Distinctive black ruby color, with nose of sweet tar, concentrated black fruits, toasty oak, cassis and pencil snap. There is also plum brandy and an attractive sweet molasses nuance. This is a very ripe and concentrated vintage, and is expansive in the mouth with plums, cassis, blackberries, and Asian spice. Look for this wine to develop well into its 15th birthday.
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— Pierre Rovani, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
Both the 2003 and 2002 red Chaleur Estates set new standards for this top-notch Washington winery. Winemaker Chris Upchurch is wedded to producing wines of harmony as well as grace, and with these two gems he’s hit the bull’s-eye on two successive occasions. Amazing aromas of blueberries, black cherries, spices, sage, thyme, and violets emanate from the glass of the 2003 Chaleur Estate (red). Though this wine is densely packed with candied blackberries as well as cassis, it loses none of its elegance and charm. Extremely well-focused and detailed, it also reveals great length in its seamless finish. Drink it over the next 15 years.
Seared Rack of Lamb with black garlic gastrique, herb gnocchi, beurre noisette and lamb jus — Other pairing recommendations include hearty mushroom-based dishes, earthy risottos and rich pastas.
Behind the Wine
2003 Chaleur Estate 1.5L Engraved
DeLille Cellars’ inaugural wine, Chaleur Estate marks the foundation on which the winery has built its craft of blending Washington State fruit in the traditional style. This wine is a Cabernet Sauvignon-dominant blend of Bordeaux varietals, with a focus on Red Mountain vineyards. The result is a wine of depth, complexity, focus and elegance that personifies the French word for warmth, chaleur.
Ciel du Cheval is one of Washington’s most prestigious vineyards. The 1982 planting of Cabernet Sauvignon at this famed Red Mountain site is the backbone of Chaleur Estate.