Since 1992, the team from Delille Cellars has been forging the estate’s reputation with a focus on wines making the best of Bordeaux and Rhone grape varieties. The four founders are Charles and Greg Lill, Jay Soloff and winemaker Chris Upchurch. Together they have created a wide range of high scoring wines from the vineyards in Washington state and Oregon. From Columbia Valley, Yakima Valley, Snipes Mountain, Red Mountain AVAs, including a Willamette Valley AVA Pinot.
The careful selection of the individual vineyards to create these acclaimed wine include Harrison Hill vineyard in the Snipes Mountain AVA. That particular vineyard has some of the oldest Cabernet vines in Washington State planted in 1962. This makes them over 50+ years old.
And the folks at Delille Cellars are very upfront about giving as much detail about their wines as they can. They detail the percentages of fruit going into each wine down to the individual vineyards. Just so you know what you are getting.
Here are four of the current vintages from Delille Cellars:
Delille Cellars D2
This is a red for those who like the rich reds. It is a typical Bordeaux blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. The D2 offers up an abundance of plum fruit, pepper, mint led herbiness and cinnamon scents. It is fuller and very shapely as it enters the mouth, but has ripe tannins and easily shows its soft and juicy side. It is unashamedly rich after 18 months in French oak, of which 55% is new. The creamy oak almost takes on a banana character here. There is no denying thought that, this is also an elegant wine. $50
Delille Cellars Four Flags
100% Cabernet Sauvignon from Red Mountain AVA. Will the nose is less intense at the moment than the D2, this is a baby yet in my opinion. It is fuller in body, with the typical blackcurrant fruit spiced up with herbs, vanilla and cinnamon and a hint of banana. The tannins here are a little grainy and long. A portion of this wine was fermented on native yeast. After ferment, the wine was aged for 20 months in mostly new (75%), French oak. So, there is no surprise that there is lots going on. It is good now, but I would like to meet this wine again in around 10 years time. $75
Delille Cellars Chaleur Estate
This is another Bordeaux style Red Mountain AVA red blend but focuses on grapes from both the Ciel du Cheval Vineyard and the Klipsun Vineyard. This red blend is Cabernet sauvignon led, with an addition of Merlot, Cabernet Franc and a small inclusion of Petit Verdot. This blend is shining bright at the moment, with a fragrantly perfumed nose of plums, blackcurrant and floral scents. Here the tannins are slightly more noticeable and the oak too. It has spent 20 months in 100% new French oak. This has added a real spiciness to the finish that compliments the ripe blackcurrant very well. Another one I’d like to meet in 10 years or so. $90
Delille Cellars Grand Ciel Cabernet Sauvignon
There is a companionable Syrah wine under the ‘Grand Ciel’ label to complement this Cabernet Sauvignon. These are single vineyard wines from, no surprise, the Grand Ciel Vineyard in Red Mountain AVA. This is a wine to savour in its intensely generous herbal blackcurrant and cherry fruit, spread over a supporting toastiness. It is a wine of great texture with a delightful silky polish leaving it a supple mouthful. Fuller in body, and it has some lovely balance. It has had 20 months in 100% new French oak and an additional 18 months bottle time to better integrate before sale. However, I think it will be another keeper mid to longer term. $160