One of my favorite spots in Woodinville for wine tasting has to be DeLille Cellars. And not because they have an outstanding outside patio, perfect for Washington summers. . . because they are truly one of the best and most consistent high end producers of Washington whites and reds.
DeLille is a small production winery that began production in the early '90s. They quickly became one of the most famous Washington wineries, producing some of the highest quality Bordeaux varietals in the state. I think they make the best Bordeaux style white outside of Bordeaux. This wine is called the Chaleur Estate Blanc and unfortunately they were sold out of the wine so I wasn't able to try the last vintage. I've tried the last six vintages of the Chaleur Estate Blanc and this wine is so good every year that they always sell out of it. One of their most popular wines is called D2, which is a Merlot dominant blend that tends to be a staple at many high end Seattle restaurants like El Gaucho and the Metropolitan Grill.
These wines are certainly not cheap, but winemaker Chris Upchurch is one of the best in Washington and literally every wine that he makes is outstanding. It doesn't hurt that he has fantastic Red Mountain fruit to work with and his Red Mountain fruit really helped him create some outstanding 2011 reds, despite working with a less than spectacular vintage. Upchurch even makes a great Rose!
Here are some of the outstanding wines that I recently tried at DeLille Cellars.
2013 Doyenne Rose- Rhone style Rose rose. Pear and strawberry on the nose with some smoke. Nice balance on the palate with strawberry, gooseberry, and guava. Excellent, drink now. -91
2011 Doyenne Aix- This is a Cab Syrah blend. Great nose considering the vintage. Cedar, chocolate and black cherry on the nose. Palate has good depth. Blackberry, black cherry, anise and cedar. A bit hot and needs 1-2 years to integrate. -90
2011 Grand Ciel Syrah- Smoked meats and cassis on the nose. Lighter bodied than expected but smooth. Blackberry and red cherry flavors. Needs 1-2 years of cellaring. -91
2011 DeLille Cellars D2- Nice and perfumed nose considering the vintage. Vegetal nose with spice. Palate is smooth and tastes very Bordelaise. Red cherry, guava, and boysenberry flavors. Needs 1-2 years of cellaring. -91
2011 DeLille Cellars Four Flags Cabernet- This is sourced from some of the best vineyards in the state. Very rich nose considering the vintage. Provencale herbs anise, spice box, and red bell pepper. Palate is shut down but has potential and needs a lot of time, 3 plus years of cellaring. Blackberry, blueberry, coffee and light tannins. -92