Perfect balance is evident in this tightly wound, refined and smooth-drinking Bordeaux-style blend. Made using two-thirds Cabernet Sauvignon, this is fragrant, stylish and polished, with dark fruit flavors that are dotted with notes of spring herb and black olive.
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— David Schildknecht, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
Comprising 68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc, and 2% Petit Verdot – sourced from Ciel du Cheval and Klipsun Vineyards – the 2009 Chaleur Estate red is dominated by lusciously ripe morello cherry, with accents of peat, tobacco, licorice, allspice, and tactilely sizzling cinnamon. Plush though with underlying chew, it finishes with an invigoration and energy one scarcely anticipates from these grape varieties much less in such a warm vintage. Upchurch suggests that most of the tannin in a wine like this comes from the seeds and that the proclivity in Washington of seeds to truly ripen to nutty crunchiness (granted that precisely in 2009 this proved challenging) is what makes for wine with this sort of amazingly vibrant and stimulatingly tannic personality. And, he believes, incidentally, that punch-downs as opposed to pump-overs make for more advantageous extraction that preserves these virtues.
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
2009 Chaleur Estate 1.5L
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.