2015 Chaleur Blanc 1.5L
Right off the bat, there’s bouquet of white pepper, lemongrass, brioche, grapefruit, caramelized pineapple and vanilla followed by sweet grass and white flowers. The mouth follows with almond butter, pineapple upside down cake, apple crisp and campfire smoke framing the dried fruit and honey. Wow, this vintage is complex and generously flavored – an outstanding Chaleur Blanc!
The world has plenty of Chardonnay. We choose to honor the other legendary French tradition of white wine with our Chaleur Blanc. This is a classic white blend of Sauvignon Blanc (73%) and Semillon (27%) created in the tradition of the great white wine of Bordeaux and hand harvested from some of the oldest and most respected vineyards in Washington State. Chaleur Blanc begins with careful hand sorting at crush, followed by gentle whole-cluster pressing to release free-run juice. After chilling in stainless steel tanks to separate out the solids, we are able to achieve a clean and crisp profile. Lastly, the majority of our clarified juice is fermented sur lie in French oak barrels. Experience a wine of elegance with rich, deep layers of spice and fruit.
"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."
--- Review by Stephen Tanzer for Vinous, Nov. 2016