanced and an outstanding Riesling that will keep for at least 7-8 years, although I like it today.
A later harvest dessert wine based on 80% Semillon and 20% Sauvignon Blanc, the 2022 Le Petit Doux has a ripe, sweetly fruited, medium-bodied style offering a great nose of honeyed limes, peach, and a kiss of chalky minerality. It’s balanced, has good acidity, and a clean finish. It’s an outstanding dessert wine to enjoy over the coming 4-6 years or more.
Based on 43% Mourvèdre, 39% Grenache, and the rest Syrah, the 2021 Le Dessein is a sweetly fruited, peppery, savory herb, and smoky red and black-fruited red with medium to full-bodied richness. I like its tannins, it’s balanced, and it has a great finish.
A terrific value that would probably run you three times the price if it was from Napa, the 2021 Metier Cabernet Sauvignon has textbook leafy herbs, tobacco, and darker currant fruits in a medium-bodied, elegant, balanced package. It has classic Cabernet herbal, floral, spicy notes and is well worth drinking any time over the coming decade or so.
Based on Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot, the 2021 Metier Red Blend is a consistently outstanding wine and has upfront blackberry like fruits, complex notes of peppery herb, leather, and earth, medium to full body, ripe tannins, and outstanding length.
I was also able to taste two Pinot Noirs from the team at DeLille, both from the Willamette Valley (although they’re labeled Oregon). The 2021 Pinot Noir Lonesome Rock Ranch Vineyard has a beautiful perfume of ripe cherries, mulberries, dried flowers, and underbrush. Medium-bodied, silky, and elegant, it’s clearly an outstanding Pinot Noir. This was 70% destemmed and, I believe, brought up in a mix of new and used barrels. I’d happily drink a bottle.
Wine Club Special
Based largely on Grenache, the 2022 Rose has a Bandol-like style in its savory cherry and strawberry fruit as well as medium-bodied richness and depth on the palate. It’s balanced, complex, has good acidity, and outstanding length.
Based on 44% Mourvèdre, 36% Grenache, and the rest Syrah, the 2020 Le Dessein has a meaty, medium-bodied, juicy style as well as both red and black fruits, some peppery, herbal, meaty nuances, high acidity, and a good finish. Well-made, this firmer, focused, slightly angular 2020 will benefit from 2-3 years of bottle age and keep through 2030.
The Malbec-dominated 2020 Minuit (72% Malbec and 28% Cabernet Sauvignon) reveals a deep ruby/plum hue as well as an impressive bouquet of spiced black and blue fruits, candied flowers, orange blossom, and spice. These carry to a medium-bodied, elegant, nicely focused red with a firmer, slightly chalky mouthfeel and good length. As with many 2020s, there’s a clear, subtle, smoky influence in the tannins, yet it stays nicely balanced and enjoyable.
The 2020 Syrah Signature (which includes 1% Viognier) offers a beautiful nose of ripe blackberries, blueberries, smoked herbs, violets, and gamey, leathery nuances. Medium-bodied on the palate and nicely balanced, it has good mid-palate density, solid balance, and some chalky tannins on the finish. There’s a touch of smoke influence here, but the wine is nicely balanced and clearly offers pleasure.
DeLille Cellars is honored to have our wines held at such high regard. To see scores from other wine critics and reviewers, head to our blog page to read more. These wines and scores would not be possible without the tireless efforts of our winemaking team. To explore all things DeLille and to come in and taste why our wines receive such top-remarks, visit us in the Tasting Room.